Monday, February 8, 2010

Remote Building II: Construction Phase

Most of the problems in remote building are in the transportation. Construction in remote areas is much the same as on the road system but with a few complications. Below are some considerations for the constructioon phase. None of these situations are serious by themselves but they all add to the cost of construction. All of these things need to be averaged into the cost of doing business over the years or a contractor will never survive. We don't plan for mishaps and emergencies; we do however, plan to be ready for them if they arise.
1. Are there existing quarters for the crew or are we bringing our own tents and cooking gear?
2. Is there good drinking water available? We don't want anyone getting sick. We have seen crew members get sick and require an extra charter to get them out and bring a new crew in.
3. What about restroom facilites? This may seem silly to consider but it can be extremely uncomfortable in certain areas.
4. Are we in bear country? Many times we are working in bear country which calls for special measures. Bears can obviously do a lot of damage to a campsite.
5. What about communications? Do we need a satellite phone?
6. Do we have an emergency plan? Construction involves working with tools that can be dangerous and we need to have an extensive first aid kit and a plan to evacuate a crew member if the need arises. (We have had to implement this evacuation plan on more than one occasion.)
7. We need a back up for every tool, especially generators.
8. What if material arrives damaged? Sometimes materials are damaged in shipment and replacements need to be shipped. (Twice we have had helicopters drop loads in the middle of nowhere)
9. Weather can be a limiting factor in some areas. Some days are too extreme to work in and the crew has to take a down day. Too many down days and the crew will be looking for a job in a better environment.
10. Most crew members want to work overtime when out of town. This adds considerable labor costs to the project and has to be added into the estimate.

These are just a few of the issues to consider when estimating a remote project.

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
-Walter Winchell

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