Cost planning: The first step

No two building projects are the same and clients have varying priorities. This is as true in the Czech Republic as it is in the rest of the world.  

The client could be a manufacturer requiring a new facility in which to operate its core business or a developer whose core business is generating return on investment by adding value to an existing asset. Each project is defined by a unique combination of factors and determining what, where, when and how allows us to determine how much.

What

Most clients who come to the Czech Republic have a precise idea of the scope of their project. Local knowledge will highlight the opportunities for added value through the use of local materials and the tailoring of the design for a given location.

Where

Some industrial zones have pre-approved permitting processes for appropriate projects, thus enabling commencement of site works in a very short time. Other locations may require a comprehensive planning service including zoning changes and environmental impact assessments.

When

The timeline of a given project depends greatly on its location and the stage that the client has reached in the development of the project documentation. Time constraints may also influence how the project is implemented.

How

The most common contractual arrangements in the Czech Republic are contracts based on a bill of quantities (BOQ) with a guaranteed maximum price (GMP), engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contracts.

Experience in the Czech Republic shows that the following conclusions can be drawn: The EPC/GMP approach reduces risk and the administrative burden for the client by placing responsibility for project delivery with the contractor. The downside of this, however, is that the project costs will be higher, as this risk is factored into the price and it is often not possible to finalise detailed specifications for the works prior to appointment of the contractor. Once the contract is awarded, the contractor controls the detailed design and construction process and will aim for the minimum compliant standards with a natural tendency to select the cheapest subcontractors. With the EPCM approach, the project is divided into several trade packages and the packages are awarded to specialist companies. This system gains time for the design process, thus allowing for the production of more comprehensive project documentation, especially for later packages. This in turn yields benefits for budget management, with savings on early packages adding to reserves and potentially allowing for upgrades to the later packages. The downsides here are that more risk lies on the client side and with more contractors to manage, project management is more complex and more expensive. However, the client maintains tighter control over the design and budget, and in our experience, the overall costs can be 5% to 10% lower compared with procurement via a general contractor.

How much

Whatever the procurement route, it is important to maintain control of costs at all stages of the project.

Typical cost structure The costs of project implementation can be divided between labour, services and materials (direct costs) and the intrinsic costs associated with the project (indirect costs).

Michal Král
Business Development Manager
RUBY Project Management