Proper planning of construction logistics is an essential part of every construction project. However, there are a lot of things to consider to ensure the project is carried out successfully, safely, and to a high standard. A construction logistics plan, therefore, can help to lay everything out to ensure it’s accounted for.
What is a construction logistics plan?
A construction logistics plan is an important tool in any construction project. It helps to provide a framework for the movement of goods into and across the site, accounting for routes, traffic management, storage of materials, and distribution.
It’s a vital part of every construction project. Without a construction logistics plan, projects can face delays and even accidents, due to poor planning.
Considerations for Your Construction Logistics Plan
Various factors should be considered when putting together a construction logistics plan. Ensuring every detail is covered will help to ensure the project is completed on schedule and to a high standard.
The physical environment of the site will call for specific requirements. For example, the time of year the project is taking place and the expected weather will all have an effect on the logistics. Hot, dry weather may call for dust control, whereas wet weather may require dewatering plans. You’ll also need to protect the materials and equipment from the elements.
You’ll also need to consider how the environment will affect the crew. Working through hot weather will mean there’s a need for cool, shady spaces, and working through winter will mean you’ll need to provide heated spaces for break times.
Another factor to consider around the environment is the local wildlife. There may be special measures that need to be taken to protect wildlife.
The site itself will have a big impact on logistics planning. This may be large and spacious, but often, especially in urban construction, the site will be constrained. This can affect how much space is available for storage and crew buildings.
You’ll also need to consider whether the site has access already, or if temporary access will need to be built.
Local laws and regulations
You will need to consider the local laws and regulations when planning construction logistics for a project. Nearby roads may have weight or height limitations that will affect access to the site, for example. If the project is taking place in a residential area, there will likely be noise restrictions and requirements for dust management.
Not adhering to local regulations can result in lengthy delays and even fines. Proper planning and accounting for local restrictions can help you to avoid them.
The site will need to have a space for the storage of materials and also for equipment. If the site is particularly small, this may need to be off-site, in a nearby warehouse, for example.
As well as finding storage space, you will need to factor in any extra security that might be needed for this area. You’ll also need to ensure the materials are protected from the weather. Ideally, your storage space will be the same throughout the project and will have easy access for those who need to obtain the materials.
Most construction sites will see regular deliveries throughout the project. So, there must be a plan for delivery logistics, to ensure the smooth running of deliveries. You’ll need to consider how deliveries can access and exit the site and where unloading will occur. You’ll need to factor in the size and weight of materials, along with your storage plans, and how many trucks/deliveries will be expected throughout the project.
Coinciding with the delivery logistics will be the traffic flow around the site. The crew and the materials will need to travel around the site and efficiently reach where they need to be. Any storage areas and office buildings will therefore need to be constructed out of the way of traffic flow.
Sometimes, it might be that areas need to be moved around the site. This can then allow for optimum flow to the areas where construction is taking place in a phased approach.
Site security is necessary to keep both the crew, the equipment, and the materials safe. Limiting access to the site can be good for security and can be achieved by erecting fences and gates. Entrances and exits will need to be thoughtfully placed for optimum traffic flow through the site.
Security cameras can act as a good deterrent, especially when keeping materials and equipment on site. In some cases, security guards might even be appropriate, to prevent intruders and to keep workers safe.
Waste management is a critical part of your construction logistics plan. All construction projects generate waste, which will need to be properly removed from the site to keep it clean and safe.
Think about the sort of waste that will be created from the project. This could include everything from construction debris to food waste from the crew. In particular, you should consider if there will be any hazardous waste, as this will require careful planning and special requirements.
Where possible, you should recycle waste. This will reduce the environmental impact of the project and can also save money on the overall cost.
Crew areas and offices
Break areas and office spaces are essential for every construction project. You should think about finding space for a site office, break areas, and restrooms. You might need space for meetings, as well as providing appliances for the crew to prepare meals. There should also be places where the crew can wash hands-on site, plus shady areas if the project is taking place in hot weather.
You should think about the best place to set these spaces up so they’re easily accessible by the crew but also so they don’t disrupt the flow of the site.
Scheduling is an important part of construction logistics. Your deliveries of materials and equipment will need to be planned so they coincide with the relevant phases of construction. This will avoid any delays or lost work time.
There are a lot of moving parts in a construction project. Careful planning and scheduling will result in a streamlined and efficient project.