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Navigating Construction Management in Life Sciences

In the complex field of Life Sciences, experience and expertise are essential to successfully navigate the challenges of construction management and supervision.

In the highly specialised and demanding field of Life Sciences, effective supervision and construction management are often what distinguish a successful project from a failed one. At Deerns, our Life Sciences project management teams have navigated these challenges extensively. Our experience has taught us the importance of two fundamental elements in project management:

  • Meticulous documentation
  • Open and ongoing communication

The importance of Project Communication

Deerns advocates for the critical role of regular communication, particularly through weekly meetings. These gatherings are not just administrative checkpoints but are vital for solving problems, clarifying issues, and maintaining an informed project team. They also play a crucial role in relationship-building among the various stakeholders, fostering a trust that proves invaluable when facing project challenges.

Furthermore, these meetings provide a platform for integrating client insights into the project workflow. Clients often bring a wealth of experience and can offer innovative solutions that might not be immediately apparent to the project team. Keeping an open dialogue with the client not only helps in problem-solving but also ensures that equipment and project schedules are approved by the client on time, thereby aligning expectations and responsibilities.

Because issues crop up on site that couldn’t have been foreseen during the design stage, it’s also advisable to involve the design team during construction to align the design with the physical construction and look to improve processes even more.

Understanding the Stakes of Life Sciences Projects

Life Sciences projects, by their nature, involve highly specialised equipment that is critical to a facility’s operations. Due to the limited number of suppliers in this niche market, the efficient procurement and timely arrival of this equipment are vital. Any delay in receiving this equipment can set a project back by as much as three to six months.

Such setbacks underscore the importance of having a robust procurement document that is continuously updated. This document is essential not just for tracking equipment but also for ensuring that what is installed aligns with the intended outcomes.

The Importance of Dynamic Documentation

At Deerns we understand the importance of dynamic documentation practices. In an environment where conditions and needs can shift unexpectedly, the ability to adapt documentation to reflect current realities is crucial.

This includes not only procurement schedules but also risk assessments and safety protocols. A comprehensive risk assessment document, which is regularly updated, lists potential risks, analyses the likelihood of these risks as well as their potential impact on time and budget, and proposes strategies for mitigation.

These documents serve multiple purposes:

  • as a tool for managing the current project
  • as a record of lessons learned for future initiatives
  • showcasing the project team’s commitment to foresight and thoroughness, which helps to maintain the client’s confidence.

Safety and Access Control

Another crucial aspect is the importance of safety and access control on construction sites, particularly in Life Sciences projects where the risk factors may be significantly higher due to the nature of the equipment and processes involved.

Ensuring that the general contractor has met all safety requirements before work begins is fundamental. Failure to do so can lead to significant delays, adding another layer of complexity to project management.

Financial Transparency and Client Relations

Keeping the client updated on financial matters such as cash flow and expenditure not only helps in maintaining transparency but also aids in record-keeping. This financial diligence is an integral part of project management that reassures clients about the prudent management of their investments. It also provides a clear record of decisions made and the rationale behind them, which is essential for transparency and future reference.

Here’s where we set Standards of Excellence

As Deerns continues to apply these lessons learned in future projects, we enhance our ability to deliver high-quality results consistently, reinforcing our position as a leader in the Life Sciences sector. This continuous improvement cycle not only benefits our immediate projects but also sets a standard of excellence for the industry, promising even greater success in the future.


Let’s talk

Jonathan Ruiz

Project Manager & MEP Engineer