For one, start of construction marks the first large milestone of the project in a community, so it’s important to ensure that the process starts smoothly with proper coordination between community members and the contractor. High quality of construction will also serve to build trust for the project within the community and increase the longevity of the infrastructure.
Remember to consult qualified architects and civil engineers before and during the construction phase. Their specialized knowledge is essential to ensuring that the designs have the proper structural integrity, and that the construction is as per the designs and at a sufficient quality to meet applicable building codes.
Key steps of the construction phase of a community toilet project are –
Finding a contractor
Engaging the community
Re-checking designs and specifications
Planning ahead for handover
Insights from construction
Involve communities with the construction process prior to start of construction
This starts with informing community members of the date and time for start of construction, and then identifying residents who will be responsible for monitoring construction. There’s more information on this in the Community Engagement section.
Think about how construction will interact with the everyday functioning of the community, and prepare stakeholders accordingly.
Especially when the facility site is located within the community, construction will definitely have an impact on the day-to-day lives of residents.
Start construction quickly once a site has been identified
Starting construction does not mean that large scale work has to start immediately. At least if there is an official demarcation of the land, this can help deter anyone from making a claim to the space and signal that the space is reserved for the project.
Prepare your own construction monitoring strategy
More information on this can be found in the Consturction Monitoring section.
Pay careful attention to what elements of construction are within the contractor’s scope of work and what elements are not.
Beyond just constructing the facility, there may be other infrastructure related activities that will need to happen, either before or after construction. For instance, there may be an existing facility that needs to demolished, temporary toilets may have to be set up for community use while construction is ongoing, or electricity connections may need to be provided prior to facility opening. These elements are sometimes not included in the contractor’s scope of work.
Once the facility is 75% completed, start making plans for facility handover.
In our experience, figuring out all the logistics of handover can be a time-consuming process. To make sure that construction timelines are not extended due to handover formalities and minimize any vandalism, it makes sense to plan ahead.
We’ve found that this phase can also be a particular tricky one because you will likely have to manage relationships with the community, with the contractor, and between the contractor and communities. Contractors may not have a lot of experience building structures within a community setting, so they may not be prepared to handle the feedback of community members, or be aware of the inconvenience that construction may cause to the local population. Active facilitation is required to minimize misunderstandings. To learn more about the contractor perspective on community infrastructure projects, and how to create a more community sensitive construction strategy, check out the resources below.
Check out our resources for guidelines and checklists for construction. Also, read through our thoughts on how to smoothen the construction process by accounting for perspectives of contractors and communities.
Gathering necessary paperwork
Guidelines for identifying a contractor
Learnings from the contractor and community perspective on the construction process
Checklist for starting construction
Handing over checklist – after completion of construction