What is Construction Administration?

Project managers do more than just set timelines and budgets; they also identify potential concerns, negotiate contracts, and document changes. They work to improve the overall project experience and deliver best-in-class results.

Construction administration services are key to the building process. Many clients think they don’t need them, but they are essential. A construction administrator oversees every project phase, ensuring the construction team follows the design plans.

Project management and construction administration services include:

  • Scheduling
  • Specialty inspections
  • Funding and grant writing
  • Change management
  • Project documentation
  • SWPPP compliance verification
  • Project quantity documentation
  • Construction inspection
  • Project controls
  • Right-of-Way

Why Is Construction Administration Important?

Construction administration is important to ensure a smooth building process. Many construction projects undermine the importance of a construction administrator today. The architect’s role during the construction administration phase is mostly observing and keeping records, with regular site visits to familiarize themselves with the progress. For many jobs, there may be a weekly walk-through of the progress, with additional visits during different phases of construction. 

7 Elements of Construction Administration

Architects are responsible for the design of a project and can be held liable for any issues with the finished product. Administrators protect the client and make sure they are getting what they paid for.

A few essential elements of construction administration are:

 1. Better Communication

The most common problem with construction projects is communication among stakeholders, which can often lead to delays and increased expenses. A construction administrator can help by facilitating communication between the design and architectural teams, the engineer, and the contractor. This way, they can quickly identify and fill communication gaps, avoiding the loss of time and money.

2. Reviewing submittal packages.

The administrator handling construction administration is responsible for submittals. This involves providing construction documents, material samples, or shop drawings to the architect or engineer. For example, multiple submittals for the plumbing system are placed into a submittal package and given to the architect for approval. The architect then observes the construction process to ensure the contractor is executing the design specifications as outlined by construction drawings and contracts.

3. Approving change orders.

When the planned work needs to be changed, an architect is usually in charge of authorizing or refusing change order requests, while still giving everyone the opportunity to review the change.

4. Building code enforcement.

The building inspection includes checking that the project meets building code standards, that the HVAC systems meet the minimum requirements for efficiency, and that the building follows all environmental coding.

5. Finding new supplies.

Sometimes, the building materials don’t meet or have been discontinued. Construction engineers can help the client select the correct replacement products that fit within their budget or accept a general contractor’s suggestion.

6. Better Cost and Time Management

Perhaps everything in a  Construction Administration project boils down to better cost and time management. Going overboard in terms of either time or money is unacceptable to most clients and ends up putting the construction firm and their team in a bad light. Owing to their expertise, construction managers map out exactly how a construction activity must go through. They identify potential risks at the start of the project, estimate the kind of equipment and labor the subcontractors needed to pitch and streamline other factors right from the start so that the project can go about smoothly in its course. Even in case of unforeseen delays and cost over boarding, their expertise comes handy in communicating the same to the concerned stakeholders in a timely fashion and solve the problems to get the project going on its feet soon.

7. Problem-solving.

The administrator takes over as acting project manager in the event of any unforeseen conditions during construction, in order to resolve the issue quickly, whether it be with construction contracts, supplies, or the budget. This flexibility ensures that construction is not inhibited or delayed and that the work remains on schedule.


In all construction projects, some unknowns and variables can affect the project’s final outcome. In any case, the architect can act as a valuable resource, helping the owner navigate through selecting a new product or approving a choice made by the contractor. In most cases, the architect serves as the mediator between the client and contractor in the case of a disagreement. 

Another important interaction that takes place throughout the construction phase is when the contractor provides submittal packages to the architect for review and approval. This process helps ensure that the quality standard outlined in the project is upheld. We understand that construction administration can be complex, but we exist to streamline the process for you. Please reach out to us in “Ara Design Engineering” to schedule a call with a professional.

We look forward to working with you on your next project!