Chapter 11
Construction and commissioning
No matter what the size of the project, a project manager should be appointed. His/her
job is to:
prepare and update a Gantt chart
showing all the tasks that need to be carried
out and showing the critical path
prepare a project budget and keep it up-to-date as new information becomes
certify payments to contractors and manage variations
make sure that everyone involved is informed when a design change is needed
convene regular meetings of the whole design team at regular intervals to discuss
any problems and report on progress.
The competence of the project manager is a critical factor in the success of the
scheme. The project manager’s primary loyalty should be to the owner, not the
contractor. He must act impartially in the event of a dispute.
Construction of a small hydro scheme usually involves many contractors and subcon-
tractors. Whether or not there should be a single main contractor and all the others
should be subcontractors is a decision that needs to be considered very carefully. If the
developer or the consultant is confident that they can manage the coordination and
integration, then employing a number of contractors often from the locality is usu-
ally cheaper and, in many cases, will expedite the project. For instance, a small local
contractor can be employed for site clearing and initial excavation to reveal the actual
site conditions before the design is complete.
During construction it is important to maintain accurate records of what is actu-
ally built and to record the geology that is revealed during excavations. These records
will be invaluable in the event of any civil engineering problems in the future.
Installation of mechanical and electrical equipment should, if possible, be done
with the involvement of local contractors because this will ensure that there are local
people available with knowledge of the equipment and how it can be dismantled and
An excellent (and free) Gantt program is available from

Get Small Hydroelectric Engineering Practice now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.