1st Edition

Construction Superintendents Essential Skills for the Next Generation

By Len Holm, John Schaufelberger Copyright 2020
    290 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    290 Pages 84 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Construction Superintendents: Essential Skills for the Next Generation is the first college-level textbook designed to prepare you to take on a site supervisor role on a complex jobsite. The book covers the responsibilities of superintendents in relation to the jobsite project management team, the project owners, designers, and municipal services. The book outlines the development of the superintendent and his or her role and responsibilities in twenty-first century construction projects. Using examples and case studies of cutting-edge jobsite practices from the use of computer applications to leadership and capital development, this book lays out all the functions of a modern site superintendent in an easy-to-understand format. The book includes:

    • coverage of the full spectrum of tasks and skills required from the pre-construction phase, through start-up, operation and close-out, plus advanced topics for those serious about leading the field
    • real-world case studies, forms, and documentation stored on a companion website
    • chapter summaries, review questions, and exercises to aid both teaching and learning.

    This book fills in the long-standing need for an academic textbook designed as an applied instructional resource suitable for university and college students enrolled in construction management and construction engineering programmes.


    Section A: Introductory concepts

    Chapter 1 Introduction to construction management, including procurement, pricing, and contracts

    Chapter 2 Construction organizations and responsibilities, including the superintendent and other team members, team cohesiveness, and removal of stereotypes

    Section B: Preconstruction planning

    Chapter 3 Preconstruction services, including delivery method impacts and preconstruction contracts and fees

    Chapter 4 Constructability reviews, including value engineering

    Chapter 5 Schedule preparation


    Chapter 6 Superintendent preconstruction plans:

    Safety planning

    Quality control planning

    Hoisting plan

    Traffic plan

    Section C: Construction startup and mobilization

    Chapter 7 Site logistics planning, including environmental considerations, JIT deliveries, and off-site prefabrication

    Chapter 8 Team development: Subcontractors and foremen

    Chapter 9 Team building, including the superintendent’s role with clients, designers, city, and neighbors

    Chapter 10 Mobilization

    Section D: Construction operations

    Chapter 11 Schedule control:

    Contract schedule: Status, update, and revise

    Lean construction: pull planning

    Short interval schedules

    Specialty area, system, and sub schedules

    Chapter 12 Superintendent control systems, including safety, quality, cost, change order management, and labor and subcontract and risk management

    Chapter 13 Communications and document control, including diaries, meetings and technology tools/BIM

    Chapter 14 Permit and inspection coordination

    Section E: Construction close-out

    Chapter 15 Punch list supervision

    Chapter 16 Startup, inspections, and approvals

    Chapter 17 Close-out documentation, including as-built drawings

    Chapter 18 Superintendent’s demobilization

    Section F: Advanced topics

    Chapter 19 Superintendent leaders

    Chapter 20 Training the next generation of superintendents


    Case studies: Commercial, civil, and residential projects





    Len Holm is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Washington, USA. He has over 40 years’ construction industry experience at all levels and owns his own construction management firm. He is the author of numerous books on construction, including Cost Accounting and Financial Management for Construction Project Managers, 101 Case Studies in Construction Management, and co-author of Introduction to Construction Project Engineering with Giovanni Migliaccio, also published by Routledge.

    John E. Schaufelberger is Dean Emeritus of the College of Built Environments at the University of Washington, USA. He is the co-author of Management of Construction Projects: A Constructor's Perspective with Len Holm, Construction Equipment Management, 2nd Edition with Giovanni Migliaccio, and Professional Ethics for the Construction Industry with Rebecca Mirsky, also published by Routledge.

    "This very timely book fills a gap in many construction management curricula. As the role of superintendent on construction projects becomes more complex, the need for updated training has become more urgent.  As with their other books, Holm and Schaufelberger provide clear and thorough explanations and relevant graphics in Construction Superintendents. The case study makes the content relatable and applicable to students, an increasing number of whom are interested in becoming superintendents."

    - Joseph Fradella, P.E., Senior Instructor, Oregon State University


    "I have been in the commercial construction industry for almost twenty years and a professor in construction management academia now for the past thirteen, this book is a long time coming.  The construction site superintendents of today are much different than they were even ten years ago.  The next generation of men and women need a certain skill set and education that has never been seen before.  This book addressed a gap in our construction industry body-of-knowledge, combining the technology and human elements superintendents need to succeed in our industry."

    - Phil Barlow, Professor, Construction Management Department, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo


    "The success of any construction project is greatly dependent on the experience, knowledge, technical skills and people skills of the project superintendent. For many years superintendents started their career in the trades gaining experience through their apprenticeship, working with tools as a journeyman, supervising tradesmen and subcontractors as a foremen, and, finally, after many years they were qualified to be a project superintendent. Unfortunately, the well published shortage of construction workers today has reduced the ranks of potential superintendents. Contractors can no longer depend on an adequate supply of superintendents with a trade background and increasingly have looked to the universities to train the superintendents of the future.

    Construction Superintendents: Essential Skills for the Next Generation is an outstanding introduction to the role and responsibilities of the superintendent. This book goes well beyond the typical project management textbooks and dives into the unique skillset a successful superintendent must possess. This textbook should be required reading for all construction management students."

    - Ernie Emmert, Vice President Operations (retired), Howard S. Wright Constructors


    "We are very fortunate that Len Holm and John Schaufelberger have combined their valuable experience and significant industry resources to develop a practical text for the unique position of construction superintendent."

    - Ed Kommers, P.E., Executive Director, MCA of Western Washington


    "Based on my personal experience in career of over 37 years with Turner, I am enthused about the premise and subject matter of this book. It’s important for the ongoing success of our industry to understand that the performance of the Project Superintendent is key to any project’s success in the field. Today’s responsibility and leadership functions placed within this position warrant a foundational college education within the relevant professional curriculum, and I applaud Mr. Holm and Dr. Schaufelberger for their recognition of same through this publication."

    - Philip Lovell, P.E., Retired Vice President and Operations Manager, Turner Construction Company


    "Holm and Schaufelberger have always been visionaries in the construction industry. In the future construction superintendents will only be asked to do more with less, having more responsibilities and needing even more technical and personal skills. This book is the foundation for the construction superintendent of tomorrow."

    - Christian LaRocco, Partner, Development Manager, MJR Development

    "…[An] excellent volume [that]… provides an intimate and unique insight into the new century's adaptation of the theory and practice of modern management to address the ongoing professionalization and emerging specialized needs of the construction industry and its future leaders…" –S.R. Kahn, Choice