Phase 3: Build

Plant

These activities introduce some of the main construction plant. They emphasise the importance of work planning to select the right plant for the job, schedule its arrival on site and minimise costs.

  • There is a strong link to Safety, above – see the extension activity below.
  • Use Building with machines to introduce construction plant and to quickly consider some of the benefits it provides.

Answers: Building with machines

Tower crane – Allows very tall buildings that can make the most use of limited urban space.
Mobile crane – Allows large structures to be built, with long spans between supports.
Excavator – Speeds up site preparation and can dig where it is unsafe for manual work.
Dumper truck – Speeds up removal of site waste, cutting times and costs.
Wrecking arm – Makes demolition safe by removing the need for manual work.

  • Can students think of local buildings that could have been built without modern construction plant?

Introduction

  • Introduce the scenario and review students’ understanding of common construction plant.
  • Explain that students must make notes on each slide. Elicit what information they will need to identify (type, times and costs).

Main activity

  • Use the interactive PowerPoint in Planning and cost.
  • Discuss each stage as you go along.
  • Students can make notes on each stage in pairs, or work as a whole class and write the information on the board.
  • Work out the total number of weeks that each stage will take, and then the total time.

Many groups may need to complete this as homework, or in a second session:

  • Students use this information to create a structure for their spreadsheets.
  • They fill in a row for each type of plant, and put a cost in for each week (column) that it is used. Use the SUM formula to add up rows, and then SUM this totals column.

Plenary

  • Discuss how planning helps to manage costs, and how extra plant at critical times may reduce total costs in the long run.

Differentiation

Easier/Level 1:
Omit the spreadsheet activity and just complete the first half of the task. Allow students to review the slides to remind them of facts. Use Stay safe around construction plant (see below) to emphasise safety.

Harder:
Adapt your support when students create their spreadsheets, to provide appropriate challenge. Get selected students to present their workings.

Notes

You will need spreadsheet software for this activity.

Answers: Planning and cost

1 Groundwork:

Excavator 1 week x £1,250 = £1,250

Grader 1 week x £950 = £950

Compactor 1 week x £900 = £900

Dumper 2 weeks x £850 = £1,700

Subtotal 4 weeks and £4,800

2 Foundations

Excavator 2 weeks x £1,250 = £2,500

Pump 1 week x £2,000 = £2,000

Subtotal 3 weeks and £4,500

3 Structure and roof

Mobile cranes 3 x 2 weeks x £6,000 = £36,000

Subtotal 2 weeks and £36,000

4 Landscaping

Excavator 2 weeks x £1,250 = £2,500

Dumper 1 week x £850 = £850

Subtotal 2 weeks and £3,350

TOTAL 11 weeks and £48,650

Stay safe around construction plant links to Safety, above. Use this as a mini-project, extension task or time-filler. Emphasise personal responsibility to avoid heavy plant when on site.

Answers: Stay safe around construction plant

Construction plant must operate in difficult conditions. Rules on maintenance ensure that the inevitable wear and tear can be identified before a malfunction may put workers safety at risk.

Construction plant must operate in difficult conditions. Rules on maintenance ensure that the inevitable wear and tear can be identified before a malfunction may put workers safety at risk.

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