It is the most essential part of the project in overseas construction, and it is the starting point of “trial and error,” where Korean clients often make “errors” which is far from local practice and working culture.

Total design cost is only 3~4% out of the total construction cost, but the damage or impact on subsequent processes such as procurement and construction cannot be revoked depending on the level of design documents in a timely manner. In other words, 1% of design mistakes are related to more than 10% of construction costs and schedules dragging.

Design can be largely divided into Concept Design, Basic Design, and Detailed Design, and each stage of design is in a complementary linkage.

The importance of design

The most frequently happening failure cases over design phase are

  • Neglect of reflection of local design characteristics and practices
  • Design management without considering construction cost
  • Lack of communication with local designers

These are due to the lack of overall project management capabilities of client.

And the design is not accompanied by proper management without understanding the activities or local characteristics in the early stages of the project, When so-called “Design by alone” is keeping on progress and following situation which wrong design factors and parameters would not been rectified continues so that it brings continuous processes in bad way such as increased re-design costs from revision, delayed purchase/construction orders, and excessive construction costs.

In other words, the most crucial point for overseas construction is’ provision of high-quality design documents JUST IN TIME”, also It is called design failure arises from the differences in design perspectives as below cases

Failure case study

  • Is Korean design company excellent?

The design should give priority to reflect on local license, permit and design/construction characteristics. Otherwise, it is only a “drawing” and not a design.

In other words, it is obviously Korean designers are faster and better than local companies to respond flexibly and prepare drawings at the clients’ request (even urgent). However, whether those designs are really ready to use, or whether it is designed in Korean way so that it would be required to rework shall be another matter to check.

In addition to above cases, for all designs, it is a basic task to find an optimal design plan in consideration of construction period and construction cost, and in such case, local design regulation, practices and know-how must be incorporated to reflect local stuffs from the birth of design phase.

  • Basic design in Korea and detailed design in local company?

As mentioned earlier, there are separate stages in overall design phase, but they are complementary. In practical, if the concept and basic design do not reflect the local characteristics, this will result in re-work that must be completely revised when proceeding into the detailed design.

  • Are Korean drawings accepted to use commonly?

Generally, it is understandable because the drawings are a kind of “painting”. However, I do not know in detail. Hungarian design drawings do not contain all information, but it is usually expressed in Hungarian own way of understanding such as General Description, technical specification etc. If there is no clear guideline from design policy, it is often misleading. Also, it is not suitable for permitting and “Released For Construction” drawings.

  • Is permitting process scope of the designer’s?

The design basically pursues ‘stability’. This is obvious background of the design that even if the design is a bit “overspec” or “Too much”. If this would be overlooked and the design is not verified for consistency with feasibility, and a design drawings in a local practice is being used for building permits, this will lead to irrevocable ‘overdesign’.

  • Is it able to do construction with basic drawings?

In Korea way of working, numerous verbal “work orders” on top of “drawings” are occurred and construction is possible in a word.

This is a unique construction culture widely spread in Korea, and this method is not happened in local culture.

Basically, something that is not expressed on the drawings is considered as additional work order, so in order to prevent this, a detailed drawing with accurate information should be provided as much as possible.

  • Can the design drawings be changed if the construction is not started?

Hungary is not an advanced manufacturing country like Korea. Meaning to explain, the scale of construction in the Hungarian economy is a bit small, and its supply and demand of materials and skilled manpower are not as easy to secure as in Korea.

Changing drawing even though the construction would not yet commence can bring more schedule delay and cost impact than its needs, as well as revising drawings is clearly change work order as additional.

  • Design cost and design period

Just because Hungary is a lower GDP country than Korea, it cannot be presented that the design cost is cheaper. It is commonly said that this is due to the fact of Korean’s perception for the importance of software work is less important than that of other countries, and the local design cost is almost same as Korean.

The design period will also vary depending on the scale of project and complexity of plant, but it usually takes 3 to 4 months, and there are rooms where it is difficult to expect a quick response like Korea.

Design from Client’s view

For avoiding design errors and making clear design guidelines, design phase should be started after at least the following details are confirmed. This is so-called BEDD (Basic Engineering Design Data), and the following information must be provided prior to the design start to lead to high quality design.

  • Equipment List including utility information related to production equipment
    • Floor plan for each building/floor including equipment layout
    • Complete layout with each building, road, entrance, etc.
    • UFD (Utility Flow Diagram) including capacity and flow scheme for each utility
    • Distribution system diagram showing electric capacity and distribution by Single Line Diagram
    • HVAC Flow Diagram showing temperature/humidity conditions and air conditioning zones for each room