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Construction diary #06: Coordination of site electricity and site road – We’re the inofficial site managers

In about the same breath that the “Dixi-gate” occurred, there was confusion about the establishment of the framework conditions necessary for the start of construction. We were again informed about the construction electricity and water at the staking out date and, upon inquiry at the locally responsible company, were informed that the connections were to be laid “on Thursday” (after the actually promised date one month earlier, i.e. before the scheduled start of construction, had simply been dropped without comment and we had not noticed it due to the distance to the property).

The chicken-and-egg problem: Construction road first or construction power first?

Two days before the promised date, however, we received a call from the Spie company’s electrical contractor. He was just at our property and was surprised that no construction road had been built yet (we had commissioned Viebrock or their subcontractors to do this). So he could not make the connections for electricity and water. We asked him to stay at the site for a short time – he had already set up barriers etc. there anyway – and called Viebrock’s subcontractor, who was also known to us by name in the meantime.

He told us in astonishment that he had never experienced in 25 years that first the construction road and then the electricity had to be installed. In addition, he informed us that he had taken our property out of his calendar for the time being, since no connections were available yet. – Silent resentment was stirring against Viebrock, because after all, nothing has happened since the announced start of construction, except for the porta-potty.

All right, so we called the friendly gentleman from Spie again, explained the situation and asked him to please get started. For reasons that are incomprehensible to us laymen, this would not work and since the silence-mail game was once again unsurpassable in absurdity, we asked the two gentlemen to exchange ideas directly with each other in order to find a pragmatic solution before we just make everything even more complicated because we have no idea anyway. No sooner said than done, and while the world may still argue about chicken and egg; in our case, the construction road comes first, even if apparently not common.

Our consequence, of course, was to communicate this fact in writing to our Viebrock construction manager with the clear expectation that the subsequent coordination of the installation of the connections would now be Viebrock’s responsibility. We do not know exactly the construction procedures and no work can be done on the house in the two to three days that such a relocation probably requires. As far as we know, this is the real reason why construction electricity and water are normally established before construction begins, so as not to disrupt subsequent operations if unplanned work has to rest. But for exactly such coordination work we have chosen a developer, meaning we don’t want to deal with this stuff, even if I personally find it difficult not to interfere and have all the strings in my hand.

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