What Is AWP in Construction and How It Benefits Projects

June 12, 2024

The construction industry is known for its complexity, extensive projects, and often exceeding budgets and timelines due to productivity issues. Advanced Work Packaging (AWP) offers a structured and disciplined process aimed at improving construction project execution by breaking down the project scope into manageable packages. Developed by the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA) and the Construction Industry Institute (CII), AWP has revolutionized project planning and stands as an industry best practice.

Definition and Overview of AWP

AWP involves breaking down the construction scope into manageable packages, starting from early engineering to construction execution. The process delivers Installation Work Packages (IWP) designed for specific crews, supplementing existing project management practices and requiring adherence to these practices for success.

Business Case for AWP

Many large projects face high failure rates, and AWP can significantly enhance project delivery effectiveness and predictability. The benefits of AWP include improved craft labor productivity, enhanced project performance predictability, positive impacts on field safety, site cleanliness, quality, and team morale. Case studies show up to a 25% reduction in schedule duration and a 4-10% reduction in Total Installed Cost (TIC).

AWP Process

AWP's integrated approach covers the entire project life cycle from planning to project completion. The key stages include Preliminary Planning/Design, Detailed Engineering, and Construction.

"Engineering and Construction students visit the Folsom spillway" by USACE HQ is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/.

Stage I: Preliminary Planning/Design

In this stage, stakeholders align and define the overall project scope. They plan the construction sequence, identify site/project constraints, and develop initial schedules and boundaries for Construction Work Packages (CWP) and Engineering Work Packages (EWP).

Stage II: Detailed Engineering

Here, a Level 3 schedule is developed by detailing the sequences of various engineering disciplines and procurement activities.

Stage III: Construction

This stage involves implementing IWPs in the field, ensuring that all required resources and constraints are managed. It includes IWP Creation, Document Control, Field Issuance, Field Control, and IWP Closeout.

"Construction and engineering students visit the Folsom spillway job site" by USACE HQ is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/.

Key Terms

Understanding terms like Constraints, Construction Work Areas (CWA), Construction Work Packages (CWP), Engineering Work Packages (EWP), Installation Work Packages (IWP), Workface Planner, and Workface Planning (WFP) is crucial, as these explain their roles and contents in the AWP process.

Challenges and Assurances

AWP can face several challenges, including insufficient owner support, poor strategy, lack of clear roles and responsibilities, insufficient experienced resources, and poor project control systems. Implementing AWP assurance programs is recommended to proactively manage and sustain AWP effectiveness.

Expected Outcomes

As EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) projects become larger and more complex, AWP is expected to become a standard practice due to its positive impact on project performance and predictability. With continued maturity and development in AWP processes, resources, and technology, project execution outcomes can be further enhanced. Implementing AWP requires alignment and integration with existing good project management practices to achieve optimum results.

"death star engine construction" by Mario A. P. is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

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