The role of a Building Manager

A challenging and satisfying role playing a key part in the success of a building project

Described by the industry as a Site Manager, Project Manager, Construction Manager or simply Building Manager, a Building Manager manages all the processes on a building or construction site.

This can be a challenging and highly satisfying role with the manager playing a key part in the success of a building project. They are highly motivated, professional individuals and are asked to use organisational and problem solving skills on a daily basis.

What does a Building Manager do?

  • Making sure that the project is delivered safely through effective planning, production of method statements and risk assessment.
  • Being the ‘face’ of the main contractor - the main point of contact for all people involved in a project, for example, the client, sub-contractors and the public.
  • Before construction starts, preparing the site and meeting other professionals such as such as architects, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers.
  • Using construction management software packages to plan how the work will be undertaken.
  • Planning ahead to avoid problems with the delivery and storage of equipment and materials, access requirements and what design information may be needed.
  • Managing the completion of the building and the handover to the client.

What makes a good Building Manager?

Building Managers must be good forward planners and problem solvers. They need to be able to keep cool under pressure. They need good people skills, the ability present their ideas effectively and to be able to evaluate the ideas of others whilst in meetings. They need an in-depth knowledge of all aspects of a project, they need to be good record keepers, be able to maintain high standards of quality and have a good head for business.

How do I become a Building Manager?

To become a Building Manager you need a minimum of:

  • 5 GCSEs (A-C Grade) or equivalent (it’s useful if you’ve taken subjects such as maths, science, geography, information technology or design technology)
  • A BTEC in Building Studies, Building Engineering or Building Management or a HNC / HND / Degree in Construction Management (including an industrial placement).
  • A minimum of three years' experience of managing elements of construction projects.

Further qualifications could include membership of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

Many degree courses can lead to a career in construction management, including building studies, building engineering, engineering management and building technology. Whatever the course, you will cover subjects as diverse as building technology, commerce, contract law and building materials. You will learn all about management and the practicalities of it whilst studying the intricacies of economics, cost accounting and computer systems.

Information technology is increasing with managers working on site and in the office so building up skills in this area is vital.

To develop your management skills, you will be expected to take on project work in small groups and get a feel for working in teams and communicating clearly and effectively. Students often find out more about the role of a manager by doing some industrial experience as a part of their course. This is a compulsory component linked to a subject option or piece of coursework.