Whether you’ve been working in the construction industry two or twenty years, there’s something immensely gratifying about being able to see your hard work build something great. No matter if it’s an apartment complex, bridge or soaring office skyscraper, every worker plays a role in completing the puzzle.
On our blog, we’ve been beginning to deconstruct the puzzle of building and speaking with the people who help piece together our cities and infrastructure. This week, we go “Behind the Build” with Amy Blizzard, Project Manager for M.B. Kahn Construction Company, a South Carolina based company that provides construction services in the Southeast. Below, Amy describes how she feels when she sees a completed project, as well as discusses what quality in construction management is essential for success.
What first got you into construction?
I started out in code enforcement, building inspections and capital project management in local governments. I have always loved involved with building projects and moved into CM working with governments in the US and overseas.
Why do you continue to build today?
I think it is challenging, exciting, and gives great satisfaction professionally and personally. It may be frustrating at times, but it is a great feeling to see a completed building, and then being able to go back years later and see your work in communities all over the globe.
What do you love most about the industry?
I love interacting with the wide variety of stakeholders involved in a construction project. It is never dull, and we can be involved in an unlimited amount of project sizes and types. It is also a progressive industry, where people are open to new ideas and technologies, and a way of thinking that encourages creativity and attention to detail.
How long have you been building?
Both my grandfathers and my father were involved in the construction industry. So, I really grew up being involved in construction.
Which project are you most proud of and why?
I think it was my first project in a small town in North Carolina. I redeveloped a site that was a feed mill into four duplexes. I handled everything from demolition to punch list, and it was an amazing learning experience and gave me the confidence to get in this line of work. I was just out of college, so it was my first taste of the “real world” in construction.
What do you spend the most time doing at work?
Paperwork! Ha, ha…. I guess that is just a given. Probably interacting and managing subcontracts and scheduling.
Any recommendations or thoughts you want to share with the next generation of builders?
Good construction management requires good communication skills. Learning to speak and write accurately, clearly and confidently is necessary in our field. All the technical skills you may have will not help you if you can’t interact with clients, co-workers and other people you meet on the site.
How has technology changed the way you work in construction?
A great example is PlanGrid. I started using it this past year when I started a new job. Having full sets of blueprints at my fingertips, without having to carry around rolls of prints saves both time and energy.
How do benefit the most from using PlanGrid?
I love being able to communicate with my superintendents, architects, engineers and estimators using the reports, and using the markup features. It gets the issues across clearly and instantly and makes it easy to note issues and provide a record of questions or changes to the project.