The 1453-foot, 103-story Empire State Building came to be a project because General Motors executive John J. Raskob wanted to beat his arch-rival in creating the tallest building in the world.
Excavation for the building began in January 1930 and just two months later the construction of the building started. The schedule on this project was as adventurous as the design. The architects planned that the project would have been completed in only eighteen months. The contractor employed for the project was general contractors Starrett Brothers and Eken, who put in a bold bid to win the job.
Not only did they promise that they could get the job done on time, but they announced that they would purchase custom-fitted equipment to fulfill the contract. Their opinion was that this would cost less than renting second hand equipment and would be more efficient. The investment group agreed with them.
The supplies for the building had to be made at the plants in as close to finished state as possible, to minimize preparatory work needed at the site. The companies they rented had to be dependable, able to provide quality work, and willing to attend to the alloted timetable. Time had to be scheduled nearly to the minute.
The schedule dictated that each section of the building process overlapped – not a moment was to be wasted. Planning started immediately and a fast-track construction approach was adopted, which is common place in the United States today. This technique involves starting the construction process before the designs are fully completed in order to reduce delays and inflation costs.
Demolishing the existing building on the site and laying the foundations simultaneously aided to save time too. Time was also saved by making the process of moving materials more efficient. A railway was built at the construction site to move materials quickly: each cart held eight times more than a wheelbarrow.
While the outside of the building was being constructed, electricians and plumbers began installing the internal necessities of the building. The building was being identified at a rate of four and a half stores a week! The project became a model of efficiency.
The Empire State Building took a total of one year and 45days to complete. It was completed under budget – by $ 18.3million – and ahead of schedule – by three months. American project management still uses the same principles as this project from the 1920s does. The emphasis was on speed as it still is in America.