Capital Project Management Support

Tom Wolf                                                    (281)565-4038


Construction Camps Considerations

T.E. Wolf, Sugar LandTexas


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Construction camp planning can and does encompass a wide variety of considerations and equally wide and varied cost and schedule impact.

Construction facilities and personnel planning span the spectrum from domestic to foreign locations, and each of these could further span from accessible, local to remote locations.  The most restrictive and most involved camp would without question be the foreign, remote site.  

Below is a construction camp planning considerations checklist.  This list, although extensive, is probably not exhaustive; hopefully it will be used as memory jogger to help you in identifying items omitted.

Each consideration will require personnel, facilities, equipment, and material.  Each consideration will require its own specific timing and duration requirement, and its own cost and schedule impact.

Also, even though the list addresses the foreign, remote site, an obvious sub-set would be the domestic, local, readily accessible site.

Construction Camp Planning Considerations


 Basic camp design criteria, consider:

    • Privacy
    • living space
    • comfort
    • sanitation
    • diet
    • menu quality
    • menu variation
    • medical
    • safety
    • security
    • education
    • training
    • relaxation
    • recreation
    • communication
    • transportation
    • maintenance


Consider the several types of camps:

    • Craft
    • Staff
    • Family
    • Single status
    • Nationality
    • Temporary
    • VIP
    • Client
    • Plant operations and maintenance
    • Other


Consider local support for:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Security
    • Law enforcement
    • Religious needs
    • Entertainment
    • Living commodities
    • Family housing
    • Transportation
    • Communication
    • Utilities


Consider local requirements:

    • Environmental
    • Safety
    • Government
    • Codes
    • Regulations
    • Licenses
    • Permits design requirements

Consider estimates of personnel and timing requirements: 
    • Craft
    • Staff, single status
    • Staff, married status
    • Number of dependents, by age
    • Number of males and females
    • Number of visitors and short term personnel
    • Nationalities
    • Availability of local housing


Consider contracting strategy:

    • Subcontract – sole source
    • Subcontract – multiple contractors
    • Direct hire
    • Ownership
    • Packages
      • Site and facilities design
      • Procurement
      • Construction
      • Site layout
      • Development
      • Support
      • Operation
      • Maintenance
      • Catering
      • Janitorial
      • Dismantling and disposal
      • Site restoration


Consider services required:
    • Gas
    • Power
    • Potable Water
    • Water treatment
    • Sanitation and disposal
    • firewater
    • communication
    • janitorial
    • laundry
    • security
    • catering
    • transportation
    • maintenance
    • medical
    • fire fighting
    • recreation
    • library
    • movies
    • chapels


Consider facilities requirements:
    • Administration
    • Communication kitchen
    • Dining
    • Food storage
    • Commissary
    • Barber
    • Laundry
    • Post office
    • Training
    • Warehouse
    • Maintenance
    • Garage
    • Recreation
    • Gymnasium
    • Clinic
    • Ambulance
    • Fire fighting
    • Security
    • Library
    • Movie theater
    • Chapels


Consider equipment and the maintenance and operation of equipment:
    • Fire fighting
    • Ambulance
    • Utility vehicles
    • Trash
    • Buses (craft and staff)
    • Buses (dependents)
    • Cars and trucks
    • Mowers
    • Snow removal
    • Forklift


Consider disposal:
    • Sale in place
    • Sale dismantled
    • Relocation
    • Salvage value


Consider financial requirements:
    • Room deposits
    • Room and board charges, if any
    • Commissary prices
    • Services prices
    • Money exchange
    • Check cashing
    • Money orders, cashiers checks, and wire transfer


Consider tax requirements:
    • Real estate
    • Buildings, permanent and temporary
    • Equipment, permanent and temporary
    • Operating inventories for consumables
    • Sales taxes
    • Use taxes


Consider overload situations:
    • Medical
    • Law enforcement
    • Fire fighting
    • Education


Consider camp morale:
    • Food quality
    • Privacy
    • Noise control
    • Cleaning
    • Athletic facilities
    • Recreation facilities and equipment
    • Organizations
    • Training programs
    • Communication




Without doubt, construction camp planning does encompass a wide variety of considerations, cost and schedule impacts.

The most comprehensive and most involved camp is the foreign, remote site, with the domestic, local, accessible site being a subset of the listed considerations.  

The above construction camp planning considerations checklist, although extensive, is probably not exhaustive; each project requirements must be evaluated for its own specific needs.

Each consideration requires personnel, facilities, equipment, and material; requires its own specific timing and duration requirement; and requires its own cost and schedule impact.

To ensure project execution success, construction camp planning must be addressed up front and in detail.

This website’s goal is to provide a source for project management support, information, education, and training material for project managers and project engineers primarily in the refinery, petroleum, and petrochemical industries.  In the execution of these projects, the project manager or project engineer may find the need for additional information and support; most times this support will come from within his or her company.  But there are times additional sources are needed.  This website is intended to meet those additional needs.


Project success is a function of the people skills and a broad understanding of diverse subject matter of the project management team.  Scope definition, execution considerations, construction strategy, planning and schedule impact, resource utilization, overcoming difficulties and problem solving, etc, etc, etc, are just a few to enumerate even without addressing the technical side.  Then there is the cost, estimating, and estimate side, factor estimates, detail estimates, forced detail estimates, basis of estimate, construction wage rates, and so on.  Then there is the technical side, material issues, piping systems, equipment considerations, civil and structural, electrical and control systems, document control, specifications, standards, and regulations.  Then there’s the variety of processes both refining (hydrocrackers, delayed cokers, etc.) and petrochemical facilities, the list is almost endless.


Project management is as much art as science.  The key is to continue to learn and never stop learning.

Tom Wolf has over 40 years petroleum and petrochemical experience, including 25 years in project management.  He holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering.




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