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海 外 施 工 感 触

My Overseas Construction Experiences


I read an article on the Internet that summed up the traditional characteristics of Chinese contractors undertaking overseas projects. By following the pattern of Chinese design, Chinese manufacturing, as well as Chinese construction, installation and commissioning, they present the following features:

  1. 投标及执行阶段无论是设计院方案、数据表,还是施工、安装等单位做的项目文件,都与欧美业主要求存在一定差距。

    At the bidding and contract implementation stage, Chinese contractors still have some way to go to meet the requirements of European and American project developers in preparation of programs and data sheets by design institutes, and project files by construction and installation companies.

  2. 使用的设备优先采用中国制造的产品。

    Chinese contractors prefer to adopt China-made products when it comes to the selection of equipment for the projects.

  3. 项目的工期短,但项目建设的过程管理较差;关注项目的建设移交,而轻视过程中的质量保证和文件资料。

    Chinese contractors can complete a project fast, but they are poor in the process management. They stress project construction and transfer, but often neglect quality guarantee and documentation in the process.

  4. 各相关方仅仅在中国规范下封闭运行时比较顺畅,对外国标准则不适应。

    The parties concerned have smooth operation in closed circumstances under Chinese standards, but they are maladjusted to foreign standards.

  5. 对合同的签订和管理不严格,当发生纠纷时,受中国传统文化的影响倾向于通过领导沟通和上级单位协调来解决。

    Chinese contractors are less strict in contract signing and management. In case of disputes, they are inclined to solve them through leadership communication and coordination of the superior units, due to the influence of Chinese traditional culture.

  6. 对于跨文化的沟通障碍不够重视,不善于融入对方的社会等。

    Chinese contractors have not paid insufficient attention to the barriers of cross-cultural communication, so they are a bad hand at melting into the local society.


As a man engaged in overseas projects all year round, I’m deeply touched to read this article. As far as we are concerned, we have racked our brains to avoid such deficiencies in our projects.


For instance, the Panama Amador project is an overseas project of ours that is designed, constructed and installed fully in compliance with the AISC Seismic and Welding specifications and the AAMA curtain wall specifications. We are required to complete the optimized design, development, processing and on-site installation of the steel pipe piles, steelworks, metal curtain walls, metal floor support plates and metal sandwich roofs in accordance with the American standards. In this process, we have avoided problems met by traditional Chinese contractors in implementing overseas projects. To date, we are advancing the project smoothly, which is inseparable from the concerted efforts and hard work of all members of our project team.

在整个设计和深化阶段,运用了SAP2000,RISA Connection, L-pile, Tekla Structure等多种设计软件,整合了地勘、基础、结构、建筑相关设计资料,按照相关美标,历时近4个月完成了设计优化和详图深化报批工作。

In the design and development stage, we applied multiple design software, such as SAP2000, RISA Connection, L-pile and Tekla Structure, to integrate design data relating to geological exploration, infrastructure, structure and building. We spent nearly four months to complete the design optimization and detailed drawing improvement and approval under relevant US standards.


In the processing and production stage, our project team spent nearly six months to excellently complete the production, procurement, delivery, quality control and logistics of steel pipe piles, steel structures, metal sandwich wall boards, aluminum alloy glass curtain walls, metal floor support plates, metal sandwich roof boards, steel tie rods, high strength bolts and various miscellaneous parts for the construction. They were performed on the company’s Workbench platform. 


Our project team, which is responsible for site construction, a key link to complete the project, faces challenges as follows:

1. 所有施工方案为西班牙语报批,业主咨询公司批准后方可进场施工,现场安全文明施工要求高,施工验收标准严。

All the construction plans are submitted to the authorities for approval in Spanish. We should first win approval of the project developer to enter the site for construction. The project developer has raised high standards on safety during field work and is strict in acceptance check.

2. 初进场施工,巴拿马正值雨季,每天几乎都有3-4小时雷阵雨,当地法规要求必须停工避雨,面对进度压力,大家不得不望雨兴叹。非雨季气温则高达36-40℃,为典型热带炎热气候。

As we first entered the site for construction, it happened to be the rainy season in Panama. Thundershowers would last for three to four hours almost every day. According to the local law, we had to suspend work to take shelter from rain. Despite heavy schedule pressure, we had to lament our littleness before the downpours. When the rainy season is gone, the temperature would soar up to 36-40℃, a result of the typical tropical hot climate.

3. 由于现场临近太平洋,海风很大,在进行安装屋面板和幕墙面板的高空作业时,对安全保障工作的要求极高。

Since our construction site sits near the Pacific Ocean, gale howls from the sea. Hence, we have to be particular about safety guarantee in work high above the ground, such as the installation of roof panels and curtain wall panels.

4. 海边高温高盐环境气候对钢构件、杂配件的堆存提出了更高的要求,钢构件、杂配件的加速锈蚀和损坏就成了摆在大家面前的一道难题。

At the seaside, the high temperature and high salt environment have raised higher requirements on the storage of steel components and miscellaneous fittings. We have to solve the challenge of fast rusting and damage of the steel components and miscellaneous fittings.

5. 总计300多个集装箱货物在施工现场的卸货、摆放和保护在场地有限的情况下,显得尤为棘手。

It is a knotty problem to unload, store and protect cargoes of over 300 containers in a limited space at the construction site.

6. 当地劳动力效率和熟练程度令人堪忧,刚开始安装,甚至没有对准钢柱中心线和地脚锚栓中心线的经验,钢柱的垂直度仅使用线锤就认为可以达到标准。进度压力再大,当地劳动力到点就会收拾工具下班,有时甚至需要亲自盯住吊车司机,怕他们提前下班。

We are upset at the low efficiency and proficiency of the local labor force. As we started to install the facilities, they didn’t even have the experience of aligning the steel columns and anchor bolt centerlines. They believed they could meet the standard by merely employing a line hammer to measure the perpendicularity of a steel column. Despite the schedule pressure, they would pick up the tools and leave at the quitting time. Sometimes, we have to keep a close watch on the crane drivers, in case they get off work earlier.

7. 施工现场管理的复杂性,在11月中旬到12月中下旬最高峰期间,有80多名当地工人和40多名中国工人,分白班和夜班在现场同时作业,涉及到不同区域、不同工序、不同利益相关方,这要求现场管理人员具备出色的沟通能力、管理能力和面对突发事件的反应处理能力。

It is fairly complex in construction site management. In the peak period from mid November to late December, we had over 80 local workers and 40 Chinese workers operating simultaneously on the site in day and night shifts, involving diversified quarters, working procedures and stakeholders. This requires the site administrators have excellent communication skills, management ability, and quick response to emergencies.

8. 施工用吊装机械、登高车故障率较高,报修后影响连续施工;施工应急用小型机具经常需要在当地紧急采购,尽管价格是国内的数倍。

The hoisting machinery and elevators have a high failure rate. The repair affects continuous construction. We have to buy small machines and tools to meet emergencies in the local market, although they are quoted at prices several times higher than those in China.

9. 后勤保障要求高,近50人的项目团队的衣食住行保障工作量大。

The logistics support is a demanding task, as it is to provide basic necessities of life for nearly 50 staff workers of the project team.


In the face of all these difficulties, we have stood fast on the site, going out early and returning late. We have pooled the wisdom and efforts of everyone, united as one, and put it in the first place to honor the contract. We remain energetic despite the hard conditions. So far, we have all been tanned, looking from yellow to pitch-dark at a glance.


Now the project is winding up. We will work even harder to ensure smooth delivery of the project. In my opinion, if we are concerned only with signing contracts, bringing them into effect, completing them and taking the money, we will reap only numbers and statements in overseas projects. These achievements may help us win promotion and get rich, but the longer we are involved, the less sense of accompanishment we will feel in our career. Only when we are emotionally attached to the country, to its culture and national character, and witness our efforts have contributed to its progress and development, will we find that our devotions have an entirely different significance.

作者简介 About Author

陶涛 Peter


Peter graduated from University of Science and Technology Beijing majoring in Civil Engineering. He worked for Shanghai MCC and SGS-CSTC Standards Technical Services (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. He is a Pressure Vessel Inspector of American Petroleum Institute, a Certified Inspector of Arabian American Oil Company, an International Welding Engineer of International Institute of Welding, and a Certified Welding Inspector of American Welding Society. With more than ten years of experience in techniques, project management and inspection, he joined CNOOD ASIA LIMITED in January 2017.

李振宇 Thompson Lee


Thompson was born in 1992, graduated from Shanghai University with a Master's degree, and joined CNOOD in 2016.

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