For a construction project to succeed a well-established foundation for the process is needed. It all begins with the pre-construction phase, where important decisions are made before any work begins. This stage is a chance for all those involved in the construction project – clients, design teams, and contractors — to discuss various options available to them before actual building commences. In pre-construction, the whole construction process takes form and sets the pace for the project team.
First in the pre-construction process is determining a project’s scope. Initial discussions are made between clients and their design and construction partners as they define the project requirements and parameters – space to work on and construction schedule, to name a few. It is important that even at this early stage, objectives are already clear to all concerned to avoid any delay in the construction work down the line.
Once the scope of the project has been set, budget discussions follow. The construction team should understand what kind of budget the project has so that it can provide the needed suggestions to the clients on the design and costs, and offer alternative solutions if needed. The discussion usually involves an assessment of the materials to be used, labor needed, schedule outline, regulatory requirements, and worksite conditions.
With the project scope and budget discussed and agreed upon, the project team can then proceed to put its ideas on paper. They do so by designing plans for the size, layout, style, quality, building materials and systems, and other essential project details.
This part of pre-construction also involves construction site visits for the team to analyze the space. They then determine where the equipment will go and what the general contractor can achieve as far as the layout is concerned. Once the design is completed, a plan can then be created for the execution of each phase of construction and to serve as a schedule for the overall project.
Pre-construction is also the time to understand and attend to risks associated with construction. These include inspection of the construction site as well as securing permit and inspection requirements. If any entitlements are necessary for the project, they have to be secured before the start of construction. Entitlements deal with a building’s intended use and how it affects municipal zoning requirements or city planning. Construction partners should be on top of this before any work begins.
Selecting your project team
During pre-construction, general contractors and subcontractors are brought in. This is a crucial part of the process because this is where responsibilities are defined to complete construction work. Selecting the general contractor should be done with care and must be well thought out as the role plays an important part in how the project will progress. This includes getting the services of subcontractors or skilled labor that the project requires.
The procurement stage is among the last tasks in the pre-construction phase. It involves the process of ordering, assembling, and staging all materials required to complete the project. Proper planning is very important here as failure to do so could easily mess up the construction schedule. The contractor must ensure that all necessary materials have been ordered. This is most significant for those that require an adequate lead time to keep the construction schedule and process on track. Otherwise, the procurement process bogs down and could result in completion delays and the project budget going to waste.