Steps in the Pre-Construction Process
The pre-construction phase is the first phase of a construction project. The goal of the pre-construction phase is to determine the client’s requirements and identify designs to meet their needs while providing an aesthetic to match or exceed their expectations. The pre-construction phase is the most critical of all phases in that it establishes a baseline from which design can evolve. The first step in any new construction or renovation project is to obtain a set of plans and specifications.
The next step for any large project is to establish a budget for both materials and labor, as well as identify potential risks and unknowns. This is a process called a feasibility study which determines the cost of the project and how it will be paid for, including finding any possible grants or tax savings.
The design process is broken down into 7 steps, but these steps can be performed in different sequences depending on the size and complexity of the construction project.
The program is the list of all of the requirements, whether it be the size and shape of rooms or electrical and plumbing needs. The program also includes any historical significance to the building (i.e. an original stained glass window). Once this is established, architects can begin to design around what has already been established.
The next step is the concept development phase where the design team creates rough sketches of different ideas for each room within the program. These are drafted by hand to give an idea of how the final plans will look. This phase allows clients to see what their project might look like before much time or money is invested.
The design development phase is the final step in the concept stage. This is where designers present a more polished version of their plans and make them ready for construction drawings. Once this is complete, clients can sign off on these initial drawings before moving forward with obtaining permits and bids from contractors.
The next step is the subcontractor bid process which is when submissions for bids from contractors are due. Architects can include any details they want in this phase or wait for a more refined design to be constructed after construction bids have been submitted. The length of this step varies depending on the size of the project.
Once architects receive all bids for construction, they can begin drafting the construction drawings. A construction drawing or “as-built” is the final drawing that contractors will use to build the project. This includes all of the information needed to construct a building including electrical and plumbing layouts, lighting locations, rope locations for stairs, hanging locations for cabinets and so on.
Once the construction drawings are complete, they are sent to all of the required agencies for approval. This step takes anywhere from 5 days to several months depending on how many separate approvals are needed. Construction drawings and plans will be required in order to obtain approvals from the local municipality.
Construction drawing software is commonly used when working with contractors or in-house CAD designers. There is no industry standard when it comes to software as each contractor and architect will choose whatever they prefer.
Once a final design has been selected all approvals have been granted, it’s time for construction bids to be let out to contractors. Bids are let out in different phases of construction. For instance, the concrete work is often bid separately from the electrical and plumbing. Costs can vary widely depending on market conditions at that time which makes it important to shop around for bids if possible.
We will assign a project manager, field superintendent, engineer and other staff members as required to effectively manage the construction process.
During the construction of any project, the coordination of the trades is an integral part of the process, especially with respect to the mechanical and electrical trades. We handle the coordination of all the trades required to complete the job.
Pre-Construction Phase Deliverables
We bring our construction knowledge into the design process through constructability reviews. Whether our clients are considering a new space or re-inventing an existing building, our engineers and designers work hand-in-hand to ensure that all requirements can functionally be fulfilled while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing product.
Keeping budgets inline with expectations requires a cost driven approach to design. Trade-offs always have to be made and our team of experienced professionals leverage their expertise to ensure that the final design maximizes the client’s budget. Our team incorporates the client’s input into every decision made while maintaining clear communication around cost analysis.
Proper planning that incorporates value analysis early in the design process can result in significant savings for the client. A value slanted review of design documents, subcontractor estimates, project budgets, and site condition evaluation can ultimately decrease a project’s cost and / or schedule. Clipper Construction understands the critical nature of a client’s budget which is why Value Engineering is a key pillar of their design and pre-construction process.
A clear and transparent project schedule brings accountability to all stakeholders involved in a project. Clipper Construction is meticulous in drafting accurate schedules that properly reflect the complexity of the project. This optimizes resources while allowing the client to properly plan their pending business operations.
Maintaining proper coordination between subcontractors, engineers, inspectors, and material deliveries can make or break a project. Any unexpected downtime can result in impairments of the client’s business operations. Phase planning and well thought out site logistics are used to minimize the impact on neighboring tenants and spaces.
The first step in pre-construction is to define the scope of the project. What is it that you are trying to accomplish and what are the space, schedule, and level of finishes requirements needed to meet your objectives for a successful project?
Once you have established preliminary project goals and objectives, the team needs to understand what your project budget is. The design team and construction team work together to provide you with design and cost information, including alternative solutions and costs, to firm up your budget.
An overview of our construction services from Construction Management, Design-build, General Contracting to Small Jobs and Service Work