Any successful commercial or residential construction project requires a road map, and a schedule with a detailed plan to track expenses and budgets. For construction projects a detailed pre-construction plan led by a pre-construction manager is the best way to provide owners or facilities managers with a standardized methodology that includes preliminary costing, planning and engineering review to define the project scope of work, identify potential conflicts, prepare timing and analyze project material, equipment and labor costs.
Preconstruction services are offered long before the project construction itself. During the preconstruction phase, property owners and commercial remodelers learn what will be needed to create a financially and realistic viable project. The preconstruction phase often helps an owner determine if the project is viable.
When owners become involved very early in the project planning process, they have an opportunity to understand the project at a more comprehensive level. Most importantly, the owner or landlord has a defined basis to make an informed decision by eliminating many of the risks, unknowns, and by identifying potential cost savings.
The initial step in a preconstruction project is defining the project’s scope. In this first phase there are multiple questions to consider such as: scope of work, project description, clarity of information, stakeholder buy-in…. Assessments during this project scoping stage address the existing conditions of the future space and determine needs for the current project and its future extensions, which leads to an initial schematic design. This preliminary layout, which is not yet a blue print, helps owners visualize the volumes and whereabouts and ensures there is sufficient room for all equipment, furnishings and any required and mandatory access such as ADA.
At minimum, the preconstruction project scope gives the owners a step-by-step process outlining the project initial and long-term goals and determining how those timeline benchmarks are met.
Budget and costs
The budget is created from the schematic design and all preliminary engineering assessments. A clear budget is critical to offer direction for the project. A critical component of the preconstruction budget and planning is to make sure the costs are anticipated and accurate.
A reasonable and realistic budget plan helps guide multiple elements from which subcontractors to hire to materials selection and equipment and resources planning. This early budget is based on comparable industry spaces and estimates, so it must remain fluid in nature. Depending on the agreement with the Owners, a bid document can be an out-growth of this budget. Additionally, this step will assist lenders, owners and banks with the financing aspects of the project.
Creating a specific and accurate schedule is critical to ensuring how project planning was properly done and construction is completed on time and on budget. The preliminary schedule for any construction project serves as a guide to identify lead times and the phasing of construction. The plan can estimate the number of resources (man days, equipment, etc.) to complete each task and it can give a rough idea of completion times.
Once initially developed, a project construction timeline ensures the assigned deadlines hold all parties . The end result would be that milestone tasks are met.
Preconstruction services and related consulting offerings ensure a level of assurance and education to building owners and tenants. The expense of initiating preconstruction services should systematically save money and time overall, because the costs and project schedule are determined upfront. Last, building owners generally find that the number of modifications, unexpected costs or risks, and variations of schedule during the project are better managed.