If you think that industrial construction or major commercial construction projects are completed in one go, you are wrong. All such projects are not possible to complete without pre-construction services.
It is not easy to start construction projects without analyzing different factors from the very beginning. Every project has its challenges, strengths, and nuances, requiring precise and comprehensive planning right from the beginning. This is to make sure that paramount value is provided at optimal cost and in time.
Pre-construction services involve a comprehensive evaluation of the commercial project in building a robust foundation for the project’s successful completion. Pre-construction service is a communication-intensive and highly collaborative affair that requires a pre-construction team containing planners, designers, project managers, estimators, and of course, the client to come together, address and discuss all the issues before starting with the construction.
At this stage, essential goals are created, budgets get evaluated and validated, and schedules are made so that the highest value is received while attaining budget and design goals. Pre-construction services are essential because every project is unique, and every client has special project design goals with a limited budget. So, it is almost impossible to implement a fixed menu for everyone; hence a different set of rules applies to every project.
Communications Making Pre-construction Services Effective
Although pre-construction services have many benefits, there is something behind this service also that makes it a success. Yes, you thought it right – Communication. Better communication helps in understanding the project requirements. There is a saying that “communication is the reason behind every successful relationship.” This is true for personal relationships and equally true for work relationships. You need to communicate with your contractor because only then will your requirements be correctly understood, and the desired result will be obtained. Some of the key tips to making sure that your project runs smoothly are as follows:
- The contractor should be allowed to present his or her opinion.
- The property owner should thoroughly listen to the contractor.
- The contractor often knows more than the property owner. So, he or she should be given deserving respect.
- Be honest, fair, and consistent.
Pre-construction Services Bridge the Communication Gap
In the above section, it has been discussed that communication makes pre-construction services effective. However, the opposite of this is also true. Pre-construction services close gaps in the communication loop. It has been seen that people in the construction industry do not like this part. This brings communication-related problems to construction management companies.
When a construction company bags a pre-construction project, all the people related to the project get a chance to come together before finally starting the project. Whoever is having any doubt in his or her mind related to the project can get it resolved before the project commencement. Moreover, people involved in the project learn about the working style of their peers. This does not lead to any kind of misunderstanding when they are busy with the final project. This way, pre-construction services bridge the communication gap.
Tasks Involved in Pre-construction Services
Pre-construction services are a host of tasks usually performed by construction companies or a general contractor before starting with the project. Some of the common tasks involved in pre-construction services are:
· Site Analysis: During site analysis, the focus is on finding out whether the construction site will fulfill all the project requirements without any extra cost and future surprises. A complete master plan of the site is created, which includes guaranteed parking and traffic circulation. With the help of consultants, the soil is reviewed, and it is made sure that the foundation design is relevant.
· Assistance with Approval Requiring Agencies: Pre-construction service providers are usually commercial construction contractors, industrial general contractors, or any construction company. The common quality most of them possess is the relationship they have with approval-requiring agencies. They help with the presentation and design approval of the architectural control committee. They help in getting the building permits and site plan approval.
· Value Engineering: Value engineering determines whether the scope of work is within the budget or not. Then suggestions about cost savings are provided. A comprehensive conceptual estimate of the project is prepared, and this conceptual estimate is then analyzed and seen if it satisfies the budget requirements. If the conceptual estimate does not meet budget requirements, then alternative solutions are provided, which include quality impact, schedule, and cost.
· Constructability Review: Through this task, it is made sure that everything designed is precisely reflected in the plan. Moreover, all the details are simplified and clarified in the following industry practices. This prevents the bidders from filling the bids with intensely priced contingencies. The design documents are reviewed for any oversights, thoroughness, and inaccuracies. If something inappropriate is found during the review, alternative solutions are provided.
· Cost Control: During this task, the scope and costs are finally looked upon to ensure that everything is within the budget. Then the design is finalized, the cost models are refined, and the lump-sum cost of the project is developed. Then, with the executives and the design team’s help, the cost estimate is reviewed in detail. If any new thing needs to be involved or something needs to be corrected, it is done following the market conditions. Then the final cost estimate of the project is prepared.
· Scheduling: The whole project is scheduled from beginning to end. Key milestones that will drive the project toward completion in a predetermined and organized manner are identified. Firstly, all construction and design activities are defined. Then, introductory and concluding schedules are prepared, and a sequencing plan for the project is developed.
· Safety: The industry acknowledged safety programs offer mental peace to the property owner. The safety program should comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Then, a safety plan designed specifically for the project is executed, and this plan is further communicated to site visitors and subcontractors. For best practices, consistent monitoring of the safety programs is required.
There are many other tasks involved in pre-construction services, but the above-discussed ones are always included in pre-construction services.
Anticipated Results of Pre-Construction Services
The foremost result of pre-construction can present the extent, plan & expected cost of the project. Possessing all of these details carefully drafted provides the client with certain expectations before the construction begins. This approach also assists in being assured that the project is possible before problems are confronted along with its execution. As anticipation, a post-construction phase is generally adopted, which also guarantees problems are taken care of following the pre-construction and building phases.
Advantages of Pre-Construction Services
Pre Construction gives many advantages to the clients as well as the contractors. Pre-construction can eliminate many hidden variables for the clients and give them clarity on how the project will appear, how the work will be executed, and when the project will get completed. The contractor also offers possible opportunities for additional savings, which becomes a considerable benefit for the clients.
Since the clients can analyze all the probable situations at the very beginning, this makes clients trust and be confident in their contractor. The clients now are sure that the contractor knows his job and will have the client confidence that the contractor they are working with knows what they are doing and is capable of solving all the problems that can occur during the execution of the project.
How Much Does Pre-Construction Services Cost?
Firstly, the pre-construction cost is not included in the construction cost as it comes before the contractor submits his proposal for the project. Ideally, the cost of pre-construction services won’t exceed 3% of the actual project cost, which is value for your money as it saves your overall project cost and even leaves no room for uncertainty.