Pre-construction services, as the name suggests, commence before the actual project construction begins. These services are inherent in a pre-construction planning stage of a project and are very crucial to ensure all jobs go smoothly or as planned.
These services are a part of a broader construction project management strategy and are considered a modern construction practice at that. Pre-construction, therefore, is the first phase of a project’s overall planning, coordination, and construction job control. Aiming to nail down the project planning, pre-construction services seek to give clients a clear picture of what the job is going to look like, how it’s going to be done, and when completion of the construction phases is expected.
Pre-construction services, therefore, happen before all the construction job is commenced. So, let’s delve into what pre-construction services are exactly that they benefit a project so much? Let’s have a quick look.
Pre-construction Services: A Modern Construction Practice
Pre-construction services serve to meet the client’s vision for the project as well as harmonize their budget for the construction. These services make sure that a project is viable on certain terms and facilitates the client into looking into some more options that are cost-effective.
The “design-bid-build” method is an age-old construction method of project delivery. With this method of project delivery, the project design is completely done before it is built. The indicated specifications in the plan during this design period will consist of the construction documents.
Cost estimates during the design process of pre-construction services are conceptualized to help in the owner’s project decision-making. Often, the cost estimates are supported by schematic designs and prior projects of similar scope. From this pre-construction service, the task would move to the design development stage. And finished off with the construction document stage.
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The project owner would now request bids for the job at hand and award successful bidders, who would get to build the actual project. The design-bid-build method’s construction bidding phase is often intense and laborious, taking weeks to complete. Cost estimators on the construction team form the cost estimate and also prepare the bid.
Pre-construction services and phase has emerged to include other areas of the planning after and aside from the construction cost estimation. The pre-construction processes are focused on dealing with the owner and not doing everything separately. The inputs of the project owner are utilized throughout the pre-construction services and phase. These phases help service contractors create construction plans and cost estimates that match up with the owner’s needs.
What Comprises Pre-construction Services
Beyond estimating project costs, pre-construction services include everything essential from initial client meetings to planning, scheduling, studying, looking into value engineering, permits, land acquisitions, and a lot more.
Here are several different pre-construction services commonly executed.
Initial Conferences and Regular Follow-ups
Contractors and design team representatives will need to schedule an initial conference or meeting with the client. The purpose of the initial meet-up is to review the client’s objectives concerning the project. The contractors should learn the goals of the client for the projects and importantly so, their budget for the project. The contractor and client may need to meet several more times as part of the pre-construction services. The subsequent meetings will be for staying updated on the project progress and allowing for changes, if any, to be made.
A lot, if not all, of the discussions during these regular follow-up meetings, will be translated into the results the team puts together forward to other pre-construction services.
Overall Project Evaluation
Starting in broad terms, the pre-construction services and the process starts with an overall evaluation of the project. This will project evaluation will be the output of the initial meeting between the contractor and the client and is the big picture of the upcoming project. The initial evaluation will set the tone for the rest of the pre-construction services and more so the actual project construction.
Initial Schematic Design Creation
Another pre-construction service done during the initial evaluation of the contractor and the client is the creation of the project’s schematic design. This will give clients their first look at what the completed project may look like. And since it is still initial and sketched, they can give feedback as to the finality of the design.
Initial Project Budget Estimates
During these pre-construction services, the contractor will have to estimate the budget for the project construction. They will also have to identify potential issue costs and evaluate any opportunity where the client can potentially save. It is also very likely that multiple estimates will be provided in this pre-construction services stage. Finding alternatives where the clients can save can be a major benefit because of these pre-construction services and processes.
Value Engineering and Site Analysis
One of the most essential services is determining if the scope of work fits within the budget of the client. Contractors will have to look for areas for cost-saving opportunities.
Another service is the site analysis. Here, the contractors will have to visit the site and inspect the feasibility of the site for the project. They have to see and check if the site is a good fit for the project’s requirements. They should predict any future issues and accompanying costs when these issues are encountered.
The contractor also creates an overall site master plan.
Securing Proper Approvals
It can be common knowledge that certain permissions are required before most construction projects are commenced. These approvals and permits should be secured and considered one of the pre-construction services and so done before the actual construction.
Safety Consciousness and Considerations
Pre-construction services must always include a dose of safety measures. Beyond adhering to regulations, all personnel on-site must be kept safe at all times. There might be a need to evaluate workers and situations to ensure safety.
These services give contractors and their clients the occasion to evaluate the project as a whole. These services also help create a plan that will influence a project’s initial stage of construction up to its conclusion.