When you’re a project manager new to the world of commercial construction, the process can seem daunting and full of overwhelming options. (This could even be true for veteran project managers!) Knowing the distinct phases of the commercial construction process helps project managers better navigate these tricky waters and help ensure that the project goes off without a hitch.
Phase 1: Development And Planning
As commercial property developers know all too well, location is the first decision to be made in the commercial construction process. These are some of the factors that need to be considered in choosing a location:
- Client/employee access and proximity to neighboring businesses
- Verify zoning for use of the newly constructed property
- Check that surrounding infrastructure can support traffic to and from the location
- Conduct environmental testing to identify contaminants
- Hire a surveyor for the property and ensure the survey shows easements
Phase 2: Pre-Design
This stage establishes goals for the project and an overall (reasonable) budget. It’s also the point at which you should be finding and hiring a partner that specializes in commercial design-build projects to streamline the process from start to finish.
Work closely with this partner to determine a few key elements: the cost of the building and materials, the overall size and function of the rooms, and how to support the amenities. Contracts should be created with clear timelines, the cost of each phase of construction, and designs that are code-compliant.
Phase 3: The Design Phase
The design phase is like a meeting of the minds of all the team members involved in the construction project. The end result of this phase produces full specs with costs and timelines which will be used by construction professionals to finish the project. Besides the architect and the builder, these are the professionals involved in the design phase:
- Structural Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
- Electrical Engineers
- Civil Engineer
- Threshold Inspector
Phase 4: Pre-Construction
There’s about as much to do during this phase as there is during the actual construction. Building permits need to be obtained and plans are submitted to the building department, which will then issue a permit. From there, the next step is obtaining the proper insurance policies to keep the jobsite safe, including builders’ risk and workers’ comp coverage.
Next, bids from vendors will be collected and a construction team will be assembled — that consists of a project manager and other key team members that will keep work on track and on budget. Once those steps are taken, construction materials and services are procured.
Phase 5: Construction
Prepping the site is first in this phase:
- Use building code to implement drainage
- Excavate site and lay utilities
- Arrange power, water, and sanitation networks
- Remove vegetation on the building site
- Create temporary storage on-site for materials and tools
- Begin structurally, building code, utilities, HVAC, electrical inspections
The foundation follows and then framing, roofing, siding, and HVAC are added. Once that’s finished, the interior is finished, and workers move on to the exterior and landscaping.
Phase 6: Post-Construction
When construction is complete, the contractors and the client perform a walk-through making a list of any components or issues that need to be addressed before the project can finally be considered fully done. Once those tasks are finished, the building secures a Substantial Completion certificate and a final inspection can be performed.
Because commercial construction projects involve plenty of moving parts, it’s crucial for project managers to fully understand how each phase contributes to the overall success of the finished product. By choosing to work with a commercial construction contractor that is prepared to tackle so many of the challenges involved. This, in turn, saves you valuable time and money.
Our team specializes in the fast track method of construction and building services, made successful with active communication between all of our team members and the total involvement of the company officers. We can assist you by providing complete, turnkey services or tailoring our services to meet your specific requirements.
Our solid background in carpentry, concrete, and construction management allows us to take on any project large or small. Our strong commitment to quality and safety, along with using only the finest subcontractors, allow us to produce a superior product. When you’re ready to start your next commercial construction project, get in touch with our team to get peace of mind that things will evolve seamlessly.