Constructing a building can be challenging. The process involves issues such as marketing, time schedule, site clearing, and preparation. Before the construction process begins, a lot of effort still needs to be put in by different parties involved.
Anyone who has ever worked on a construction project would attest that the processes involved can be daunting. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to see it through. That’s why it’s essential to have a well-designed framework to keep track of everything.
Every construction project is different due to the various stakeholders involved and their requirements or expectations. Generally, the life cycle of a construction project goes into 6 stages.
Stage 1. The Project Conception
This is the first phase where the client is involved. The project’s conception usually includes the idea, scope, and budget of the project, along with any contingencies. Once these factors are settled, a construction team is assembled to start researching the best sites, getting permits, making contracts, and finally starting construction. Construction teams use several tools to accomplish their projects. All construction projects require materials and equipment, which are bought along with the project. Some materials are purchased for one purpose and must be used for that purpose; others can be used for several purposes. During this stage, the project owner has more control over the project compared to the construction workers.
Stage 2. Design
While nothing is guaranteed yet, this is the stage where the bidding process usually begins. Typically, there are four different design stages, including programming and feasibility, schematic design, design development, and contract documents.
At this stage, the designing team, led by an architect or an engineer, begins looking for materials that can be used in the completed structure. They may require specific specifications, for example, on the type of lumber to be used or the finish material to be used. These things will be considered during the initial design stage when the project is still in the planning stages.
Stage 3. The Pre-Construction
Once the bidding is completed and the contractor has been selected to do the work, the pre-construction phase begins. Typically, this phase can last months or years. It involves many safety considerations such as gaining access to the site, identifying hazards and damage control measures, determining relative costs for replacing materials and facilities damaged during construction. This phase also allows contractors and subcontractors to finalize contract requirements and qualifications before beginning work on the project itself.
Usually, a project team is in charge of preparing the construction site before the work begins. As mandated, the following roles should be involved in the team:
- Contract administrator
- Field engineer
- Health and safety manager
- Project manager
When all the necessary infrastructure and safety requirements are in place, the project team and the contractor must visit the field to complete a site examination. The site visits include soil testing for potential hazards; and various safety equipment inspections. This will allow them to manage risks and detect or predict any environmental challenges that might emerge during the construction process. Once all information is gathered, city authorities should review all plans and findings.
Stage 4. The Procurement
This stage typically involves gathering information and sourcing items needed to complete the project. Obtaining resources typically includes information on materials required, locations where those materials can be obtained, labor rates, and cost estimates for each option. As part of the procurement process, project teams may decide on the size of the project they need to complete. This gives them the necessary information to finalize their purchase order for materials and equipment. In large construction projects, a procurement order may also include materials and equipment account lists for each option chosen.
While the general contractor typically performs these tasks, there are instances where the subcontractors will take charge of some parts. For example, they may be liable for getting their own materials or hiring others to get what they need to complete the job.
Stage 5. The Construction
Before a construction project begins, there is a pre-construction meeting where the project team discusses security measures and site access. The purpose of the pre-construction meeting is to prevent any problems before the work begins and possible damage to equipment and anything else that could get in the way of a good construction job. Such issues could delay or even prevent a project from starting, so it’s vital to have everyone on board before making any commitments.
This meeting typically includes information about the following topics:
- Job site access
- Project quality control
- Materials storage
- Working hours
Once all the concerns and questions are answered at the pre-construction meeting, the workers can get started on the first step of the project. At this point, the goal is to have planned carefully and accurately for everything that could go wrong during the project.
Stage 6. The Post-Construction
At this stage, the project will soon come to a close. Although the work on the job site has been completed, there are still a few steps that need to be done before the keys to the building can be handed over. The three most critical steps of the post-construction stage include new construction building commissioning, owner occupancy, and closure.
After the project completion, it is good to reflect on what went well and what can be improved. A post-project review can help you understand what went wrong and improve your project’s process next time.
Every construction project goes through a series of stages. Each stage is dependent on the previous steps. It’s impossible to skip a stage or ignore one as there are many tasks to accomplish and choices to make to complete the construction project.
ProContractor Supply has been in the construction industry for over 25 years. We know our way around construction – especially concrete. We’re always ready to help you build your next concrete structure. If you need support for your construction project, feel free to contact us here.