Pre Construction, is used in planning a construction project before the actual construction begins. These services are often referred to as preconstruction or precon. It is a modern practice, considered to be part of construction project management, which is the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from inception to completion aimed at meeting a client’s requirements in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project.
Its a separate agreement from the actual construction contract, which allows for a client to gather information before committing to any construction. It also allows for a client to break the relationship with the precon contractor if the project isn’t feasible (cost or constructability) or the relationship isn’t meeting expectations.
Do I Need Pre Construction Services?
Not all projects require preconstruction services, but they can be extremely valuable for more complex or complicated projects. Getting a contractor involved early on in the process will help clients guide the project along from a constructability lens. Contractors will work with the engineers that identify systems and structural details that need attention. They then offer solutions to architects on designing around existing conditions, which will help save time and money later in construction.
In most cases, the following items are included during the precon phase, and will help determine project feasibility. we provided in a hard copy via a report, and digital files to save for later review.
1. Engineering Assessment – This assessment will analyse the existing conditions of the space and determine needs for the project. For example, HVAC, electric and plumbing assessments will be made to determine if they will be sufficient/work properly for the new use.
2. Develop an Initial Schematic Design – Field measure existing space and produce digital files of layout. This initial layout will help clients visualize the space, ensure there is sufficient space for all equipment, furnishings, and required accesses.
3. Preliminary Construction Budget – A budget will then be produced based on the schematic design and engineering assessment. This budget will be based off of comparable spaces, with estimates, and isn’t necessarily a bid. Depending on the agreement, a bid document will be prepared later based on the construction documents, and final designs. This step will also help in financing activities with lenders and banks.
4. Responsibility Matrix – A responsibility matrix can then be developed to help identify deliverable by all parties when the project moves to construction. In most cases, it determines who is providing the items, and who is installing it. For some projects, the contractor, Client, and building owner are the three parties with dependent moving parts. A clear picture ensures a smooth construction project with constant communication.
5. Preliminary Construction Schedule – After most of the scope is laid out, a schedule can be produced, but it will be dependent on final decisions getting made. The preliminary schedule is more of a guide to identify lead times and the sequence of construction. It can estimate days to complete each construction task and help provide a rough idea of when the project could be completed.