There is significant risk in any real estate development project. Having professionals Identifying obstacles and challenges early on in the process of development helps to reduce those risks and facilitates the successful completion of the project.

What is a Constructability Review?

A Constructability Review is a project management technique to introduce “construction thinking” or “build-ability thinking” into the design phase of the project. Its purpose is to anticipate and identify challenges to the actual construction of the project before a project moves on from the design phase. It infuses construction knowledge into the design process.

Constructability Reviews are also used to make assessments about the “bid-ability” of the project. Are the design and the specifications clear and easily understood so that subcontractors can bid on the project in a way that allows for meaningful comparisons?

Who Conducts Constructability Reviews and When?

Constructability Reviews are best performed by independent 3rd party professionals, including engineers, builders or construction companies, and owner’s representatives with extensive knowledge and experience in the type of construction project involved.

Generally, reviews should be done independently of the designer and completed well before the bid cycle begins so that there is ample time for corrections.

The review is best done when the design is about 85 percent complete and then again at around 100 percent complete (to see if the comments of the first review have been properly solved).

At the 85% or so stage the design and work scope has been finalized and all drawing details and notes (at least, in the designer’s opinion) have been incorporated and specifications have been assembled.

It is believed that Construction Reviews on designs that are less than 85% complete involve too many loose ends to be of great value.

What are the benefits of a Constructability Review?

Constructability Reviews are an important part of the design phase. Some of the benefits of a properly completed Constructability Review include:

  • A second opinion to answer the question about whether the project can be built based on the quality of the architect’s drawings and specifications
  • Identification of anticipated construction problems with the design so that the design can be altered
  • A deeper understanding of some of the project’s costs, timelines and build-ability issues so that adjustments can be made
  • A chance to review the bid-ability of the project based on the clarity of the specifications and drawings
  • The ability to change and alter the design of the project, if needed, in the design stage rather than in the construction stage, saving time, energy and money that contributes greatly to the success of the project

Formats of Constructability Reviews

Constructability Reviews can be delivered very formally or informally depending on the situation.

For example, one format might be listing comments on a spread sheet software. This results clearer comments and provides structure while revealing the volume of the comments. It also allows the design team to respond to the review in an orderly fashion.

Another format is to put comments directly on drawings and specs whether in writing or as notes on PDFs. The advantage of putting comments directly on documents is that it shows exactly where the comments apply. No need to track down exactly where the design is being challenged.


To avoid conflicts of interest, Constructability Reviews should be performed by a 3rd not related to the design of the project.

As the premier owner’s reps DAE Group has the experience and expertise to handle Constructability Reviews as part of the Pre-Construction Process. And if you are an owner or developer who already has an architect or general contractor DAE Group has the bandwidth to assist you if you are seeking a second opinion on any part of your project.