Basics of Pre-Construction

Owner’s representatives are involved in all phases of a project’s development, or they can be brought in at specific times to do specific tasks within the development of a project such as constructability reviews or forensic accounting. Here we take a look at what is involved in the Pre-Construction phase of a project’s development.

What is the Pre-Construction phase?

Pre-Construction is the first of three general phases of construction that bring a project to life. The three general phases are Pre-Construction, Construction and Post-Construction.

The Pre-Construction phase includes 1) developing a plan for the project, 2) creating a design for the project, 3) securing land/entitlements/permits and 4) procuring the team, financing, materials and labor required for construction to begin. More specifically, it includes the development phases of Concept/Initiation, Feasibility, Design and Procurement. It includes all the work that needs to be completed prior to construction of the project.  

Pre-Construction Deliverables

The main outcomes of Pre-Construction is a firm project scope, analysis of requirements including feasibility and due diligence, design, preliminary cost estimates, and plausible schedule.

In addition the Pre-Construction process can also provide a procurement and execution plan, engineering, team criteria and selection, risk analysis, utility requirements, constructability reviews, cash flow analysis, equipment lists, site plan and site evaluations, analysis of various building systems, suggestions for value engineering, cost savings and schedule expediting.

Who is involved in Pre-Construction?

Typically Pre-Construction involves people or companies in the following roles: owners, investors, developer’s, owner’s representatives, architects, engineers of various types, designers, government officials, politicians, researchers, analysts, bankers, lawyers, surveyors, land planners, general contractors, landscape architects, the various sub-contractors and suppliers at certain times in the process, and consultants such as sales, marketing, real estate brokers.

Why is Pre-Construction Important?

Pre-Construction services are offered before actual construction begins to help analyze, plan, design and establish needs for the construction of the project. Pre-Construction’s purpose is to ensure that the project is clearly defined in every detail, and that it is definitely executable in all aspects of construction from all parities involved. It is aimed at making sure that everyone on the team has what is needed to make the project successful – functional and financially viable.

In short, it provides owners with a formal approach for developing cost, scope, and schedule to execute the construction on time and in control.

What are the objectives of Pre-Construction?

The main objective of Pre-Construction is to do all the work that is necessary to begin construction of the project. Specific objectives are based on the phases of development:

During the Concept / Initiation phase the objective is to define the scope of the project and look at various scenarios. This leads to the

Feasibility phase where the practicality of the project is looked at in detail and firmer decisions are made as to the scope of the project.    

With a tighter grasp of the project parameters the Design phase begins to come up with the actual design and plan for the project. Rough estimates now turn into actual budgets as all the final details of design are worked out. A schedule is created and the Procurement phase begins. This is the phase where all resources are secured to begin construction – including land, materials, permits, financing, labor and equipment.