The construction process is the detailed steps needed to complete your construction project. Depending on the size and scope of the project, each phase has its own set of challenges. The construction process isn't just how you build something, it's all the steps involved in building something. From the choice of the site to the final inspection (and the thousands of in-between conversations with contractors and stakeholders), the construction process encompasses much more than the construction phase itself.
The construction process is long and complicated, and requires organizing several contractors, expensive and dangerous equipment, a large construction site, the owner (who just wants to put on the helmet and appreciatively agree to the plans) and a schedule that you were never satisfied with in the first place. You get the offer, you follow the plans, you finish the job. What is the problem with a construction process? Think of the 6 steps of a construction process as filing cabinets. Each cabinet contains a few folders.
Likewise, each step of the construction process has many smaller steps. Planning and development, sometimes called project conception, are the beginning of the construction process. Conception is the stage in which ideas are most fluid, but (perhaps paradoxically) it also lays the foundations for the construction process. Some parts of this step include finding a property for construction, pre-designing the initial concept, and choosing an architect and possibly a general contractor.
The design process is where your client's impossible (or at least incredibly expensive) dreams meet what's actually feasible. Like the 12 Jobs of Hercules, you still have obstacles to overcome. After drawing up a preliminary design, additional restrictions and regulations must be overcome to meet the customer's “additional ideas”. For example, green certification standards for a green building.
These tender materials are sets of information called contractor documents (sometimes construction documents or work plans) that provide contractors and construction companies with the information they need to submit bids for the project. This is the “preparation to start building” phase. You accepted an offer from a construction company or contractor and told them to start the project. Now, the general contractor is starting to get to work.
You need to keep the project management team together for your construction project to be successful. At this stage of the process, construction platforms that help team members easily collaborate and coordinate schedules are extremely useful and save time. Next is the acquisition, which is the easiest step in the construction process. Acquisition is simply the purchase (or rental) of everything needed for the construction project.
In construction, that means finding labor, equipment, and construction materials. It's in the construction stage when we really push our customers to use digital process management tools. Creating project workflows for each team and stage of the process is essential, but (when you have as many dependencies as in the construction phase) it's even more necessary for everything to work smoothly. From large, high-level dashboards (such as the 6 steps of the process) to subsections for each step, all team members can stay organized and connected.
Brick by brick may be the way a wall is built, but the construction process is more like juggling bricks. In a design-build project, this is when you would choose a design-build team. In some cases, this team will have a construction company and a design company that will propose their project as a joint team. Essentially, they will combine forces for your project and condense the experience of both firms into one convenient point of contact.
Using a design, supply and construction method, you will first select a design team that will guide you through the third step. Then, once the project has been conceptualized, you'll send the drawings to several construction companies. They'll use the construction documents to draw up an offer, and then you'll select the construction company based on the offer and its qualifications. Design and construction projects benefit from initial collaboration between construction and design teams, which are contractually linked.
This creates an inclusive and team-centered atmosphere surrounding the project, where all contributions are discussed together and decisions are taken as a unit. In addition, the design and construction company will assume other responsibilities that would otherwise fall on the owner, such as paperwork, team coordination, and other miscellaneous administrative tasks. This differs from the design, supply and construction method, in which the architect focuses and is contractually bound only to the design part, and the construction team focuses and is contractually bound only to the part of the building. This means that the collaborative exchange of significant information in the design process between the two is often lacking in design, supply and construction scenarios, since the designer and the builder focus, with good reason, only on their contractual obligations.
A common misconception regarding delivery methods is that the only method for offering competitive bids is to design, tender and build. However, this is not the case at all. In fact, statistically, design and construction projects are more likely to fit the budget, because there are fewer change orders. In addition, most design and construction projects (and all design and construction projects with Horst) will continue to be competitively tendered to subcontractors, so you can be sure that you'll get a great price.
During the design phase, you'll work with the design team to turn the vision of your project into drawings and plans. They will be sure to consider programming and viability with aspects such as the size and design of the building. This will lead to the schematic design, which is a sketch that will give you an idea of what the building will look like. The sketches will then be used during design development, where the team will begin to consider the costs associated with creating that space.
To learn more about the 30-60-90 design process, check out this blog. In a design-build approach, the construction team will be there to contribute their expertise during the design phase. They will be able to offer suggestions on constructability, the best value for money, the selection of materials and longevity factors, and more. With a design, supply and construction approach, the construction team will be incorporated once the project has been designed, making changes difficult and more expensive at this later stage.
While this is where the construction team and their subcontractors assume most of the responsibility, all other teammates will continue to participate. The design team will perform quality inspections to ensure that the work being done matches your design and will be available to respond to RFIs (requests for information). To facilitate this process, you'll want to partner with a construction team that has experience building in the area and is familiar with the necessary steps. With the right project team, they can make this process simple and easy for the customer at every step of the process and get a beautiful and functional final product.
Recently, companies began to use a hybrid model for their construction process that combines the approaches of design, construction and design, supply and construction. This process includes weekly, biweekly, or monthly meetings where all team leaders provide project updates and time estimates. As with every step of a construction process, communication between all parties is essential to keep the project going and to ensure that the work is completed according to specifications. The advantage of the construction phase in the design and construction process is that fewer subcontractors can reduce the number of meetings needed.
The acquisition phase of the design and construction process is more efficient because all communication between contractor and designer occurs within an organization rather than working with outside contractors. The pre-construction phase is similar both in the design, construction process and in the design, supply and construction process, because both strategies include a list of elements that must be completed before starting the construction phase. The design, supply and construction construction process is one of the most popular construction methods because it allows customers to get constructive feedback on the project. The design and construction process differs slightly from the design, supply, and construction approach because contractors and designers work together.