The 4 Phases of Construction Projects

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Do you know the US construction industry was valued at over $1.6 trillion in 2021? It’s understandable since construction projects are growing every year.

However, the phases of these projects are still the same, including planning, pre-construction, construction, and close-out. Construction companies go through these phases in their own way. Some firms also use the construction management tools like Bridgit for managing everything on auto-pilot.

To understand how things work in the industry, let’s have a deeper look at the four construction phases.

Planning

Planning a construction project is important as it estimates the activities’ timeline. Without a planning document, you can’t complete the construction work in the given time and budget. Construction project managers must invest more time in planning so that they can estimate the following details:

  • Construction schedule – Scheduling is the key planning activity that determines the timeline of the construction activities. The schedule also includes the priority tasks of a construction project.
  • Budget – The total amount of money required to complete a construction project.
  • Resource – Resources such as machinery, labor, and safety kits are required for a construction project.

Construction managers, architects, and the project owner sit together and discuss the regulations and rules of the project. Then, they prepare a blueprint of the project to analyze its foundations, basics, and overall structure.

The architects and designers prepare a conceptual design of the construction project to define its tiniest details using the software. These designs help the civil engineering team to understand the structure and work accordingly.

The jurisdiction authorities who regulate urban development also review the plan and approve it. So you can’t start the project before their approval because that would be a constructional offense.

So, plan a project with full attention and include everything from all the stakeholders’ perspectives.

Pre-construction

Architects and civil engineers prepare the architecture of a building for documentation. That document defines the early construction activities, and you must provide the architecture to get the building permit.

Contractors also need pre-construction documents to understand what is being constructed and construction flow. This phase determines what resources will be needed throughout the project. The contractor and project manager estimate the resource allocation and procurement.

Since the construction project might need particular equipment and material, preparing a resource document is necessary. You can also check similar construction projects and what material the contractor used to get an estimate.

The construction manager is also responsible for retaining the previous team for this project. That’s because the construction manager knows the team’s capability and weaknesses since they have already worked together on previous projects. So it’s better to retain that team instead of having a new team on board.

However, you might not get the same team. Some team members might be new, and they need training. Thus, the team leaders should invest time in training the new members. The project manager can also arrange training sessions to train the newbies.

The pre-construction phase also includes modeling the construction project. The project manager is an experienced professional in this domain and might devise a suitable model to design the project.

In this phase, you must create a risk assessment document for contingency planning. Of course, you might not follow this plan if everything goes normal. However, the contingency plan mitigates the risk and offers you another option if you are stuck in a situation during the project.

Construction

You have prepared a construction plan and submitted all the documents to the relevant stakeholders. You also have scheduled all the key construction activities. Now it’s time to start the actual construction.

The project manager and contractor will collaborate and assemble the team in their respective departments. They will also send the equipment and machinery to the construction site according to the requirement.

The construction teams initiate the administration services, which include:

  • Quality control – Checking the quality of different aspects, such as soil, equipment, and cement.
  • Inspection – Visiting the construction site to observe additional requirements, project status, and loopholes.
  • Review – Reconsider the project plan and evaluate the construction activities to ensure quality delivery.

You must keep checking on the milestones to ensure smooth project delivery. You can also use construction management software to automate project tracking. These tools allow you to measure individual and team-based performance.

During the construction, you must also monitor the project’s progress using the planning documents. That document has the master schedule you prepared, which includes the work breakdown structure (WBS).

Although there is no standard for making a WBS, the construction project must follow a schedule to keep the activities aligned with the estimated time and budget. Not meeting the deadlines means the construction budget will increase.

Check the contingency planning document if you counter unexpected conditions like equipment failure or bad weather. You might have to change the course of the project because now you can’t follow the normal construction plan.

That might disturb the schedule, but you can continue working instead of temporarily closing the project. That’s where the contingency plan plays its role.

Close-out

It’s the final phase of the construction project, which must be carefully executed. Your effort of months might go in vain if you don’t close the project with attention.

All team leaders must gather and submit the construction documents to the project manager. The manager will turn in these documents so the client can review them. The client will also visit the project and evaluate the key components like electricity, support, occupancy, and finishing.

If the client finds out any discrepancy, they will question you. That’s why it’s important to check every tiniest detail throughout the project before stepping into the close-out phase.

The construction budget is also finalized in this phase by the finance team. Since no major activity remains, you can compare the actual budget with the cost estimation.

Conclusion

You can follow the construction phases by using a framework. That will help you complete the projects smoothly. You can also create a new construction model using the expertise of construction managers and architects. That will ensure the timely delivery of the project milestones with high-quality performance.

 

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