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Commercial Real Estate Jun 9, 2017

Preconstruction: A Plan for Success

Sponsored Content provided by Rob Beale - Vice President, Carolinas Division, W.M. Jordan Company

An integral component of today’s construction process is the pre-construction phase, commonly referred to as preconstruction or precon.  
 
During preconstruction, the construction manager develops site logistics and schedules and identifies potential pitfalls to be addressed preemptively in preconstruction versus reactively in the construction phase. This approach often results in mitigated cost and/or reduced scheduling impacts to the client. The preconstruction phase is a vital component to the overall project success and a cornerstone for sanctioning project teams, subcontractors, and methods for each project phase.
 
At W.M. Jordan Company, every employee is required to complete an in-depth training course on our preconstruction process. By establishing processes, inserting controls and setting high standards from the start, our mission is to reduce the amount of unexpected problems and potential delays that ultimately result in cost savings we can pass back to our clients.
 
Effective preconstruction harmonizes the various building trades and suppliers early in the project, and helps establish productive project sequencing, reduce scheduling conflicts and identify gaps in the scope of work. W. M. Jordan’s preconstruction processes and project management tools set the stage for success from day one of a project. Particularly, when building projects ranging from 6 to 24 months and longer, the benefits of a well-constructed preconstruction foundation are strikingly obvious. Aside from the monetary benefits, a construction management firm that handles preconstruction effectively sees issues resolved quicker and operational and design team cohesion, which often leads to happier employees and more satisfied clients. 
 

Elements Of Preconstruction

Early due-diligence, permitting research and environmental assessments are just a few tasks that kick off the preconstruction process.
 
Next, the logistics plan establishes the schedule, sequencing and workflow. Incorporated within the logistics plan is the general site layout and a site-specific flow of equipment and materials, delivery routes and storage areas.
 
Constructability analysis and value engineering are also key components of the precon process, and remain ongoing throughout the preconstruction phase to assure the owner is getting the most value for his or her money. Once the bidding process has taken place, low bidders are identified and subcontracts are issued accordingly. 
 
Upon the issuance of subcontracts, the submittal process will commence for long lead items as quickly as possible in order to combat long lead times for products. This early release will ensure compliance with the project schedule.
 

Construction Issues

Construction of a project is complex and challenging. Issues are a fact, and it is sensible to factor them into your plans prior to site work commencing. Issues can sometimes be amplified due to the lack of communication and collaboration between the design team and construction management team. During the pre-construction phase, it is important to focus on collaboration, communication and planning to increase the project efficiency.
 
Another component of the preconstruction process is to effectively identify and prequalify competent subcontractors. During the preconstruction phase, we work with a multitude of trade subcontractors and suppliers to discuss items pertaining to logistics, lead times, constructability, project staffing and, most importantly, to evaluate scope.
 

Planning And Safety

A study conducted by the Construction Industry Institute in the 1980s concluded the single most effective tool contractors have to prevent accidents on their job sites is pre-project planning. A second follow-up study in the 1990s confirmed these findings.
 
As early as the bid stage, the W.M Jordan team is identifying potential safety issues, and budgeting for necessary safety precautions that will need to be in place in the field. Our preconstruction services and emphasis on pre-planning are designed to reduce risks and minimize disruptions, making the job run smoother and ultimately lowering our exposure to high-risk conditions on site.
 
Ultimately, an effective and well-implemented preconstruction process greatly reduces unnecessary cost and adverse schedule impacts. Preconstruction done right serves as a platform to successful completion of a high-quality construction project. W.M. Jordan Company is proud that nearly 80 percent of our business comes from repeat clients. We attribute much of our success to our emphasis on the preconstruction phase of every single project.
 
 Robert Beale opened W. M. Jordan’s Wilmington office in 2012 with five employees. In four short years, staff has grown by 500 percent and two office expansions. Twenty-five staff members now serve clients in North and South Carolina from the office on Eastwood Road. Rob began his career with W. M. Jordan Company in 1996 while still in college at Virginia Tech. Rob joined the company full-time in 1998 as a project engineer upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in building construction. In his 21 years with W. M. Jordan Company, Rob has managed nearly 70 projects representing over $500 million in contracts. Rob’s experience spans nearly every aspect of construction service delivery. Starting as the company’s first intern, Rob grew as a construction professional, taking on increasing levels of responsibility and new leadership roles. He’s worked in diverse capacities as a project engineer, project manager, estimator, project executive, office manager and business developer. He is also an active member of the Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC).

 
 

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