What is Pre-Construction?

Updated: Jan 29

The first question is - What is pre-construction and what is it used for?

Pre-construction is a process offered by construction companies (normally commercial builders) to look at preliminary planning and engineering before the construction job begins.

The process involves:

  • defining the project,

  • identifying potential issues,

  • planning and scheduling,

  • the scope,

  • cost estimation,

  • analysis of the job's needs

What is the importance of pre-construction?

Quality pre-construction will help the Builder to determine the actual build-a-bility of the project and a true cost estimation of the Project in full detail rather than relying on standard $/m2 rates that are typically used to determine cost and expose the Builder to cost and time risk. It will help the Builder to co-ordinate all of the plans and specfications to ensure that the full scope intent is captured which reduces the risk of undertaking the project.

Why is pre-construction used in commercial construction and not in residential construction?

If you talk to Architects, Building Designers and Engineering Consultants, they usually respond that there is not enough money in the fees that they charge in residential work to spend the time to detail their 3D models to a level of construction detail and apply BIM data to their models. They find it easier to provide 2D PDF plans and hold onto the 3D models due to possible co-ordination errors or inaccuracies that it may contain, and basically pass the liability of the scope intent and buildability onto the builder to determine and undertake the risk of constructing the job.

When you think about it you would be crazy not to undertake pre-construction analysis in the residential construction sector as it is the Buiders livelihood that is at risk for every job the Builder undertakes.

How can pre-construction be undertaken at a resonable cost?

We have been working over the last six months internally in our office looking at ways that we can assist builders in achieving the most accurate cost estimation of their job and adding the value of using pre-construction workflows to achieve a cost effective solution for builders to undertake pre-construction cost estimating. We have invested a significant amount of time and money this year in researching more sophistcated software for BIM data modelling and capabilities with our professional estimating software that we use. We have been looking at our fee structure around this and how we can implement cost effective pre-construcion workflows with standard 2D PDF plans. We have looked at how the builder can present this visualisation to their clients and communicate the way the residential construction industry builds and help communicate the cost involved to undertake the work. We want to bring residential construction into 2022, not keep it 1950s!

We have a number of building clients that we work with that are currently undertaking this type of process and are seeing the benefits and winning work because of these workflows and visualisations. Due to the success of these builders, we are rolling out new BIM data software and Reporting formats in the first part of 2022 in our business which will benefit our existing Builders and new Builders that work with EstimateAssist.

next blog ... pre-construction cost estimating workflow

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