Preconstruction Planning

Preconstruction Planning

Preconstruction Planning is all About Balancing Your Building Project’s Budget, Scope and Quality

It’s a simple concept but easily missed in preconstruction planning. To reduce risk on a facility project you must balance the project’s scope, quality and cost expectations of the organization. You can pick any two of the three variables and the third is determined by your selections. But you cannot artificially fix all three.

P2M defines and balances these three competing elements in a facility “program”. The program defines a project’s spatial, functional and technical requirements. The program is then used to develop an appropriate budget of hard construction and soft project costs, along with an overall project schedule. By varying the quality level of the build and the scope of the build, we can balance the three variables for our client. If the budget is fixed, that will allow variations to the scope and quality of the facility criteria. If the scope and quality are fixed expectations, then that drives the budget.

Schedule and risk are major factors when considering what method is used to design and build the facility project. There are three commonly used project delivery methods used in facility design and construction.

  • Design-Build (or turnkey such as with a developer)
  • Construction Management (or CM)
  • Traditional “design-bid-build” delivery (using a general contractor or GC)

P2M is expert in managing any these methods and guides you through the process of laying a sound foundation of preconstruction planning before you implement the project. These different procurement strategies greatly affect how you pay for design and construction services. 

Design-Build is commonly used on build to suit development projects where the building site is owned by a developer and they want to design, build and often lease the building to the client. In these cases, lease and construction agreement language must be carefully evaluated and a detailed outline specification must be developed to define the tenant’s or owner’s quality and scope expectations. With Design-Build the tenant or owner contract with one entity, the developer. The developer holds the contracts for the architect and contractor who both work for the developer’s interests. Cost transparency is low.

Construction Management delivery is commonly used on projects where the tenant or owner will manage the design and construction process. In this process the owner or tenant holds the contracts for the architect and construction manager (a variation of a general contractor) and can better control costs. Costs for subcontractors are all open-book and there is a high level of cost transparency.

Design-Bid-Build or “traditional” project delivery is a method where again, the tenant or owner will manage the design and construction process. The owner or tenant holds the contracts for the architect and the general contractor who provides a lump sum amount per plans and specs. Costs for subcontractors are not typically provided and there is a low level of cost transparency.

The project delivery method used is a major preconstruction planning consideration and has a major impact on project timing and risk. Contact us to discuss the best approach for your project.

preconstruction planning involves balancing quality, scope and cost

New facility project? Let us help you plan it on a sound foundation. Tell us more about your project.