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The Preconstruction Phase: Establishing Scope and Planning for Success

There is no substitute for reasoned, intelligent planning. Every long-term professional in our industry will have witnessed a construction project that failed to deliver as promised; in these situations, a lack of due diligence is often to blame.

Avoidable cost overruns and logistical oversights must be mitigated in the 2020 construction landscape. For this reason, the preconstruction phase has never been more important on projects large and small.

This blog post looks at the rising prominence of preconstruction in an industry striving for greater collaboration and cost efficiency.

What Exactly Is Preconstruction?

Preconstruction refers to all planning processes that are conducted before breaking ground on a construction project. During this phase, everything from project definition to cost estimation, scope, scheduling and potential issues are established.

These planning and engineering services allow the client and the construction team to evaluate project feasibility. It might be that the client decides not to follow through with the project after analysis; profit margins may be unexpectedly thin, the allotted space may not be suitable, or other insurmountable issues may come up.

Scope of work is often seen as the most vital roadmap for preconstruction. Those considering scope should create and evaluate a step-by-step outline that details how project goals will be achieved. Construction managers need to be sure that every aspect is clearly defined and all stakeholders agree on how best to proceed. A lack of accord on key details can have serious implications further along in the process.

Establishing a clear and realistic budget is also essential for preconstruction, as is creating a schedule that outlines key milestones and deadlines. This will keep all consultants accountable and ensure that future plans are not mitigated. Scope, budget and schedule plans are best developed concurrently, as issues related to all three often correspond with one another.

Preconstruction isn’t purely conceptual. There can be significant costs associated with planning of this nature, but the payoff is peace-of-mind that all likely roadblocks will be avoided. The process doesn’t just revolve around uncovering potential issues; practical cost-saving measures often come to light during a comprehensive preconstruction phase. For complex projects, planning of this nature gives owners the best possible chance of guaranteeing a positive return on their investment.

Predictive Data and Preconstruction

In the past, project planners relied solely on localisation metrics and historic prices to form their budget; while this was helpful in producing ballpark figures, unexpected cost fluctuations often forced projects well over-budget.

In 2020 however, project managers have reliable tools at their disposal to help predict outcomes and track all relevant metrics. Historical data related to projects can be supplemented with predictive cost models that are powered by data-driven evidence. These principles and techniques are far more robust than those of the past, and can be relied upon to guide budgeting on projects with a long preconstruction phase. Data analytics are poised to revolutionise many traditional processes in our industry, and it’s clear that these benefits extend to preconstruction.

Speaking of early-stage conceptual estimating, Exactal’s product range includes a fully web-based benchmarking solution that allows the user to effectively utilise their historical data. CostX® Benchmark supports functional analysis and comparison for specific project types, with accurate index factors able to be applied to your created database. Follow this link to learn more about the conceptual estimating potential of CostX® Benchmark.

Visit the Exactal Team at Advancing Preconstruction 2020 in Las Vegas

Exactal’s Americas team will be travelling to the Rio All-Suites Hotel in Las Vegas for Advancing Preconstruction 2020, to be held from May 4-7.

The event is regarded as the ultimate, end-to-end preconstruction conference in North America; attendees will get the opportunity to learn how to establish integrated workflows and set their projects up for success.

We’ll be onsite in Las Vegas to exhibit our advanced CostX® platform, which represents an industry-leading solution for efficient takeoff and estimating. You can register to attend Advancing Preconstruction here, or else reach out to your local Exactal office for more information about CostX®.