Planning a Commercial Construction Project

Commercial construction is a lucrative and satisfying career field for many people who have an engineering mindset or for those who enjoy working with their hands. Unlike residential construction, commercial construction often means working on different types of projects that all come with their own unique challenges. In some cases, you’ll be building according to a set of templates that have been provided by a holding company or franchise owner. In other cases, each project will be completely unique and will require customized solutions.

The equipment you’ll need for each project may also be different. For example, you may need to request custom induction motors for certain pieces of equipment like cranes, crushers and exhaust fans. Custom induction motors may be necessary to retrofit into existing equipment, or you may be able to work with an induction motor manufacturer to modify your plans to utilize pre-made solutions like three-phase induction motors and other types of AC induction motors.

First Steps

Of course, the first step in planning a commercial construction project is to find a location. In most cases, your client will already have a location or locations in mind, but you may also provide location scouting as a service. Additionally, funding for the purchase of the land or a lease agreement needs to be in place along with all of the required paperwork detailing the modifications to be made.

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There are plenty of other considerations involved in securing a location for a commercial construction project, including the location’s access, its proximity to existing utility lines, whether or not the area has been surveyed and more. If you don’t have direct experience with the technicalities of the planning process, you may need to partner with a commercial construction planning firm. These firms generally handle all of the technical aspects of construction planning so that you can focus on the physical fundamentals.

The Design Phase

After securing the right location, whether through your own team’s work or through the client, design work begins. During the design phase, you’ll likely be working with architects and engineers who specialize in commercial construction projects. Once again, you may already have these professionals as part of your team, but you may need to outsource this portion of the project as well.

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During the design phase, you’ll lay out the actual blueprints to which you’ll be working, In many cases, the different engineers on your team will take responsibility for their own areas of specialization. You’ll also need a project manager to bring everyone together to compare design plans and administer changes as needed.

There may also be a pre-design phase during which planning for things like desired amenities, room sizes and dimensions and other factors can be planned for and feasibility can be determined. Budgetary factors also play into this process as you can begin to get a rough estimate as to your own costs and your client’s costs during the pre-design.

Pre-Construction Begins

After the design planning has been finalized, you can begin the pre-construction phase. During this time, things like regulatory permits, insurance coverages and bids from vendors will need to be obtained. You will also need to procure the supplies required to get started.

Finally, you can begin the site preparation work according to the specifics of the project. This part of the process includes land clearing or demolition, establishing safety protocols for workers and the general public and the delivery of construction materials.

In some cases, the pre-construction and actual construction phases can blend or overlap depending on the nature of the site and the amount of work required to prepare the site. Some aspects of a project can take place concurrently while others will have clearly defined timelines for completion.