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The Basics of Phased Construction for a Commercial Remodel or New Development

phased construction

How does phased construction work? It might be helpful to compare phased construction planning to the sort of rapid development design that has become popular in the design of software and other products. When developing software as quickly and efficiently as possible, developers break parts of the total project into manageable modules. This allows them to write, test, and modify code more rapidly and more inexpensively.

For construction projects, we can apply the same sort of approach to help contain costs and minimize disruption to existing businesses. For instance, instead of looking at a commercial remodel or even new development as one large project, it is broken down into sets of smaller projects that can be timed in the most sensible and economical way for all parties involved. Some of these smaller tasks may run concurrently, but others may be timed out over several months or even years.

What are the Benefits of Phased Construction?

The primary motive for phased construction is to control client operations in an organized manner while the various contractors’ physical work is underway. Few businesses can afford to ever shut down operations, even while facing a pressing need for the expansion, contraction, reconfiguration of their space, or even an improved work environment.

Other advantages of this approach include:

  • Small pilot, investigative, or initial projects may be used to work out some details or “bugs” in the overall plan.
  • Commercial remodeling contractors can perform phases of the project, scheduled to allow for minimal downtime for existing businesses or occupants.
  • In some cases, the renovation contractor may need smaller teams onsite, so this could be an economical design choice.
  • When finances are an issue, this approach can be implemented to allow customers to spread out the costs of commercial remodeling over time.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Phased Construction?

When considering a phased construction project, it’s important to consider some potential disadvantages to this approach as well. For instance, planning for phased construction will be more intricate. Since different tasks will be spread out and repeated over time, the overall project will take longer. As construction services are time-sensitive, one can assume costs will increase over single-phased options. In addition, it might be difficult to predict costs for parts of the plan that won’t take place for months or years in the future. Finally, the fact that the design for later steps in the project could change over time may be both a positive and a negative. Some projects may benefit from making design changes based upon initial experiences; however, other projects could suffer from scope creep.

 When Does Phased Construction Make Sense?

Typically, plans are developed between designers and business owners for a total construction project that assumes everything will be built in one continuous phase. However, if a building has to stay operational during the construction, it will become apparent, usually when bringing in the builder quite a bit later, that alas, phasing has become critical. When invited to collaborate on a design-build or bid-build project with an architect/client team, we work to weigh the contemplated work against proposed or existing structural elements, utility infrastructure, means of ingress and egress, etc. Proper space planning, which accommodates phasing, is a key early element of a successful phased outcome. In many cases, we find space-plan solutions that work together to assure the property remains operational, safe, and neat.

GSD’s commercial remodeling services have been provided in two to multiple phases for the medical, financial services, auto and various retail sectors. The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida is one example of a phased civil construction project GSD was selected to manage. Carefully coordinated replacement of all hot water & HVAC chilled water systems were implemented. Naturally, the interruption of either of these systems would be devastating to the guest experience. We completed this work in seven phases, and, we are happy to say, without any loss of utilities to the guests or other business interruption.

These real-time experiences are invaluable in the construction planning process. GSD’s decades of experience, expertise, and coordination are available to ensure the safety and comfort of your staff and guests. The challenges made and overcome early in the process assure a positive outcome that is quite rewarding.

Contact GSD Contracting for Commercial Remodeling Service

We have a collaborative approach in building that helps us develop intricate plans to meet all of our customer’s requirements. Over the past 35 years, we have often been asked to work within operational buildings with minimal disruption to current activities. Because of this, we have learned to exceed expectations when timing phased projects. At the same time, we also work to contain commercial remodeling costs and complete each task on time. Contact us online to discuss your next project or call us at 954.961.4222.

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