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  • Writer's pictureHGCI

Constructability: A Word Every Everyone in the Building Industry Should Know

Even if you have never heard of the term constructability before, it’s a concept that will play heavily into the success of your next building project—that new senior-care facility, office space, storage unit, medical lab or other structure. For any commercial building project it helps to start with a constructability plan. It’ll save you time, money and resources.

What Is Constructability?

By definition, constructability, also called buildability, is a concept used in building project management to determine how easy or difficult the project will be. It starts in the pre-construction phase of a commercial project and continues until project is completed. But its success is determined in before the foundation is ever laid.

Why It Matters?

Because constructability affects everything--from scheduling and budgets to materials procurement and equipment and infrastructure needs--it should play a substantial role in how you plan out your next building project.

Constructability utilizes the knowledge and experience of all professionals involved in the design and building processes. For example, it is vital that a contractor be a part of the discussion very early in the design phase because of their real-world experience. A contractor can address the feasibility of the design from the perspective of someone with a lot of hands-on experience . It can be discouraging if an architect’s design expertise and a contractor’s hands-on experience do not mesh. In this scenario costs can quickly skyrocket, backing up the entire project schedule and, in very dire circumstances, shelving the entire construction plan.

What Are the Goals and Benefits of Constructability?

The goals are pretty straightforward: a highly constructible project will be completed on time; stick to the initial budget with very few surprises along the way; and will be completed efficiently with a minimum of negative impact on designers, project managers and the entire construction team. Besides these goals, constructability also yields other essential benefits that may not be revealed at first glance. For example, it can reduce the environmental impact of any size of building project, using up fewer natural resources and less energy while producing less waste. In addition, an efficient construction project can cement the positive reputation of the entire design and construction team.

Ensuring Constructability on Your Next Building Project

Constructability may not be as simple to achieve as you initially thought simply because some project managers are concerned about taking what they perceive as new risks.

In fact, the most critical barrier is the disconnect, or miscommunication, between a designer and the construction team. Additional barriers could include a shortage of personnel in the pre-construction phase, a refusal of the architect and the project manager to work together, or a lack of concern over the environmental impact of the project.

However, if these issues can be resolved in advance and become part of a constructability plan, they can help to ensure your next commercial building project stays on time and on budget from start to finish.

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