Stages of Construction
The stages of a Construction project takes some time and can be quite demanding. Every project has different phases and steps which lead to the completion of the project.
The truth is that each project will be different depending on it's size and the clients requirements, so the project process will be tailored to the final product. We've broken the stages into 6 groups. Scroll below to find our each one!
The conception stage really creates the foundation of the whole construction process and directs all development progress towards a direction! This is the very beginning of the construction process, where the client has an initial idea of the building they want to construct and what it will look like. This stage does not only involve the early concept design ideas, but also involves finding a location for the site of the build, choosing a design team (Architects, Engineers etc.) and a Contractor, who will build the project for them.
A contractor carries out the construction/build works for a client. Some contractors do not have all the trades people needed for the build, so they usually hire a range of sub-contractors to fill in the gap. Most construction companies - such as Balfour Beatty, Morgan Sindall, Kier and Mace - are contractors who build a variety of buildings for various clients they have.
This is a development stage, where the project aims and goals are clearly identified. These will inform many decisions that are made during this design stage including the size of the building, how space will be used, how many rooms will be needed and what type of materials to use. The final design drawings and specifications are needed to finalise the project contract documents.
Design Consultants begin to refine and develop the client’s ideas based on what is realistically achievable, without disappointing their hopes. The design team (usually led by an Architect or Engineer) will begin to draw up floor plan layouts, elevations, equipment/material specifications and even 3D Visualisation photos of the design. These all will show the space of the building, materials, colours, and even textures.
The design team will usually include Architects, Structural & Civil Engineers, Landscape Architects and Mechanical & Electrical Engineers. Additional design consultants typically include Acoustic Consultants, Ecologist/Environmental Consultants, Fire Engineering Consultants, Interior Designers and Transport/Highway Engineers. Check out our Technical Roles page to find out more about each role.
This stage is preparation to start the building work on site. The project team will complete tasks and activities that must happen prior to the construction work beginning. These include completing a successful Project Management Plan/Construction Management Plan (PMP/CMP) for the project, securing permits or licences required, agreeing a programme and budget, and setting up the labour/resources required for the build.
A Project Management Plan (PMP) or Construction Management Plan (CMP - similar to a PMP) explains the requirements for the project. This document is a key access point to information on the project team, technical information, Statutory Authorities, Health & Safety information and other stakeholders.
Another important activity would be site investigations, which identify any environmental challenges that may emerge during the building process. Soil testing ensures the conditions of the ground are safe and suitable for the project. Find out more about becoming a Geotechnician.
A project management team is vital at this stage, and is usually provided by the contractor responsible for the building project. Typically, a project team will include a Pre-Construction Manager, Project Manager, Project Director, Site Manager, Design Manager, M&E Manager and Health & Safety Manager. Around each position mentioned, there are various other roles that are also required to complete the project. Pre-construction meetings are usually held to ensure that everyone understands the project, the necessary information and the build requirements before the construction starts.
Procurement is the stage where the project commercial team will buy (or rent) all the resources (materials, supplies, services) needed to successfully complete a project from start to finish. Imagine you need to cook a meal won’t you need to buy all the ingredients in order to cook? In construction, this means finding the labour, equipment, and building materials. This stage of the construction process can be more or less challenging, depending on how big the project is and the timescale!
All of this work is usually performed by the contractor. Subcontractors are usually responsible for hiring their own workers - sometimes even getting their own materials, machinery, products or equipment - to have exactly what they need to complete their portion of the job.
5. Site Construction
Build, build, build! This is where the project finally moves from a CAD drawing to reality! At this stage each contractor and subcontractor involved must be on time and build according to the project design and programme for things to work successfully - skills such as teamwork, time management, attention to detail and communication are very important here.
The Project Manager is responsible for overseeing all activities on site, ensuring subcontractors work as per the specification, health and safety is monitored, quality control is maintained and technical inspections/tests are carried out.
During the construction process, inspections are carried out to find any issues or problems that need to be corrected. This process is usually called ‘snagging’ and can happen at different stages of the build.
’Snagging’ is the process of inspecting the build, producing a list of outstanding work/minor faults that need to be completed or corrected. Snagging ensures that the building is built according to the client’s expectations and safety/building regulations. Minor faults will often be something that is damaged or incorrectly fitted. Snagging is carried out first by the contractor prior to completion, then by the client during the post-construction stage, and lastly by the homeowner during the handover period.