Stages of Building Construction

Modified: 26th Jul 2018
Wordcount: 1926 words

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Building a project involves various stages including initial preparation of the client’s brief, scheduling and research, specifications and construction development. Plans, designs and changes occur throughout a project, inevitably, therefore there must be a unified desire for communication, understanding and agreement.


In order for a project to develop into an eventual success communication, understanding and agreement are essential. Comprehensive consultations concerning desires in terms of design, constructability and practicality are imperative. An insight into the client’s personal requirements and expectations will also prove fundamental to sustain achievement. However clients are not always exact about all the characteristics of their requirements; professional teams therefore act as advisors. As opinions change plans will have to be altered consequently to accommodate the new needs (Ashworth 2005).

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Sufficient planning and designing must be undertaken before any sort of construction commences on any development. Planning consists of the early congregation of information and ideas before a detailed design and construction process is exemplified. During this period parties involved in the development should identify any particular requirements, discuss important issues, resolve any disparities if any and assign tasks amongst other requests. Before advanced designing and development can begin, planning authorities must consent to the proposed project after comprehensive assessment. In some cases warrants must be granted for building work to begin on a site, most contractors require this to demolish or build on a site (Civitelo 2007).

As the size and/or scale of a project increases costs will ultimately also go up (Ashworth 2005), therefore the planning team will have to combine the design of the project with cost saving solutions. This may mean making sacrifices in terms of some materials used in the project; this will for example reduce costs and allow the funds to be transferred to building a project of larger magnitude as costs rise. For this reason the planning stage is extremely important as conclusions will have to be drawn as to how much space is actually required for the development, too little and the project could be considered a disaster, too much and it could prove wasteful.

There are many standards and legislation in the construction industry; these are set up for the benefit of the client making use of the development. Other legislation on the other hand is aimed at protecting the environment and wildlife. The purpose of legislation is to provide a regulatory body to ensure the efficient build of safe places for work and handling. A forthright view held by many is that legislation and standards add to costs and are not munch benefit at all however these claims need to be carefully dissected. Legislative requirements are aimed at increasing safety and are approved by a professional body having conducted tests and analysis.

Projects, however small, are affected by an immense set legislation; primarily because efficient development is profoundly reliant on safe places of work and the safe handling of construction material and plants. As a result of this projects will always consist of a large team including clients, engineers, architects, contractors, government and regulating bodies and labourers (Ashworth 2005). An addition to this team is lawyers. When plans are drawn up for a project the parties involved must agree to contracts containing clauses with regards the development in question. Content of the contract may include articles with contemplation to budget, time and materials amongst other clauses. These need to be carefully examined as they can prove to become the reason for the downfall of a failed project.

During the design process planners and designers must outline the function and suitability of materials whilst taking into consideration economic and ecological consequences (Hinze 2010). Architects for example would be most involved in the design considerations of a project, however as some parts of a plan cannot be considered without first finding out about planning consent, because of this a reasonable amount of significant decisions cannot be considered.

When designing a project plans submitted must take into account expenses as prices are relentlessly rising. Today, most projects involve an organization which is able to economically forecast costs of not only principal costs but also costs of control services. The establishment also find the most economical ways of ensuring that a development does not run over budget. Before plans are put forward a review must be taken on designs to ensure that the ideas can be implemented in terms of both construction techniques and materials. The aim of these reviews called ‘Constructability Reviews’ is to minimize the number of changes at a later stage, reduce delays and rising costs (Palmer 2002).


Once construction is ready to begin, preliminary work needs to commence to allow initial works to be carried out, these include the clearing of the work site, a ground survey to asses the ground conditions, setting up of sanitary facilities, water/power supplies and offices and storage areas. Sufficient welfare amenities will need to be established on a construction site for use by workers throughout a development, this will need to be arranged by the project manager in advance.

Provisions will include rest rooms, toilets, storage rooms, changing rooms and washrooms as well. (Hinze 2010) These facilities will be essential for the length of a project to evade disturbance to a project. In some circumstances however, the project manager may not require some facilities and will instead be able to make use of permanent services available on site. For example, the client may allow the construction team to use toilets already installed on site. This will therefore reduce costs which may have been incurred if the welfare facilities were required. When welfare amenities are required the project manager should aim to locate these in various locations and not a single area, this reason for this is that having them in one area may prove to be an inconvenience. For example if the site is very large, then the project manager may find that time is wasted going to and from the welfare facilities rather than using the time constructively.

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When the preliminary works have been completed demolition on the site can begin, since the site is located on a 10 ha site of old forest 5 miles out of the town centre; suitable access and transportation will need to be arranged for plant/machinery. The demolition stage will result in the recycling of materials, the forest trees for example can be recycled for timber use during the construction process; this increases the developments sustainable considerations.

After the site has been fully cleared, excavation will be completed to create the required ground conditions, be it flat or, according to the design specifications. In many cases the land in which a project is developed can provide difficulties in terms of workability. Loose soil, often at a shallow depth, is an inevitable problem that can be solved using deep foundations; in this case however, shallow foundations will be used as outlined in the brief (Palmer 2002). The excavation stage will also prepare the site for eventual service installation and the construction of the substructure. Excavation will be carried out using various machines, plant is required during the construction process in order to increase production, minimize labour requirements, conduct high standards of constructions and also possibly reduce overall costs (Cooke 1997). During the planning process decisions must be made with regards the availability and use of plants.

The substructure will consist of reinforced concrete foundations to allow sufficient support of the buildings by transporting the load to the ground, this will be especially vital for the community hall which will consist of a steel frame and metal cladding roof. Service works will also need to be carried out during the substructure stage to allow for pipes/cable routes to be considered also, drainage and refuse systems will need to be allowed to pass through and leave the various sites, be it below ground or through walls. Services however must not pass below foundations (Hinze 2010).

The superstructure on the other hand will require extensive work, relating to the floors, walls and roofs; these will all be subject to the design specifications. Scaffolding will be required when working on raised platforms i.e. first floor levels, roofs etc, these will consist of steel or aluminium alloy tubes. As the development will consist of a 200 home housing estate, the homes will be of identical layout and size, for this reason pre-fabricated timber roof trusses will be delivered and hoisted into position before being placed on the supporting walls. The floors and ceilings in the homes will be timber constructed where as the community centre will consist of a concrete floor and metal cladding roof. The walls in the homes will be brick and block masonry fully insulated cavity walls, these will be plastered inside.

Completion of the substructures and superstructures will then allow the services to be introduced to the buildings; these include drainage, pluming, gas and sanitary works. Some services will require installation below ground, specifically in trenches. Service works generally cause widespread disruption to the public, especially to traffic through road works; there should be a significantly lower impact however, since the housing project is being developed on an old forest site. Local authority permission must be granted before work commences, this will involve in the inspection of works carried out already and final tests being conducted. The plumbing works, which are installed above ground, will benefit from construction after the basic structural works have been completed.

The finishes relating to the build require extensive organisation to ensure that they are completed accordingly as certain processes cannot begin until others have been completed. For this reason, a larger number of workers should be employed to carry out the finishing works simultaneously when possible, to ensure timely completion. The landscaping with regards this project should not be very costly as the location chosen for the project is an old forest, in comparison to some builds which are built in an area which requires more greenery and trees to be planted. Methods of circulation and travel will need to be established however including roads and footpaths. With regards the community centre security will need to be addressed as a priority as it will be serving the local community, including children for example.

The project will not be completed until the site has been fully cleared and inspected. All surplus material and debris will not to be transported and disposed of accordingly or recycled if possible. Plants, offices and huts will need to be dismantled and cleared as well. The site must be left in a very good condition to allow inspection by various teams and bodies to ensure the development is both up to standard, matches the design specification and is also safe for occupation (Cooke 1997).


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