Preconstruction: Creating Certainty in Uncertain Times

By Turner Burton, President

As we begin 2019, one of the main concerns in the economy and our industry is uncertainty.  What will the impact be from tariffs and the trade wars?  How will the government function with Democrats in control of the House of Representatives? What will the U.S. Federal Reserve ultimately do with interest rates? Will the stock market stabilize?  Will land prices continue to climb? Will rent rates start to climb? Will construction pricing level out? How will the labor market affect project costs and schedules? Will there be a recession in 2019?

These issues all weight heavily in the minds of everyone involved in commercial real estate.  As developers build proformas and evaluate the viability of deals, this uncertainty only adds more stress.

As a general contractor, this places even more importance on the preconstruction phase of the project. The biggest need most of our clients’ highlight is cost certainty as early as possible in the preconstruction phase.  Given the uncertainty in the market, this can become a daunting task for the team.  Without applying the discipline and leadership necessary for preconstruction excellence, it is nearly impossible.

We can add considerable value by applying lean concepts to our design and preconstruction activities. With our thoroughly vetted processes developed over 79 years in business, we can also provide value through our knowledge of market conditions and construction methods to give clients confidence in moving ahead with their projects.

The keys to preconstruction success are:

  1. Build a team based on trust and capability.
  2. Establish the Conditions of Satisfaction for the project.
  3. Develop a detailed preconstruction and design schedule.
  4. Provide continuous design review and estimating.
  5. Engage trade partners early.

Over the coming months, our blog will dive into each of these topics and explore how preconstruction excellence can create certainty in an uncertain market.