Commercial developments represent substantial projects with the potential for significant returns. Such endeavors demand substantial investments, necessitating prudent decision-making. Consequently, investors must thoroughly assess their options and exercise caution before committing to this sizable venture.
Upon determining a commercial building as a suitable investment for their enterprise, investors must shift their focus to meticulous planning for the project’s successful execution.
Undertaking the process of commercial building construction can be daunting, especially for first-time builders and investors. Hence, it is crucial for them to gain a comprehensive understanding of all the involved processes.
This guide aims to aid investors in preparing for commercial building construction by providing insights into all the processes involved, from inception to completion.
Understanding the Types of Constructions for Commercial Buildings
Builders and investors should be well-versed in the six types of construction for commercial buildings. These classifications are determined by the materials used and the percentage of the structure comprised of these specified materials.
The primary purpose of categorizing commercial building constructions is to assess their fire risk and evaluate potential fire damage.
The following classes are assigned to commercial building constructions based on the aforementioned factors:
1. Construction Class 1 – Frame
2. Construction Class 2 – Joisted Masonry
3. Construction Class 3 – Noncombustible
4. Construction Class 4 – Masonry Noncombustible
5. Construction Class 5 – Modified Fire Resistive
6. Construction Class 6 – Fire Resistive
Regardless of the scale of the commercial project, investors must possess a clear understanding of their specific building construction requirements and allocate a suitable budget accordingly.
A Systematic Guide to Constructing a Commercial Building
Understanding the process of commercial building construction involves breaking it down into distinct steps. This comprehensive approach encompasses six key stages:
1. Planning and Development
The planning and development phase holds paramount significance in any commercial building project, as it sets the foundation for the entire endeavor. Collaborating with key stakeholders and experts, investors embark on this initial step to determine project specifics and chart a comprehensive plan.
During the planning and development stage, crucial decisions are made concerning the project’s location, budget, and team composition. Key players, such as investors, contractors, architects, land developers, and general contractors, are carefully chosen to ensure a well-rounded approach.
To optimize this phase, enlisting the expertise of a reputable company specializing in commercial building construction can prove invaluable. Their involvement from the outset introduces innovative solutions that expedite the overall process, leading to a successful outcome.
2. Design Phase
The design phase of commercial building projects involves the creation of a comprehensive construction package to execute the project successfully. Schematic designs are developed, providing essential information about the materials and their respective qualities and characteristics.
During this stage, the dimensions and purposes of each room are determined, taking into consideration the building’s orientation to align with utility connections and development covenants. The primary objective is to ensure the project’s feasibility while adhering to building codes and regulations.
Additionally, the design phase accurately estimates the total project cost, and contract documents are prepared and signed. This stage is also opportune for establishing a project timeline, setting the groundwork for smooth progress in the subsequent stages.
3. Pre-Construction Phase
The pre-construction phase commences when the project owner grants approval for the general contractor to proceed with the plan. During this critical stage, comprehensive lists of required materials are dispatched to vendors and commercial subcontractors to solicit quotes.
Moreover, the pre-construction phase entails securing all essential building permits and meeting stringent insurance requirements. Concurrently, soil testing is conducted to assess its suitability for construction purposes.
Towards the conclusion of the pre-construction stage, a thorough site investigation is conducted to mitigate potential surprises and complications, including environmental hazards. Additionally, the construction team is assembled during this phase, ensuring a well-organized and coordinated approach to the upcoming project.
4. Procurement Stage in Construction Projects
During the procurement stage, the primary focus is acquiring all the necessary items to complete the project. Typically, contractors are responsible for handling procurement, adhering strictly to the terms of the signed contract. While the general contractor can oversee the entire procurement process, subcontractors may also be involved.
Regardless of the party managing procurement, it is imperative that the materials selected align with the project owner’s expectations in terms of quality and cost. Additionally, certain materials must meet legal requirements and standards. Timely delivery of all sourced materials to the construction site is crucial to maintain project timelines.
Apart from sourcing materials, contractors and subcontractors must ensure the availability of suitable equipment for the project. Equipment can be rented, but it must meet the specific requirements of the project. Careful planning is also essential for hiring laborers and determining salaries, all of which must align with the project’s budgetary considerations.
5. Construction Phase
The construction phase represents the actual realization of the commercial property, where the project transitions from conceptual plans to tangible reality. Prior to commencing construction, a pivotal meeting takes place to address essential considerations such as site access, material storage, quality control, and work hours.
This stage of commercial building construction is marked by intensive activity, encompassing several key steps including groundbreaking, site excavation, concrete pouring, steel erection, framing, interior and exterior work, roofing, underground utility installation, and various other tasks.
The specific processes involved during this phase will be influenced by the commercial building type, design, and functional requirements. Each step must undergo meticulous inspection by both the project manager and an official inspector. The construction phase concludes only upon the successful completion of all construction activities.
The post-construction phase encompasses all activities carried out from the completion of the construction to the occupancy of the commercial building. The duration of this phase varies depending on the complexity of the project.
The commencement of the post-construction phase typically involves a thorough inspection and testing process. All key stakeholders, including the project owner, the designer, and the contractor, must ensure that the work meets their satisfaction. A final walkthrough is conducted, and any necessary adjustments are made to prepare the building for occupancy.
The culmination of the post-construction phase involves obtaining the certificate of substantial completion. This certificate is issued once all project requirements have been fulfilled to the necessary standards.
Essential Tips for Building a Commercial Building
Investors and businesses hoping to build a commercial property must understand how to handle all the six steps discussed above.
Here are essential tips that will help them succeed with such a significant project/investment:
- Evaluate their options to know what is best for them
- Make the right financial projections regarding the feasibility of the project
- Get their building permits in order
- Hire the right architect/designer (reputable individual or firm)
- Hire the right contractors on time
- Be realistic about their involvement in the project
- Being ready with a contingency plan
- Get it right with financing
- Avoid making last-minute changes
- Understand the roles and responsibilities of the building team members
- Hold contractors responsible but handle conflicts maturely with quick resolution in mind.
Enjoy a Smooth Commercial Building Construction
Building a commercial property is a meaningful investment with huge potential. Investors, however, need to realize that such a project will take time and resources. The key to making it work is understanding the processes and getting the little processes right.
As hinted earlier, another fantastic way to succeed in constructing a commercial building is to involve a reputable company at the initial stage. For instance, at Arrant Construction, we help our clients from the beginning of the project until it is completed.