According to The Construction Association, the construction industry has more than 750,300 employees and employs more than 7.8 million construction workers. Every year the construction industry spends more than 1.8 trillion dollars on construction projects.
The three main sectors of the construction industry are residential, commercial, and industrial. Each construction sector requires a different skill set and expertise because they have unique needs.
Residential and commercial structures are created to optimize space for more traffic flow. However, industrial construction is different. In Industrial building, it’s all about functionality and efficiency. For this reason, most industrial structures are set up strategically to make it easy for businesses to manufacture or transport their goods.
A detailed guide to industrial construction
Dealing with industrial construction projects can be challenging if you are a first-time contractor. Large industrial projects require hundreds of specialized personnel and millions of dollars. An example of such a project is the General Motors Arlington assembly plant. The facility has 5.7 million square feet and sells over 70,000 vehicles worldwide.
How do you implement such a project? How do you ensure the project is successful and the client refers you to other clients? Start with technology.
The type of technology you use can destroy or build your company. When dealing with an industrial facility of such magnitude and size, getting a 4D concept of the project is advisable before the project breaks ground. This way, your construction team can visualize every component, enabling them to minimize errors.
The project manager can present the visualizations to the client for their approval. Such technology also makes it easy for designs to be changed early in the pre-construction phase.
It’s also crucial to use software like https://www.alicetechnologies.com/solutions/for-industrial. Platforms like these are vital because they allow contractors to consider solutions to problems they may not have thought about before. Optioneering identifies the best approach to use and can allow you to reduce equipment costs when used correctly.
Understand your industrial expertise
After you identify the right technology, you need to know the projects to bid on and not to bid on. One way to do this is to understand your expertise. Start with a SWOT analysis to understand your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
A SWOT analysis also enables a construction team to identify projects they can successfully implement. Another approach to knowing the company’s industrial expertise is to look at customer feedback.
What do customers say about the business? Do the customers feel the company should concentrate on a particular industrial niche, such as warehousing? Contractors can also understand their company’s expertise by evaluating employee feedback.
Do the employees feel that the company should take a different direction? This is an excellent place to start in understanding the strengths of the construction company.
Understand the scope of the project
Project managers must develop a realistic project scope to minimize mistakes. Project Scope is a document that guides the entire construction project. Good project scope must include several components, including an overview and the tools and techniques the contractor will use to ensure the project succeeds.
The project’s scope should also include a realistic budget and the type of resources required to implement the project. Examples of resources include:
- The type and number of equipment.
- The number of laborers.
- The variety of materials needed.
Other essential components of project scope include deliverables, information on management, roles, responsibilities, and Scope validation.
One main advantage of having a good project Scope is avoiding scope creep. Scope creep is a serious problem that affects industrial projects, especially when the project owner is unsure of what is required. Contractors should prevent creep scope because it can increase the cost of construction or even stall the project.
Prepare the team and conduct a feasibility study
After a good understanding of the client’s needs, it is time to develop a team to implement the project scope. Architects, contractors, and engineers should be the first to join the project. This is because they will create the project owner’s vision to determine if it’s realistic.
The feasibility study should be as comprehensive as possible. The study should investigate the construction site, identify environmental risks, and calculate the financial and economic feasibility of the project. At this stage, the project owner can make modifications if the project is too expensive.
Identify and apply for relevant permits
If key stakeholders are satisfied with the feasibility study, the contractor can apply for relevant national and local government permits. The type of permit required will depend on various factors such as location, economic activity, and structure type. However, some of the usual licenses that will be required are:
- Building permits
- Environmental permits
- Plumbing permits
- Electrical permits
Have a clear change order policy
The project owner gives a change order for the contractor to add or reduce work, time, or money. Change orders are inevitable, and it is okay if the contractor has a clear implementation policy. A good change order should clearly describe the changes required based on the original contract.
The order should also describe the reasons for the change, the cost and time implications of the order, and the approval process. The contractor must document and file the change order in case of a legal dispute.
You can start implementing the project if you have fulfilled all the above steps. Use modern technology to identify risks and solve them before they cause delays.
In conclusion, implementing an industrial construction project requires the contractor to be creative and patient. To be safe, the contractor must create a good project scope, do a feasibility study, and obtain all important permits.