Spring Ahead in Construction Project Planning

If the construction calendar were laid out on a timeline graph, it would likely resemble a bell curve, with the bulk of construction work being shouldered in the summer months. A number of causes contribute to this disproportion: better weather, longer days and, in the case of educational facilities, there are fewer people to work around during those months.

While summer is an ideal time to start and, hopefully, complete construction work, there’s more to construction than actually putting hammer to nail. There are a number of things facility owners can accomplish before construction commences to be able to hit the ground running when the time is right. So, for those looking to make the most of the summer months to improve their facilities, grounds or student experiences, here are some things to keep in mind when for your summer construction project planning:

1. Important Dates

When plotting the project start and end dates on the calendar, note any significant dates that may affect the construction timeline. The end of a fiscal year, for example, can trigger important events in the life of your construction project planning. You may find that you must commit funding before the end of the fiscal year, or you can schedule projects for the next fiscal year, if you find that your funding is limited.

At an educational facility, you’ll also need to know the last day of school to know when to schedule the contractor for those larger summer projects, such as classroom conversions or restroom upgrades.

Summer’s spike in construction activity puts added pressure on procurement officials and facility managers to plan, procure and execute projects in a condensed timeline. There’s no time to waste, so download this free eBook to read preparation tips to help simplify project planning and execution.

2. Materials that Must be Ordered

If you use a construction procurement method like Job Order Contracting (JOC), you’ll be able to have a joint scope meeting ahead of time with the contractor. This will allow you to identify exactly what tasks and materials are necessary to complete the project. Then, if certain long-lead items need to be pre-ordered, you’ll have time to get the materials in before the work starts. This reduces delays during the construction work and gives you plenty of time to decide which funding sources, like ESSER funds or American Rescue Plan funding, to use for ordering materials.

3. Other Projects

Chances are, you probably won’t be working on just one project this summer. You’ll want to consider the duration, pace, funding and resources required for each project when plotting the summer schedule. Some projects may need to be phased and occur at different times. After planning the budget, you may find that certain projects or tasks need to be put on hold. The JOC process can help you when prioritizing and making scheduling decisions. The flexibility of the JOC process allows for work to take place in stages, or simultaneously, or as needed.

Summer is quickly approaching. Gear up now to be ready when the construction season picks up!