Industrial Construction Services and Their Benefits

By Ken Thomson

Businesses use industrial construction services to help them achieve ever-changing goals. Industrial and commercial construction services range from building new structures to modifying existing structures to moving structures to customized projects that facilitate processing flow, improve safety, or meet environmental regulations. Service providers in this area must be experts in a number of different areas.

We provide industrial construction services either in the traditional sense of responding to a post-design bid solicitation as general contractor or in the increasingly popular approach of assuming entire project management as Design Builder. In either case, we conduct thorough site visits and maintain close and constant communication with our client. We work with several different architectural and engineering teams in order to match the best people to the job at hand.

Often we serve as erectors of commercial buildings for large industrial corporations. Their processing flows are usually extensive and involved, such as chemical or material handling. The processing must be maximally efficient without any hindrance whatsoever from the erected facility containing it. Hence, to stay ahead of budgets, schedules, and construction details, good construction management techniques are key.

In fact, to design and execute these type of projects successfully entails a lot more than tracking budgets and schedules. For instance, the contractor conducts value engineering, determines whether materials indicated in the design are available, and makes an overall assessment of constructability. He may also be tasked with the management of site safety, subcontracts, and permits along with the participation in community or regulatory forums about feasibility, impact to the environment, or public infrastructure improvements.

Commercial building construction can also involve having to deal with certain financial or CODE issues. An example would be the imposition of special building code or zoning regulations by governing agencies. But the extra constraints may also center around the public interest, or community planning standards.

In that industrial and commercial construction is competitive, contractors need to be flexible in terms of the delivery methods they can provide. Bidding on already completed designs as general contractors is not the universal practice anymore. Nowadays the owner often prefers to use the Design-Build method, trusting the contractor to oversee the entire project including design and construction phases.

The Design Builder enables owners to put their projects on a "fast track" and to try to settle constructability questions up front. But the contractor's duties are more comprehensive than that, requiring him to grasp the big picture while tending to all the details. His responsibilities also include appointing an architectural and engineering team with which to collaborate on the design.

Because the Design Builder's duties are so comprehensive, he generally implements construction management techniques. This means that emphasis is given to pre-construction services, whereby the contractor hammers out the design with architects, estimates all budgets and scheduling, takes care of site conditions, and so on.

Naturally the contractor must demonstrate the capacity to erect conventional construction, tilt-up concrete structures and pre-engineered metal buildings, if he wants to succeed today. And he is that much more ahead if he can construct sustainable buildings that could facilitate LEED certification.

Facility Builders & Erectors specializes in construction management and has built its excellent standing among industrial, manufacturing, and commercial companies on practicing it effectively. We take extra steps to question and investigate all issues carefully, visiting the site extensively and striving to anticipate problems before they occur. This includes working with agencies to address potential concerns with impacts the building may have on the environment and nearby businesses in operation.

From project start to completion, we take responsiblity to communicate constantly with our customers, desiring to give them the best service possible. We feel this is critical for a couple reasons. First, it is important that the owner's needs and desires are crystal clear. Second, experience tells us that owners' visions aren't fully refined at the outset, and we hope that by expressing our informed expertise we will help them realize those visions.

Skillful management of risk is a must for the builder. There may not be much danger of problems occurring for relatively compact projects with clear designs, such as simple tenant renovations. But as the scope grows, so does the likelihood of issues cropping up. A sampling of problems that can occur includes bad weather, unsafe or hazardous site conditions, less than acceptable subcontractor performance, and failed inspections.

Project managers are expected to possess the additional skills of tracking cash flow and using critical paths to determine minimum schedule duration.

Be sure to contact Facility Builders and Erectors, Inc. when you need industrial construction services.