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Synchro Preconstruction Services

April 26, 2024

What are preconstruction services? And why are they an important part of any informed design effort?

Synchro offers preconstruction services as both a standalone service and as a standard part of our design-build process. Preconstruction services are processes undertaken to analyze and optimize a project’s schedule and budget before construction begins. Preconstruction services should be an integral part of the design process for all commercial buildings. They allow a building owner to set a realistic budget for the scope of work, understand opportunities to optimize the project schedule, drive informed decision making, and ensure that the Construction Documents reflect expected costs.

Designing without integrating preconstruction services is akin to hiking without a map. It raises the risk of budget busts, costly redesign, and schedule delays.

At Synchro we divide our preconstruction services into three main categories of work: Scheduling, Construction Feasibility, and Budgeting/Continuous Estimating. Read on to learn more about these services and how they integrate into the typical design process.

Project Scheduling and Fast Track Analysis:

During the early stages of concept design when the scope of the project is sufficiently defined, we develop a preliminary construction schedule to understand total project duration and expected sequence of activities.

As the design progresses, we provide an updated construction schedule at each major milestone of design. This schedule defines a more detailed sequence of activities that is informed by ongoing dialogue with our subcontractors.

We work with the owner to understand schedule goals for the project and then evaluate opportunities to fast track the project. This can include issuing early permit packages to the AHJ so site work can start sooner, overlapping certain construction activities, and analyzing the impact of overtime for certain scopes of work.   

At the end of the construction document phase, we provide a final construction schedule that reflects the project scope and actual durations for execution.

Construction Feasibility:

We review the milestone design deliverables and provide recommendations on the relative feasibility of construction methods, availability of materials and labor, procurement strategies, and factors related to cost. The goal is to proactively find opportunities that can yield cost and schedule savings and avoid decisions that can drive up costs or prolong the schedule. 

Project Budgeting, Estimating & Subcontractor Bidding:

During the very early stages of concept design, we develop a control budget based on the initial site plan, programing information, and building plans.

The control budget focuses on major project cost drivers including early site preparation, site excavation, building pad, concrete, and other site hardscape (parking, roadways and building foundation), detention pond, utilities, building structure, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and building finishes.      

The control budget is used as a basis to help evaluate design decisions and prioritize direction during the design phase.

At the end of Schematic Design (SD) and Design Development (DD) we develop updated construction cost estimates. These cost estimates include cost data informed by our subcontractor network for the major project cost drivers.   

Synchro will use the permit drawings to solicit and de-scope competitive bids from sub-contractors and provide summary bid tabs to the Owner, along with recommendations for who to move forward with, and develop a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the project.