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Pre-Construction Checklist

Updated: Jul 11

A well-planned pre-construction process enhances project value by identifying and resolving issues and risks during the design phase. It ensures that project scope, cost, schedule, and procurement align with the owner’s intent. It provides for transparency in guiding the team to focus on maximizing project value, including life-cycle cost evaluation.

Here is a checklist that can serve as guide:


1. Validate the owner’s scope assumptions.

2. Ensure that the scope of work envisioned by the owner is consistent with the construction budget.

3. Address scope gaps, missing drawings, and details promptly to ensure speed to market.

4. Address the contractor’s (or construction manager’s) RFIs promptly to expedite design development.

5. Verify that the owner has engaged the necessary consultants.

6. Review the integrity of owner-supplied equipment (such as equipment, FF&E, and specialty fabricated items).

7. Evaluate the schedule and identify how to can drive early purchase of long lead equipment and materials. Ensure that design development is coordinated with the schedule and procurement plan.

8. Determine the status of construction specifications and prepare scopes of work that align with the design team’s intent and reflect the owner’s requirements.

9. Facilitate coordination of architectural plans with structural and MEP.

10. Utilize BIM to control MEP conflicts and architectural coordination.

11. Guide the owner’s team through the design development process and implement formal gate reviews to ensure timely and robust design assumptions, consistent with driving an effective GMP process.

12. Establish a pre-construction agreement which would compensate the construction manager (CM) in the pre-GMP design phase, while incentivizing the CM to provide maximum value with respect to constructability recommendations, construction estimates, lead time verification and schedule preparation. Typically, the CM’s pre-construction fee would be rolled into the CM-GMP contract. This protects the interests of both the owner and the CM.

13. Work with the owner’s team to converge on a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) and reduce cost and schedule risks.

14. Arrive at a shared understanding and clear construction contract, with agreed upon costs for general conditions, insurance, fee, and bond (if applicable). Provide for a shared contingency savings clause.

15. Hold weekly design and cost validation meetings between the owner, A/E team and the CM to facilitate design development, capture desired value engineering items, coordinate conflicts between MEP, architectural and structural drawings. The objective is to minimize risks, reduce contingencies and maximize project value for the owner.

16. Assign one-point person to represent the Owner to streamline decision making.

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