Learning how to prepare a construction plan can take years and multiple projects before you are exposed to enough information. With that said building a construction plan is simple if you use these easy to follow steps.
What Is A Construction Plan?
A construction plan is a detailed document, both written and visual which outlines how you will complete a project or portion of one. The document is typically composed of the following:
- A narrative or written document outlining how the various components will be approached
- Drawings and illustrations indicating temporary construction and phasing
- Photographs and images
- A detailed or milestone construction schedule
When Should I Develop The Plan and Who Should Be Involved?
A construction plan should at the bare minimum be developed at the start of a construction project, however, it should not be a static document and should be updated and developed further as things change on a construction project.
The intent of a construction plan at the start of a construction project or during the estimating phase is to assist the team in understanding the companies approach to building the project. An estimator may need a project plan in order to determine the number of feet of fence or plywood required.
For that reason a construction plan should be developed by the entire project team including the superintendent, project manager, estimator and any other staff involved. Different people bring unique outlooks to problems and potential solutions.
How To Prepare A Construction Plan
Time needed: 5 days.
How To Prepare A Construction Plan
- Familiarize Yourself With The Project
Start by familiarizing yourself with the construction plans and specifications. Include things such as reviewing project renderings, photos, site reports, drawings, and specifications.
- Prepare The Construction Plan Outline
Identify the different sections you need to address in your construction plan, sections should include project administration, schedule, changes, hoisting, deliveries, logistics. For a complete list see below.
- Assign Team Members Sections
Assign team members each of the sections. When assigning consider their role and what they are responsible for. Assign sections that make sense for the person to be looking at – this is an opportunity for them to really dig into a subject on a project.
- Compile and Prepare The Construction Plan
Receive and compile each of the sections from your various team members. Compile these on a digital drive somewhere or in a single word document. Once completed print or pdf the entire section. As each section comes in review it yourself for completeness – ensure that the sections align with one another where over laps occur.
- Peer Review
Once you’ve completed your construction plan it’s important to have it peer reviewed. This can be from people at your organization, independent consultants and even amongst team members. Not everyone has the same experiences, as a result the more people that look at it the more likely it is that problems or new ideas will be brought to light.
You can’t build a plan without first understanding the scope of the project. Start by familiarizing yourself with the construction plans and specifications. Depending upon the phase of the project you may not have a full set of drawings available. Here’s a few things you should include in your review:
Step One – Familiarize Yourself With The Project
- Project Renderings
- Existing Site Photos
- Overall Project Timelines
- Weather Patterns
- Other projects ongoing in the areas
- Existing Services
- Google Maps
Understanding each of the above pieces of information will help you as you move forward. While reviewing these pieces of information make sure to keep notes.
Step Two – Prepare The Construction Plan Outline
The actual preparation of the document can take time and alot of effort to prepare so breaking it up into manageable pieces is advised. There are a number of topics that need to be covered.
You’ll need a few different things to prepare the entire document including a word processing software such as word or google docs, pdf editing software such as Bluebeam and or CAD.
Once you’ve got the software you’ll want to start by opening up a document and listing out all of the topics you’re going to cover. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to do this we’ve prepared a construction plan template for you here.
Some subjects for you to cover in your construction plan inlude:
- Project or Work Summary
- Milestone / High Level Schedule
- Sequence of Work / High Level Description of Site Logistics
- Site Summary
- Construction Site Safety
- Temporary Protection
- Interaction with Public Realm
- Deliveries and Material Handling
- Delivery Management
- Vertical Access Plan
- Lifting and Hoisting
- Garbage Disposal
- Temporary Services
- Gas (if applicable)
Below is a high level description of content that should be included in each one of the sections noted above in your construction plan.
Project Or Work Summary
This section should include a high level description of the construction project. Include a project rendering or picture.
Project Or Work Summary
This section should include a high level walkthrough of the construction project schedule.
Sequence Of Work
Outline the sequence of work for the project. For example Foundations > Superstructure > Roof > Building Envelope > Finishes.
Be specific about the activities in each area and work required.
Address any phasing requirements for the project in this section.
This section is intended for you to dig deeper into describing and outlining the site. Address it in the three sections.
Site Safety: Walk through how the project will be set up, location of safety board and other facilities. Include a drawing of your site safety plan.
Temporary Protection: your construction site will require temporary fencing, include notes about what’s being provided and where.
Public Realm: describe how your project will interact with the public realm and steps taken to seperate work from them. Include drawings of temporary seperations, public and non public areas.
This section is intended to help you understand how your project will handle materials both incoming and outgoing:
Delivery Management – how will you manage deliveries on the project. Where are your receiving and loading areas, gates, etc. Provide a construction drawing.
Vertical Access Plan – if your building is tall you need to plan on gettting material up and down the building. Provide schedules and drawings indicating what is operational and when.
Lifting and Hoisting – if you have a crane outline where and what it is as well as capacity. Map out cranes on a drawing. We suggest putting together a full crane lifting plan.
Garbage Disposal: construction waste is always a problem on construction sites and planning for how you’re going to remove it is important. Show bin locations and who will be responsible for it.
Not having your temporary services in place on a construction site can grind a job to a halt. In this section you’ll write about how you’re going to support the job with the following systems:
- Temporary Electrical Systems
- Temporary Heating Systems
- Temporary Water and Washrooms
- Temporary Gas
Step Three – Assign Sections To Your Project Team
Take the outline list noted above and break it down per section assigning each section to members of your project team.
Don’t randomly assign sections – assign sections based on experience and what that team member may actually be working on. As an example, a coordinator may be best to work on the project administration section. Your site superintendent would be best to handle project logistics, and your junior site staff deliveries.
By assigning sections based on areas of work, you’re creating ownership amongst your team and allowing them to be part of creating the plan.
Step Five – Peer Review
Once you’ve compiled all of the above information into a document it’s time to revisit it with your team, company employees or external vendors. Review each chapter and note comments from each individual.
At this point in time you should also consider bringing in any third party resources you have to review your construction plan. People such as structural engineers, mechanical and electrical engineers, elevator professionals and subtrades can all provide valuable input.
Completing Your Construction Plan
Congratulations, you’ve completed your construction plan, were there any major challenges? Things you weren’t expecting to encounter along the way.
The construction plan process is intended to be collaborative, by working with others you’ll ensure success.
Take a moment to celebrate and know that your project is in better hands than when you started. You’ll want to make sure that the document is readily available for people to reference through the project.
What was your construction plan creation experience like?
4 thoughts on “How To Prepare A Construction Plan”
That’s a good idea to get an estimator to help you know how much you will need to pay for supplies and labor. I would think that would help you budget out enough money for a project. I’ll have to consider getting someone to help me know hope much the electricity will cost if I decide to put an addition on my house.
Having a construction plan beforehand is crucial like with any other effort- and time -requiring work. One main thing to keep in mind when planning a project is who is responsible for what – it is important to differentiate between tasks and schedule them accordingly, as miscommunication in construction is one of the most disruptive things.
I agree with you that people who are planning to have their building or home built must prepare the necessary project rendering and project timelines. You’re also right about the importance of outlining the sequencing of the construction project. Well, if I were them, I would make sure to hire an inspection service that will test the stability of the soil.
Like any other project, it’s important to first create an outline of what you’re planning to do to reach a goal. In construction, it’s very important to follow a guideline of what is expected regarding measurements, materials, cost, and type of material.