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What are construction processes?

Construction processes are the set of steps, phases, or stages necessary to erect a building or infrastructure in a certain time period. While every civil works project has its own characteristics and requirements, every construction process poses a few common steps that need to be taken into account and completed at the time of bringing the work to fruition.

Knowing the construction process, as well as understanding each of its phases, allows for decision-making during construction on the site to be as informed and proper as possible, from the very start to the moment it is completed. 

What are the phases of the construction process?

The beginning of a construction process is marked by a project that moves forward according to general bases of initiation, planning, execution, follow-up, and completion. Before these stages is a previous phase: the drafting of the project by the engineers and architects who will participate in the project, and the proposal of plans and the report. 

Generally, before, during, and after carrying out the project, the phases are divided into:

  1. Pre-construction: the conception and planning phase of the project, when ideas are brought up before designing the work. The following is also taken into account:
    • Location of the construction site.
    • Specification of building codes, documents, and regulations.
    • Feasibility study of the project, where the purpose of the work and the possible obstacles that may arise during its execution are evaluated. 
    • Identifying the authorizations, licenses, and legal aspects that need to be completed.
    • Evaluation of the project costs.
  2. Planning: the stage where the terms on which the project will be executed are confirmed, considering factors like front-end, the overall and specific guidelines, cost monitoring, planning and scheduling steps, and integrating security systems.
  3. Resource sourcing: the stage when materials and equipment that will be used throughout the construction are managed. This entails sourcing and quality control among suppliers, evaluating offers, contract management and billing, among others. 
  4. Construction: the phase when work on the project is done, with the planning, permits, and resources established and approved. This phase is further subdivided into others:
    • Closure of public space, that is, the construction space is insulated so that passers-by are not in danger while the work is being carried out. In this phase, the space for the construction site staff is also outfitted with equipment for electrical network services, internet connection, and bathrooms.
    • Leveling the ground to build a solid foundation and bear the weight of loading and building. This stage must also respond to an environmental impact assessment.
    • Lifting the skeleton frame, which includes the structure of the work, be it the frame of a building or the pillars of a bridge. 
    • Installation of auxiliary elements for carrying out the work, such as ventilation ducts, drainage gutters, lighting poles, etc. 
    • Waterproofing and insulation of walls, roofs, or slabs that ensure the durability of the structure.
    • Adding finishes and closures, the last stage of the construction phase that includes both those of visual value and functionality; painting the facade and installing locks and glassware are a few examples. 
  5. Completion and maintenance: the phase when work is completed and a maintenance period is established, providing certain subsequent services such as management and care of facilities, performance improvement programs, etc.

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