The Proven Benefits of Pre-Construction Efforts

Pre-Construction is a value-add service that a general contractor can provide to offer insight to your project in the project planning phases. But what exactly does that mean?

In Helmkamp’s case, it means we can ensure your expectations are defined and delivered, safeguarding the success of the entire project from beginning to end. We help bridge your goals with the architect’s design through expert constructability reviews, value engineering, and realistic feedback regarding impacts to your project’s schedule and budget.

If you’re still unsure about how this service can potentially benefit you, perhaps it’s helpful to review some proven examples from pre-construction involvement we’ve had on other projects.

Client Example #1: Pre-Construction for Reactor Replacement

  • Background - An industrial client needed to replace two reactors and ancillary equipment to update a production process that had been relatively unchanged since it was first installed in the 1950’s. To accommodate the new equipment, the building had to be modified to accept the new layout and associated loading.
  • Pre-Construction Benefit - Helmkamp was brought on early in the project design where we could provide constructability feedback and field verification. Extensive field verification ensured everything fit-up, and no delays were encountered during the outage due to design discrepancies. Our balance of hands-on experience and use of technology allowed us to catch where the design measurements were off and adjust for a successful installation. The client had a very tight outage window for this project to be completed, which was compounded by the amount of work that had to be performed in a small footprint. Developing an accurate outage schedule was critical to the success of the project. Not only did this ensure the various crafts had access to their areas, but it also helped deliver a safe project.
  • Overall Impact – If the client had waited to bring us in when construction was ready to start, the project schedule would have been delayed, keeping them from being back up and manufacturing products for their customers and impacting their revenue. However, the customer had the foresight to bring us in earlier. As a result, the project was delivered safely, on time, and under budget because of accurate scheduling and mitigation of changes due to extensive field verification.

Client Example #2: Pre-Construction for a College Campus' School of Government

  • Background – For years now, Helmkamp has been an ally to a higher education client helping them make informed decisions regarding what to do with their aging core academic buildings in the center of their campus. Helmkamp served as a partner in analyzing the various implications and requirements of the many different options and eventually, the School of Government was identified as a building to address. Partially based upon their many consultations with Helmkamp, the client decided the scope of work was to demolish the north wing, build a larger addition in its place, and gut/renovate all 3 floors of the south wing as well as make improvements to the exterior shell of the south wing.
  • Pre-Construction Benefit - One challenge during the preconstruction phase was creating temporary workspaces for the staff that would be displaced during the project. Helmkamp performed a series of projects to transform a dormitory building into a transitional office building into which the top leadership and administrative staff of the college would work out of during the demolition and construction of the building. Helmkamp also performed renovations in another building to store archives relocated from the project building during the project. Substantial HVAC upgrades were included in the work at this building and the dormitory in preparation for an anticipated future renovation and addition to those spaces. During the design process, Helmkamp performed several rounds of cost estimating. Between these intermediate cost estimates, Helmkamp was also asked to review the design and suggest alternatives that would save cost so the client could consider implementing these alternatives into the final design. Helmkamp generated a value-engineering list that, if all options had been taken, resulted in a reduction of construction costs by $1,900,000.
  • Overall Impact - Because of the long-standing, trusted relationship we share with the client and our extensive knowledge of their campus, we were able to offer solutions that allowed them to continue to operate, streamline the timing of enhancements in multiple buildings, and offer substantial cost savings.

No matter your industry or project type, there are significant benefits to having your construction team be part of the pre-construction planning. The realization had when seeing how much smoother and efficient a project is and how less of a challenge it put on an organization than anticipated will make a pre-construction believer out of anyone.

If you’d like to discuss pre-construction services that best fit your upcoming project, contact our Director of Pre-Construction, Brian Bechard at (618) 251-7079.