Commercial Building Construction – The Three Phases

Commercial building construction can be broken down into three major phases. Each phase requires its own set of skills and expertise to succeed.

The design phase entails detailed drawings and schematics along with the expertise of several engineers to verify structural integrity and code compliance. The procurement phase also takes place in this phase, ensuring that the cost of materials and services is within projected budgets. Click to learn more.


Site preparation in commercial building construction is a crucial process that involves several different fields and areas of expertise. This includes things like land surveying, demolition, earthwork, and more. Each of these is important for preparing the building site and ensuring everything is ready to go when construction starts.

The first step in site preparation is evaluating the site. This is a lot more involved than simply walking around and looking at the land. A number of things need to be taken into account, including the strength of the soil, potential problems with underground utilities, and more. The results of this evaluation will be used to create a site plan, which is a map that shows where everything will go on the property.

This map will include the location of all structures, utility placements, parking spaces, and more. It will also indicate any natural obstructions that need to be removed or otherwise dealt with. In addition, the site plan will help identify any zoning or building code hurdles that may need to be cleared before construction can start.

Once the site plan is complete, it will need to be approved by the zoning and building departments. Depending on the area, this could mean additional permits or inspections. Once it is approved, work can begin on the actual site.

During this phase, the land will be cleared of all existing buildings, trees, and other obstructions. It will also be graded and compacted to prepare it for construction. This will ensure that the soil is strong enough to support the structure going up and can withstand any rainstorms during construction. Installing drainage systems to prevent flooding and other problems is also a good idea. This is typically done by a professional landscaping company, but some building companies also do it themselves. In addition, it is a good idea to test the soil for permeability, allowing water to flow through the ground without collecting. This will reduce the time and money needed to spend on retaining walls and other waterproofing measures.

During this phase, the architect begins developing the building design. They work with the client to establish a vision and determine how the spaces will be used. They also started to create a budget and timeline for the project.

In some cases, the architect will be a part of a team that also includes engineers and contractors. This will help ensure that the building is built to last and complies with all applicable regulations and standards.

Site planning is an important step in commercial building construction that helps ensure the space is well-suited for its intended purposes. This involves determining how much parking and traffic are expected to be on the site and any other infrastructure needs like access roads and utilities. It is also important to consider what the impact of the proposed building will be on the surrounding environment.

Once the site has been planned, it is time to begin laying out the foundation of the building. This is typically done by creating a poured-out concrete slab and erecting the structural frame. The framing will house the interior walls and electrical and plumbing systems. It is crucial that the team stays within the approved budget during this phase.

The schematic design stage is when the concepts laid out in the pre-design phase are translated into detailed drawings. This is an important step because it gives the architect a clear idea of the final result. It is also a good opportunity to get feedback from the client and address any concerns that may have come up during the pre-design stage.

During the design development stage, the architect will start working on detailed technical drawings and engineering, including details for heating, air conditioning, ventilation systems, electrical, plumbing, gas calculations, and energy calculations. They will also create multiple drawing sets, including a filing set to submit to the building department and a Construction Documents set for the contractor.

This is one of the largest phases of work for the architect and usually represents around 40% of their total fee. They will also perform a cost estimate to submit to the client for approval.

The construction phase is where the actual building of a commercial structure takes place. Depending on whether this is new construction or a remodel, this stage can take anywhere from a few months to several years. During this time, the poured foundation for the building will be laid, then the framing will be built up. Roofing and siding will then be put on, along with the internal walls for plumbing and HVAC. Interior and exterior finishes will then be installed, and landscaping may also be included.

Several important decisions will be made during this phase, such as which materials and equipment to use. Engineers will also be involved in this phase, as they will help to determine what is required for the project and give cost estimates. The final working drawings for the commercial building will be created during this time as well.

Once the construction phase has begun, it is vital that everyone works together. This will ensure that the building is constructed in a timely manner and that all the steps of the process are followed. The project manager and architect will oversee the construction process to ensure everything is done correctly. They will also work to establish a schedule and budget that fits the construction site’s needs.

One of the most common issues that occur during this phase is poor scheduling. This is because different teams of contractors need to finish their work before other people can start working. This can cause delays and result in budget overruns.

Other common problems that arise during this phase include a need for more communication between the contractors and the architects, and poor project management. These issues can cause a great deal of stress and tension. However, these problems can be avoided if you choose to partner with a reputable contractor that specializes in commercial construction. They can offer innovative solutions that will speed up the entire process and help you to avoid costly mistakes. They will also have experience in working with various construction projects and can provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your project is being handled properly.

After construction begins on a new commercial building, it’s important that the site and all of its components are inspected. This ensures that the work performed matches the plans submitted with the building permit application. Depending on the scope of the project, this may involve checking the foundation, plumbing, electrical and more. It’s important that these systems are up to code to avoid any future issues that could compromise the safety of occupants or the property’s value.

A certified building inspector typically conducts inspections regarding new commercial buildings. These individuals are trained to assess various factors to assure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. Inspectors often have specialized training in areas like fire safety and structural integrity. They also receive regular continuing education to stay updated on local code changes and regulatory requirements.

Inspecting existing buildings to keep up with changing standards and codes is just as crucial. In fact, many cities require that inspections be conducted periodically on all existing buildings in their jurisdiction to ensure that they are up to code. In addition to looking at a variety of factors, including fire safety risks, walls, kitchen facilities and more, these inspections usually include a review of maintenance logs and any other documentation that might be relevant to the structure.

One of the most important inspections for commercial buildings is those conducted under the auspices of Local Law 11. This mandate requires inspecting any exterior walls on buildings taller than six stories every five years to guarantee their safety and integrity. If the inspection results in any problems, these must be corrected within a specified timeframe and detailed in a Critical Examination Report filed with DOB.

The benefits of regular commercial building inspections are clear. Not only do they help ensure that the construction work being done matches the original plans that were submitted with the building permit application, but they also provide valuable information that can be used to address any potential issues early on. This helps to prevent costly mistakes down the road and ultimately improves the overall efficiency of a construction project.