Construction Phases

Construction Phases


  • Vision / Idea – a concept never intended to be built, may be an aesthetic or structural design exercise

  • Proposed – a building concept that is under review by the building owner and by government

  • Approved – a building concept that will be constructed in the near future. If the proposed building is not approved then the proposal may be amended and resubmitted, or it may be deferred or cancelled.

  • Design – the specification of what is to be built in sufficient detail to be used as the basis as a contract between the owner and a contractor

  • Procurement – the selection of the contractor or contractors to carry out the construction. This may be by competitive tendering.

  • Diversions – before construction can start any services on the site which must be kept operational to serve other adjacent sites must be diverted so they run outside the footprint of the new building. This can include drainage, water and gas piped services and power and communication cables.

  • Under-construction – a fully designed building currently being built

  • Ground works – construction work below ground level including the construction of basements and foundations

  • Topped-out – a fully designed building where construction has reached the highest point of the building

  • Fitting out – installation of the decorative, non-structural elements once the building main structure is complete. This includes painting, ceilings, light fittings etc.

  • Commissioning or setting to work – Once the building Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, communications, and building control systems are installed they then need to be tested and adjusted so they deliver the required performance. In modern buildings this can take some time during which little seems to be going on but if this is not done properly then these systems will not deliver their design performance leading to hot and cold spots, spurious alarms, higher energy bills, and systems failing during emergencies

  • Substantial Completion / Beneficial Occupancy – a point when the work is sufficiently complete so that the Owner can occupy (Items noted during inspection ‘punch list’ or ‘snag list’ may still be corrected)

  • Complete/built – a fully designed building that has been fully built, excluding future expansions (punch list items all completed)

  • Building Operation – All those day-to-day activities need to ensure the building can be used. In simple buildings this means little more than cleaning but in more complicated buildings this is a large scale operation employing a large team of staff. If they do their job right then you hardly notice them.

  • Maintenance – works to ensure the building continues to operate in accordance with its design, including replacing elements which are approaching the end of their useful life

  • Repair – replacing building elements which have been damaged or which have failed to restore the building to its as-built state

  • Renovation – modification to the building. This can be minor modifications that are carried out while the building is occupied or major works where only the structural elements are kept and the building is out of use for years

  • Demolition – destruction of the building which may include the salvage of some elements for reuse elsewhere.