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Pre-Construction Phase and the Bid Process
The Pre-Construction phase is started after approval of construction budget. The construction budget includes labor, material, contractors, construction administration, miscellaneous construction items and contingencies.
When construction documents are complete the project is ready to "put out for bid". This phase includes procurement of labor, materials and finalization of budget. The bid process is the industry standardized method of selecting and hiring contractors and other professional services. Qualified construction companies and contractors are provided with bid documents, which they use to determine the costs and prices for their bid package. The bid submissions are reviewed and accepted based on completeness of the bid package, compliance with the terms in the bid documents, construction suitability and the bid cost.
After all bids are received and reviewed, it is sometimes the case that all the submitted bid costs exceed the authorized project budget. For construction to proceed, either the project budget must be increased or changes made to the scope or quality of the project.
The Construction Phase is concerned with the following:
- Monitoring of the project by all Western Michigan University facilities management staff.
- Continuation of preparation and documentation by all professional service contractors.
- Changes to drawings or specifications.
- Periodic reviews.
- In-house reviews check the accuracy and quality of work and test the equipment.
- Building and equipment commissioning is an on-going process that tests whether the the building systems are programmed and working as designed.
- Other reviews are conducted by official entities such as the state fire marshal.
The construction phase completes the building and the scope of the project. The WMU facilities management staff—including project architects, project engineers, interior designers and construction administrators—monitor and manage the project during the Construction Phase. Typically there is a contract with a construction manager or a construction contractor who manages the project, schedules the work and hires and schedules the sub-contractors.
The project's architecture or engineering firm or other professional service contractor continues to prepare and document all design issues, changes and specifications, then verifies that the construction documents are being followed. Typically throughout the Construction Phase situations arise that require changes or refinements to the drawing or specifications. These unforeseen changes are documented in "bulletins", "submittals", "change orders" or "shop drawings", and are added to the Construction Documents. These changes, if they require a change in budget, will be accounted for by one of the contingencies. If contingencies are exhausted, the budget needs to be adjusted.
Occupancy of a building can occur only when the project is complete enough for the fire marshal to issue a certificate of occupancy. At the time of final or Substantial Completion, a variety of documents are produced or obtained that complete the construction documents. These include "as-builts", "record drawings", "markups", "closeouts", maintenance and operation manuals, permits, warranties and other documents necessary to occupy and maintain the facility.
Towards the end of construction, the University's project staff will assemble a "punch list", or a list of items that need to be corrected or completed. Once the work is complete enough to allow satisfactory operation of the building, the project becomes "substantially complete". This may occur even if some work remains to be done.
Planning to move the users and building occupants into the completed building takes place during the Construction Phase, if not earlier. The sequence of moves is set in advance and all room contents and movable equipment are boxed and labeled. The move can proceed after the certificate of occupancy is issued by the state fire marshal.