4 Challenges of Construction in Urban Areas

04 March 2020

Urban construction poses unique challenges. Urban areas have greater restrictions than the suburbs due to higher populations, zoning restrictions, and more. Therefore, building in these areas can result in certain difficulties.

Focus specializes in urban construction and tackles these challenges daily. Here we’ll discuss four common challenges of construction in urban areas and how Focus works to handle these challenges day in and day out.

Zoning Restrictions

Land use and development are heavily restricted in urban and suburban areas alike. Since there is only so much land to build on, community members often want to see land put to good use.

Therefore, zoning laws are put in place to regulate land use and development. The purpose of these laws is to divide urban areas into dedicated zones such as industrial, residential, and business zones. Certain restrictions will also be put in place to regulate the purpose and specifications of the building. A few common zoning restrictions include:

  • Size, height, and type of building
  • Number of rooms
  • Utility line location

Community Disruption

Urban areas have high-density populations. Cities such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles are home to millions of people. Throughout construction, developers must be mindful of the community and cause minimal disturbances.

Car, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic must be kept in mind. This means diverting foot, bicycle, and car traffic in a way that causes minimal disturbances.

Also, noise must be kept to a minimum. Drilling and auguring cause less noise and vibrations as opposed to driving piles. You can also set time periods that allow louder activities in a set timeframe. For example, loud noise can be limited to regular working hours (9 am-5 pm), so the surrounding community can enjoy their evenings and sleep without disturbance.

Environmental Impact

Developers must always remember their impact beyond the current project at hand. There’s immense pressure to build environmentally friendly developments in urban areas that generally have a large carbon footprint, making environmental impact one of the most pressing construction challenges in urban areas.

Urban areas will have set requirements for handling site waste, recycling, site cleanliness, emissions, and more. Make sure to check with your city for all environmental regulations.

Utilities Availability

One of the most complicated construction challenges in urban areas is utility access. Relocating utilities to the development is a difficult task. Managing and accommodating utilities can require in-depth design and a comprehensive integration plan.

A construction team must keep utilities access and relocation at the top of their to-do list during the urban construction process.

Focus tackles these challenges of construction in urban areas every day. With years of experience developing in highly populated urban areas, our team is well-versed in constructing around these challenges and more.

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