What to Expect During Post-Construction

18 November 2019

The construction process does not stop when construction wraps. The phase following construction, post-construction, is a crucial component to the project as a whole. Without the post-construction stage, a building owner will feel overwhelmed and lost with their newly constructed building.

The post-construction stage helps to tie up any loose ends before the building is entirely handed over to the owner and ready for occupancy. This consists of final inspections, training for the building owner, and more. Here we’ll introduce you to this vital component of the construction process so you know what to expect.

What is Post-Construction?

Post-construction consists of all the final processes completed in order to hand the building entirely over to the building owner. This includes completing all punch list items, a final walkthrough, training, and more.

Final Inspections & Walkthrough

Prior to the final inspections and walkthrough, all items on the punch list should be completed. A punch list is a document that defines all contract specified items that need immediate attention before completion of payment to the contractor.

When construction is fully complete, the team, including the GC and the architect, will do a final walkthrough of the building to guarantee all specifications are completed and the building is functional. Only then will the architect sign a Certificate of Substantial Completion. Once it is confirmed that the building complies with all local permits and regulations, the local government will issue a Certificate of Occupancy, which details that the building is ready for occupancy.

Handoff & Turnover to Owner

There is no hard stop within the construction process. Therefore, there is a substantial period of time that allows for proper handoff and turnover to the building owner. This assures that the owner is comfortable operating every facet of the newly constructed building.

A General Contractor should always offer continued support when handing over the building to the client. This support will consist of an ongoing dialogue and assistance between the GC and the client. In addition to this, the GC will need to handover the blueprints and operation manuals so the owner can understand all intricacies of the building. The GC will also offer training on building operations.

Within the turnover phase, the GC and client will develop a plan for continuity of expansion or other build-outs that are necessary. With future build-outs, it’s crucial to provide a continuity plan, so the building as a whole is operational. This plan will ensure that all build-outs align with the original building design.

Seasonal Testing & Final Review

Most likely, your construction did not run through all four seasons. Therefore, it’s necessary to revisit your building and test to make sure the building performs up to standards in every season. For example, you will need to test HVAC systems every season, so you will need to revisit the system to check heat performance in winter as well as air conditioning in the summer.

The last step within the post-construction stage is a final review. One year after the building opens to occupants, it’s custom for a final review to take place. A final review consists of tests that ensure the building is still performing up to standards. Here, the contractor will also address any concerns the client has.

Overall, post-construction assures that the building owner is fully prepared to take over operation of the building. It should be a collaboration between the building owner, contractor, and architect. It’s a crucial piece to long-term success.

Focus is a long-time believer in a well-rounded construction process, which includes a significant emphasis on post-construction. We believe that maximum success cannot be achieved until the final two percent of the project is complete. Our open-door post-construction policy assures precisely this.

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