Construction is a funny and fickle business.  Decisions are made, then changed, then re-made, etc all for various reasons.  Funding issues, remodeling in an ongoing, functioning workspace, upsizing/downsizing and more.  These issues create tremendous challenges for project owners, construction managers and project managers.

What is construction phasing?  As the name implies, phasing a construction project, regardless of issue consists of breaking it down into “bite-sized” chunks and treating each “bite” as a separate project. With an experienced project manager, this can be done quite easily and is treated as a normal construction schedule.  During any construction project there will be times where large chunks of the work is completed and areas need to be closed and times where small sets are completed without impact to worker productivity, in the case of a working environment. 

How is this done? Assuming the project is a remodel or renovation to an existing space, any good commercial interior contractor, when phasing a construction project, will break it down either by work category, or by sectioning of the overall project. Phasing by work category means that every part of a particular class of work (MEP, Carpentry/Drywall/Painting, Flooring/Finishes, etc) will be done in separate phases according to groupings of work class for the whole project. Sectioning the project means dividing the project into geographic areas within the total space to renovated/remodeled, and then constructing each as a completely separate project.

Sectioning works extremely well for commercial projects, such as remodeling a large office complex. The overall project can be broken into several sections, and deals with issues such as temporary spacing for employees so as to minimize impact to the whole organization.   

Phasing by work category is used when sectioning is not an option due to engineering and design demands, yet there is still a need to minimize impact to workers. This often times takes into account the need to work overtime, shift or weekend work.

Regardless of phasing type, it is best to take an holistic team approach to the project and bring in the entire A/E/C team early on to ensure the end-user experience is priority #1.  After all, if it costs the end-user lost productivity, disgruntled and displaced employees AND the cost of construction, nobody wins.