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Every plan and schedule should be reviewed before the project NTP. We hope this list of questions can help trigger better conversations to ensure the plan is complete and that all risks and opportunities are known and become a part of a weekly mitigation and action plan.


General questions:

  • Are there any Owner activities that the contract requires be included in the construction schedule?

  • Does the schedule contain design/GMP/permitting? Have they been broken down appropriately to be trackable?

  • Are bid packages required and if so, are they each tied to separate phased design, permitting, bidding, approvals, contracts, procurement?

  • Is the 90 day startup schedule in there to trigger early items?

  • Most of the time we will begin coordination with exterior, elevators, and long lead early on. We will need the full procurement schedule for glass, metal panels, elevator, and the like entered in so we can track with the trade partner.

  • Are things like historic preservation and remediation in there?

  • Do we know if there are utility re-locates for the project? This is a huge schedule hit. Need to make sure all of those are researched and entered.

  • Have BIM activities been scheduled and vetted by the person assigned?

  • Do we have time for BIM Modeling, and can we start it early?

  • Are there any requirement due to soils, or site conditions?

  • If soils are bad, have remediation activities been Identified and designed? (aggregate Piers, Driven Piers or Drilled Piers)?

  • Will shoring be required? If so, do we have time to design the shoring as procure the materials for the shoring?

  • Are sequence paths separated so we have permitting, coordination, and buyout all connected to the completion of design? Need to check them separately?


Permitting questions:

  • If there is demolition, have we identified the required permits? (Air Quality, or Soils disturbance)?

  • Has and environmental study been performed? If not, has the study time been accounted for in the schedule?

  • Is the Fire Sprinkler or other deferred design (metal joists, elevator, metal buildings, etc.) and City Review accounted for. (TI Sensitive)

  • Have we confirmed the permitting process and duration from the City? Is a permit required? (State and Federal Projects do not require a City Permit) Who is the Permitting Authority? (City, County, Stated, or Federal).

  • Do we know the sequence of permitting. You cannot begin foundations until the salvage and make-ready items are complete… Do we know that our schedule points us to proper closeout for our permits? Meaning, does the grading and drainage permit need to be 100% in order for us to get TCO?

  • Will the project be permitted in Packages?

  • Have the review of Utility Companies been accounted for in the schedule?

  • Has the design time for the utility companies been accounted for in the schedule?

  • Is there hazardous materials at the site, and has the permitting and remediation been accounted for in the schedule?

  • Put in activities for the hoist and tower crane. Especially FAA permits.


Procurement questions:

  • Does procurement and other items take into account division 1 spec requirements? Review times?

  • Early or long lead procurement identified?

  • Are pertinent procurement activities entered in with a buffer activity at the end to absorb delays? (can be called “just in time delivery” or “Just in time leveling”)

  • Have we included mockups?

  • Does the exterior mockup trigger the release of all materials, or is it an assembly mockup, not performance?

  • Will field measurements be required before material is ordered? (Counter Tops, Metal Panels, Glass)

  • Is it appropriate to guarantee openings in order to eliminate long lead times late in the project?

  • Have we accounted for the procurement duration of owner provided items. (can we tell them when they need to order and deliver items the owner will provide?)

  • Is procurement strategically entered, has the PM reviewed and confirmed durations, and is it leveled for the designers?


Construction questions:

  • Ensure the bottlenecks area all crew tied (preferably all trades are crew-tied in the final schedule)

  • Ensure P6 aligns with the takt plan if applicable

  • Are there comeback areas needed for loading platform, trash chute, man/material hoist, and tower crane tie-back removal?

  • Make sure all dry-in ties are correct.

  • Look at the completion of exterior to interiors and ensure there are no come-back areas.

  • Look at staging of elevator on level 1 or basement. Do not plan on building that area right away.

  • Level 1 will always be torn up during construction. Can you go top, down?

  • Have we coordinated the schedule with the steel erector, so we represent the sequence the building will be erected? (the rest of the building will sequence off this plan)

  • For exterior, perform a flow analysis.

  • For concrete, perform an area flow analysis.

  • Have we accounted for the how the building will be scaffolded? (set up times, and how workers will move around the exterior)

  • Schedule primary MEP rooms, chases, roof equipment, and system startup.

  • Do we have when the permanent power will be turned on for the building? (Do we have a Plan?)

  • Suggest to schedule all electrical rooms to go early with mold resistant gyp board.

  • Are all utilities tied in to support the building? Gas, water, domestic, sewer?

  • Is storm drain up and running by the time you get to the roof?

  • Do you need a temporary roof?

  • Are all trades coordinated to match the throughput of the system

  • Does the flow incorporate specialty rooms? (Restrooms, IDF, MDF, Mech, Fire Rise, SES, etc.) Would it make more sense to break up?

  • Analyze position of building in your timeline and look for weather impacts

  • Schedule Air On a month after power at the soonest. Need a good sequence for air on.

  • Need to get IDF rooms going as soon as possible. This will build the network.

  • Structural cabling and IT equipment are typically by Owner. This needs to be detailed out and communicated. This is super important.

  • Is furniture or Owner move-in identified?

  • Build stairs ASAP after structure. (Show in bid schedule so the Steel trade partner can bid it that way)

  • Expedite elevators as much as possible. Steel should go in right away.

  • Prioritize areas with a lot of rooms or work adjacent to the exterior.

  • Detail out site work by phase and in detail.

  • Basements take a long time. Make sure you schedule a basement with enough time and space.

  • Long lead metal panels will always conflict with site work. If it comes from China, and it is specialty, plan for 16-20 weeks.

  • Masonry shafts take time. Build it in the sequence so stairs and other things can start behind.

  • Look for specialty flooring and add durations to the schedule.

  • Look at the RCP and add in time for hard lids.

  • Is there rock on the site that will require remediation (rock breaking, or Blasting)

  • Do we show asphalt paving in cold weather months when the plants will be closed.

  • Is offsite work shown in the schedule?

  • Is there snow melt under the walkways? (Has this been designed?)

  • Avoid large piles of dirt that will sit on the site for long periods of time, this will get in the way of building other elements on the project

  • How are we going to control mud and site access during bad weather?

  • When will the trailer be removed? (Will the trailer need to be moved during construction to allow construction where the trailer was originally placed).

  • Are the SWPPP activities accounted for in the schedule?

  • Have we accounted for haul routes and haul times for to export and import materials?


Site Work questions:

  • If there are pier / piles / deep foundations, has the duration these been verified with a production rate & crew?

  • Do you have access & sufficient area for pier / piles / deep foundations, no starting successor right after piling?

  • Are there access constraints from exterior skin scaffold or equipment that affect sitework?

  • Has sitework been scheduled and tied to the proper completion milestone (final or substantial)

  • If working in cold winter climates, has planting and landscaping been examined vs. seasons (no winter planting in UT and no Summer in AZ)?

  • Is there adequate time for shoring/ earth retention and mass excavation?


Structure questions:

  • Are the ties between deck forming and pours accounted for?

  • If reshoring is necessary, is there a tie between shore removal and its successor?

  • Do we have a deck between Steel Erectors and any workers underneath them

  • Do we have multiple large pours on the same day? (Can we do this with the crews available?)


Exterior questions:

  • If the building is structural steel, the exterior skin should not start on an elevation until fireproofing is moving up ahead of them (overspray nets in the way)

  • If the building is CIP concrete, the exterior skin starts AFTER reshores are removed and coordinated with interior MEP OH RI for access.

  • Is there set-up and take-down time where scaffolding is required?

  • Has exterior skin been scheduled realistically and crew tied? (Does the Exterior Flow from area to area, and have we communicated this flow to the trade partners? We need them to get their material in the order that flows through the project)

  • Has exterior skin considered tower crane, swing stage, scaffolding, lifts, and other constraints?


Interiors questions:

  • Ensure the skin and roof are done enough by the time drywall or insulation (absorptive) starts

  • Ensure exterior skin is in place in time for interior framing and drywall to connect to it. If not, are there comeback areas

  • If the interior has a high ceiling area requiring scaffold “dance platform”, is the top complete before flooring and lower successor activities start (access constraint)?

  • Do the elevator durations look reasonable, have they been vetted with the trade partner?

  • Is the elevator start properly tied to hoist way readiness checklist items (hoist way enclosed 3-sides, roof over hoist way, power, etc.)?

  • Do you have core restrooms or stairs that make sense to break out as a separate WBS from the balance of the floor? (Kitchen, IT rooms, Mechanical/Electrical Rooms)

  • If the decks are structural steel & metal deck, are these being started with MEP RI at least 2 floors below erection area above (safety)

  • If the decks are structural steel & metal deck, is the fireproofing at least one floor below the last placed concrete SOD (allow deflection and “dripping” deck)?

  • If the decks are structural steel & metal deck, is the fireproofing complete in an area before you start OH MEP RI

  • If the decks are CIP concrete, is your MEP OH RI starting AFTER reshores are removed?

  • Are interior sequences in a good flow?

  • Are priority fire rated walls needed in conjunction with MEP OH RI to allow work completed with access to perform firestopping or acoustical stopping? (Top Down Drywall Early Walls)

  • Is there some form of climate control functioning before high end millwork is installed? If not, is there a risk plan to manage?

  • Have we accounted for time for wood products to acclimatize to the building?

  • Have basements been analyzed to make sure the equipment fits?

  • Are there punch list activities for each area, are they crew tied?

  • Have we accounted for above ceiling work before we drop the acoustical ceiling tiles? (Taking the tiles in and out multiple times destroys them).

  • Is there something that can be Prefabricated? (Walls, Piping, Duct, Racking, Duct Banks, ect.)


Commissioning questions:

  • Ensure commissioning is detailed enough at the end of the schedule.

  • Is the path for turning power on built in the schedule?

  • Do we show the path to Air On and is it linked back to finishes?

  • Does it contain the pre-con template commissioning section, and has that been adapted to be project specific?

  • Has the Commissioning schedule been reviewed and coordinated

  • Do we have a path for Water, Sewer, Data, Gas connected?

  • Will there be a commissioning agent? And what are their requirements?

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Meet Jason Schroeder, the driving force behind Elevate Construction IST. As the company’s owner and principal consultant, he’s dedicated to taking construction to new heights. With a wealth of industry experience, he’s crafted the Field Engineer Boot Camp and Superintendent Boot Camp – intensive training programs engineered to cultivate top-tier leaders capable of steering their teams towards success. Jason’s vision? To expand his training initiatives across the nation, empowering construction firms to soar to unprecedented levels of excellence.

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