Blog Posts

Erland / Value of Preconstruction

Authored by Scott Bates, VP, Strategy & Development

Erland’s preconstruction services provide a holistic overview—focusing on a project’s building method, its logistical requirements, projected completion date, and a clear picture of its final outcome based on an owner’s expectations. This well-conducted planning phase can guarantee that every detail is accounted for over the lifespan of a project. Erland’s early involvement adds value. Our cost history, feasibility, construction methods and materials, subcontractor input, and construction experience provide clients a solid foundation to make informed decisions from the very start. Our process sets the stage for a successful build.

We manage the overall preconstruction process by tracking performance and holding team members accountable. Our estimating, purchasing, coordination, and project management teams, led by Erland’s Director of Preconstruction and the project’s Group Manager, work together to guide stakeholders in defining a project’s scope, schedule, and cost. We better serve the interests of the project through this collaborative approach and hands-on partnership with stakeholders, designers, and construction teams.

Analyzing the Project
Working independently or collaborating with the design team, and in some cases the stakeholders, we begin by developing feasibility studies and constructability analyses based on the project scope, program requirements, site constraints, and available budget. The depth of those activities varies based on the stage of the project when it is presented to Erland–the earlier the deeper. We review, discuss, and make recommendations about the systems and components being considered for the project.

Subcontractor input is considered during this analysis. Recommendations, along with their cost impacts, are solicited from subcontractors at every stage of the project. Suggestions are evaluated and, if appropriate, presented with Erland’s recommendation for action. Often this approach results in either improved quality at the same price or equal quality at a cost savings.

Utilizing Invaluable Team Relationships
The success of any build depends upon many different stakeholders coming together in order to complete a project. Preconstruction provides a space for these different team members—architects, engineers, and subcontractor partners—to share their unique perspectives, express any field-related concerns, and collaborate. Subcontractors who are familiar with the jobsite, for instance, can provide boots-on-the-ground workflow communication to the architects and engineers. This dialogue allows a full complement of team members to point out nuances that might otherwise go unnoticed. As a result, our team can avoid potential issues and ensure that the project is completed safely and on time.

Developing the Budget
Erland has an enviable track record for developing accurate and reliable conceptual estimates – numbers that hold true through the final GMP value and are reflected in the actual construction costs. We have managed more than $3 billion in GMP contracts and our final costs are always on target.

Erland produces highly detailed trade estimates at SD, DD and CD-GMP which are used to verify the project’s value as well as to act as our main scope review element during the trade bid process. With this thorough approach, stakeholders receive the value-added benefit of budget validation in conjunction with trade coordinated scope confirmation. Our GMP deliverable is an extension of this estimating process and includes a detailed list of all line-item pricing and subcontractor proposals developed in collaborative open-book environment.

Design Review & Coordination
Having our construction operations personnel involved during preconstruction is critical to the coordination success of a project. It allows them to thoroughly investigate the details ahead of time for a seamless construction process. Review of the design documents is performed on all disciplines by Erland’s preconstruction, project management, and field personnel at each milestone stage of development. The analysis of materials and installation of assembled components is vital to improve coordination between Erland, the design team, and the project’s stakeholders; it limits addenda and changes, while ensuring maximum building component cost and schedule efficiencies. The analysis also improves coordination between the trades to ensure maximum efficiency of project labor. 

Simply put, our role in preconstruction is to offer a path that allows our clients to accomplish their goals while remaining on budget. As preconstruction experts, we are attuned to market conditions and are able to provide a holistic overview of the project. From budget to sequencing, we can guide decision-making from design to start of construction. And at the end of the day, that is our goal – to keep our clients informed and help them achieve success, whatever their definition may be.

For any questions regarding this topic, please contact Scott Bates at