What is fast-track construction?

Written by LetsBuild

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In the construction industry, the creation and design of a building are completed prior to any of the construction work is started.  However, when it comes to fast track construction, some tasks are completed at the same time and it is possible for some of the work to be completed before the design stage is close to being finalized.

Oftentimes, fast track construction allows construction workers to meet their deadlines, but there can be problems that pop up and cause things to go wrong.  In those scenarios, the fast track becomes slower and you can end up behind schedule.  Of course, if you can manage to be successful with fast track construction, you will save quite a bit of time and money.

When you are considering using the fast track method in the construction industry, you must schedule techniques that will work well to lessen the time that you are working on the project.  You should work with architects that are familiar with the fast track process, so you can avoid any of the issues that can pop up with this type of work.  Forgoing the option of working with seasoned fast track architects can result in too many problems to count and that is a surefire way to end up behind schedule quickly.

Two options for fast track construction include implementing prefabricated pods and using measures to create a rock-solid core in high rises.  When the core is being worked on, you must collaborate with consultants to ensure that the work is being completed properly.  Failure to do so can result in lost space and efficiency.

Prefabricated pods can also be useful in fast track construction, but they must be considered carefully.  While you can easily create prefabricated pods, you must remember that these pods must then be lifted into place with a crane.  The time that cranes are in use is always precious and careful planning is necessary to ensure that the pods get put in place at the right time.  One slight mistake will have a pod on the outside and no easy way to get it to where it needs to be.  This can result in you falling even further behind schedule for any project.

Pros of Using Fast Track Construction

While there are many downsides to using fast track construction, there are times when the positive outweighs the negative.

First, there is a ton of backlog that needs to be caught up on, thanks to the economy growing stronger.  All those planned projects of the past have now been moved to the front burner, but the owners want everything finished yesterday.

Of course, there are also many new markets emerging and construction companies are going to want to be first in line to claim as much of the profits as possible.  If you can utilize fast track construction wisely, you can easily conquer many of these projects in no time at all.

The cost of construction is always rising, but fast track construction can help you save money.  This money can be saved mostly in labor costs, because the work will be completed sooner than usual.  Savings can also be found by purchasing materials in advance.  This is especially helpful since material prices seem to be rising almost daily at this point.

Collaboration is key when using the fast track construction method, as is communication.  If you are the type of person that cannot work well with others, then the fast track method is not going to work for you.  However, if you can work well with others, you will find that the continuous stream of information being shared throughout the day is helpful to finalizing every aspect of the project quickly.

Cons of Using Fast Track Construction

As you can probably imagine, there can be plenty of disadvantages to using the fast track method in construction.  While you can save lots of time and money when it is done right, you can lose a bunch of time and money if you do even the slightest thing wrong.

The main issue of using the fast track method is poor quality.  It is common for many mistakes to happen and things can even be left out by accident.  These mistakes can then cause more problems as the next phase of the project begins.  If the quality you are delivering is poor, then the chances of you receiving future work is slim.  Plus, you may not even pass the inspection process for the building you are currently working on, which can result in things needing to be redone and that will put you even further behind.

Planning issues are another concern, because a lot of the planning stage is essentially skipped over once fast track construction begins.  This means that you may find yourself winging it partway through the project.  Change orders are also common when this happens, and those orders can get out of control until you have no idea of what you should be doing anymore.

Multitasking is another issue, because you may stop working on one thing to focus on something else.  However, if you had actually finished the first task before going onto the second, you may actually be further ahead than you really are.

Clients can be completely unrealistic when they hear that you can fast track their project, because they might think that you can have it done a lot sooner.  What they don’t realize is that it still might take as long as you originally projected or even longer due to problems that arise along the way.  The owners oftentimes believe that everything is accurate and ready to go with fast track construction, when in fact, there are many times when changes require approvals that take additional time.

Therefore, it is imperative that you communicate really well with your client, so you are both on the same page when it comes to expectations.  Plus, do not state that you can overdeliver when the chances are that you cannot meet what you promise.

As you can see, the positives of fast track construction can far outweigh the negatives, but you must do it properly if you want to be successful.  Therefore, you must do as much planning as you possibly can, while continuously coordinating and communicating.  You should also make sure that you always have a clear picture of what you can accomplish in a shorter amount of time and what you cannot accomplish.

It is only then that you have the best chance of being successful when you use fast track construction for future projects.