Construction Closeout: the 7 Steps to success
Construction Closeout is the phase of completion and closure of a project. Let’s see the various steps to manage the successful completion of a project and the final transfer of assets to the client in the best possible manner.
Starting a project has always been considered an easy thing:
- objectives are defined;
- plans, programmes and projects are outlined;
- the execution of works is carried out and completed.
Have you ever wondered, however, how a project actually starts and ends?
This phase is always viewed with concern and a certain level of anxiety by all technicians, due to the large number of documents that need to be produced together with quality validation procedures and checks.
But the problem can be easily solved by:
- storing all documents in a secure BIM Management System that permanently removes the possibility of important documentation being lost;
- following the different aspects covered in this article that will surely help you easily develop a correct construction closeout process.
What is a Construction Closeout?
A Construction Closeout is the final phase of the construction process and is often considered the most difficult as it generally causes the greatest number of delays.
This phase coincides with the completion of the physical construction, before the actual delivery of the work to the client.
It is a process for which many aspects need to be taken into account for coordination:
- equipment rental;
- temporary utilities;
- waste management;
- cleaning of areas;
- delivery of the area to the owner;
- collection and delivery of documentation to the client.
The purpose of the construction closeout is to ensure that:
- all works have been completed according to the program;
- all project management processes have been executed;
- all approvals for carried out works has been obtained.
What are the procedures for closing the construction process?
The correct procedures to follow in order to complete the construction closure can be summarised in 7 steps:
- Collection of all necessary documentation;
- Verification of compliance with the technical specifications;
- Delivery to the client;
- Verify customer satisfaction;
- Closure of any peding contracts;
- Preparation of the project closure report;
- Archiving with results analysis.
Collection of the necessary documentation
During the execution of a project, a large amount of documentation is generated: certificates, approval, testing, quality and risk reports or even records, estimates, orders or invoices.
You must have all the necessary documents ready before works can be closed.
In this sense, it is useful to collect documents in a BIM Collaboration Platform, a single shared cloud environment in which to manage everything.
Verification of compliance with the technical specifications
It is advisable to check that all the systems and construction characteristics are consistent with the project and according to the client’s requests.
Having created a BIM information model allows you to speed up this phase, because a digital twin enables you to simplify control phases for each of the various construction elements automatcally.
Delivery to the client
Once the verification process is completed, all that remains is to deliver to the customer.
If all work phases have been followed faithfully, customer expectations will be met and delivery will be completed seamlessly. On the other hand, should there be any quality or administrative issues, you’ll almost certainly end up having to provide explanations regarding changes.
Customer Satisfaction Check
It is very important to have feedback from the customer and above all their approval, which is almost always necessary for a real closure of the project.
To improve future work, it may be useful to create a feedback survey to analyse and build on the results obtained.
Closure of pending contracts
The customer’s approval gives the possibility to close all contracts still open, proceeding with final payments in favour of contractors and suppliers.
Preparation of the works closure report
The works closure report represents the final document to be drawn up and is used to evaluate the level of success of the project, identify positive aspects, any problems and formally close the entire process.
The report should summarise the project, its objectives and achievements.
Analysis of results
As with any project, it’s always important to gather as much info as possible in consideration of a continuous improvement process. For instance, an internal survey approach could be useful to answer a few questions:
- Which organisational aspects turned out to work well?
- What didn’t work?
- Have workforce resources always been adequate?
- Which critical aspects were unexpected?
- Which areas require improvements?
After which, the project can be considered as closed and all documents and data archived.
What should be included in the closure of a project?
To ensure that the objectives are achieved and the tasks are completed, it may be useful to create a Project Closeout Checklist, a specific checklist, which ensures that the 7 previous steps are achieved and the work is completely closed.
Take a look at this checklist template and then adapt it to your professional needs.
What are the typical errors in closure management?
The process of closing a construction site can be altered and delayed by the occurrence of a number of problems:
- lack of economic and human resources increasing labor workload;
- production of incomplete documentation;
- loss of project documentation;
- excessive number of project variables;
- lack of adequate communication flows between the parties involved.
To solve these problems it is necessary to optimize the workflow: closure is a phase that can be prepared from the day one, planning and organizing all the necessary activities and performance throughout the entire project duration.
Using centralized management systems, such as a BIM Management System, prevents the loss of important documentation, while the use of graphical content such as diagrams or time schedules facilitates the work analysis phases and avoids occurrence of obstacles or overlaps.
Of course, variables are often unavoidable, but they can be easily predicted and controlled, especially with the help of order management software, with which to plan, organize and manage all activities.