red hard hat on pavement

Construction sequencing is the process in which a construction project is done in phases. Sequencing considers several factors, such as available resources, spatial constraints, the engineering order, and project activities.

Construction sequencing is important, especially when dealing with construction projects that require minimal disruption. It’s important to note that construction sequencing can also be referred to as ‘construction phasing.’

The main advantage of sequencing is that property developers do not have to pay for the entire project upfront. Since the project is done in phases, the developer will only be required to seek financing for the construction work that has been done. The main disadvantage is that it will cost more in the long run.

The main disadvantage of construction phasing

The main disadvantage of construction sequencing is that the project tends to last longer, which consumes more money. Because construction projects are done in phases, the scope of work is more prone to being changed, making the project more complex to implement in the long run. Also, construction phasing results in separate permitting, which increases inefficiencies.  

Ideal applications of construction sequencing

Construction sequencing is suitable where contractors are improving on an existing project or are looking to build a new project with minimal disruption. Areas in which construction phasing applies include the following.

Law enforcement buildings

An excellent example of this is when renovating a Law Enforcement Center. In this case, it’s impractical to displace the entire police force since it will compromise security in the area. Therefore, the best approach for the contractor would be to renovate the structure in phases or set up a temporary dispatch center for first responders.

Building a busy highway

When building on a busy highway that thousands of motorists use daily, it’s impractical to seal it off. Therefore, the contractor must build it in phases to minimize disruption as much as possible. 

To do this, contractors can use construction optioneering platforms such as https://www.alicetechnologies.com/solutions/for-infrastructure. This modern construction software creates several simulations to guide you toward the best strategy for minimal disruption. This platform will also help you make more informed decisions.

Simulations can also be created when working on other projects such as railway lines and tunnels.

Sporting facilities

When building sporting facilities, contractors can create a schedule that makes it possible to build during the low season. This is better as it avoids disrupting major sporting activities. 

Manufacturing facilities

Construction sequencing can also apply to other industries, such as manufacturing. When building a manufacturing facility, contractors can set up a temporary production facility or adapt work shift schedules. This way, construction will only be conducted when possible to avoid disruptions.

What does a construction sequence involve?

A sequence is an order in which a construction project will be conducted. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll assume that we’re constructing a building. The construction sequence for constructing a building is as follows.

Clearing the ground

Once a construction project has been approved, the first stage involves clearing the ground. Construction crews will remove any debris or obstacles that might hinder the project from starting. At this stage, temporary facilities such as storage rooms and offices are set up.

Markings and excavation

After clearing the ground, contractors will set up construction grid lines and markings as stipulated in the drawings. A traditional way of creating the layout is to use batter boards and strings. Once markings are made, contractors will start excavating the site based on recommendations from a soil investigation report. 

Foundation work

After excavating the site, contractors will begin foundation work. In a normal site, the ground will have to be compacted using compactors, with cement added to the site and reinforced steel bars being tied together.

Column casting and wall construction

Once column casting is done, and concrete is poured into the framework, shutters will be removed after twenty-four hours. Once they have cured, walls are constructed using different materials such as precast concrete, brick, or wood.

The next sequence is to do the lintel and place a roof slab. The construction project will then end with plastering work, door fixing, plumbing, electrical works, and interior and exterior finishing.

The importance of construction sequencing

Construction sequencing has several advantages, including:

  • It’s easy to assign costs based on each construction stage.
  • Sequencing acts as a blueprint for the project manager because they’ll know what’s required at every stage. 
  • It helps contractors match available resources with assigned tasks over time.
  • It makes it easy for construction teams to know what’s required of them based on a given time frame. 
  • Sequencing improves site safety because safety precautions can be made at every stage. 
  • Sequencing helps project managers ensure that resources are not overutilized, as they are planned on a need-be basis.
  • It helps project owners avoid delays, as each phase is assigned a start and a completion date.
  • It’s easy to compare the work progress based on a created work schedule.

When creating a construction sequence, you need to build a comprehensive plan by factoring in the success and failures of your competitors. Another thing you need to be mindful of is your team’s work schedule. Therefore, it’s imperative to determine how many hours your team members can work and see if the completion date is achievable.

Another thing you need to do is invest in project management technology to make it easier to share sequencing activities with the team. The right technology should also track productivity to identify unproductive team members. Project managers should replace unproductive team members immediately.