Early Release - An Opportunity to Ensure Schedule

June 30, 2021
Early Release - An Opportunity to Ensure Schedule

An Opportunity to Ensure Schedule

Due to ever-shrinking construction schedules, it is essential to the success of a fast-track project to identify any equipment that is on the critical path during the preconstruction phase. In addition, established working relationships with local vendors provide the opportunity to obtain competitive pricing from multiple manufacturers quickly.  

On a project for a billion-dollar company that supplies products for the healthcare and life sciences industries, Columbia identified several pieces of critical equipment, including process boilers, chillers, vessels, and piping, that required early release to meet the aggressive construction schedule. Key stats include:

  • One year between project kick-off and project completion and turnover for validation
  • Four months between 30% and 100% Construction Documents being issued
  • 75% of large equipment released five months before design completed  
  • 38 weeks were saved on the project schedule

Key Factors

Key factors required for successfully early releasing equipment:

  • Working with the design team to obtain specifications for the equipment
  • Generating a bid comparison spreadsheet leveling the bidders and confirming that the required performance and features are met
  • Presenting the results to the design team and owner to enable confident choices
  • Releasing the vendor to start submittals before the trade subcontracts being awarded
  • Engaging the design team to review and approve all equipment before release for fabrication

Early release also allows for prefabrication of piping, conduit, and ductwork. Rather than utilizing the design drawings during coordination, the approved equipment submittals are used and result in a higher degree of accuracy. In addition, the equipment can be inspected at the factory, allowing measurements to be taken to confirm accessibility and confirming dimensions for dunnage and housekeeping pads.

On projects where the client needs space turned over as soon as possible, having the expertise to determine if early release of critical path equipment will be required is a necessity.