Last edited 04 Apr 2020

Construction process

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The ‘construction process’ (sometimes called the ‘construction stage’) is the physical processes of building, landscaping or refurbishing plus all the associated activities, such as demolition, site clearance, administration and so on.

Construction works are typically carried out by contractors, although in the housing sector, contractors may be referred to as builders or housebuilders, and contractors may appoint subcontractors and other suppliers to carry out some or all of the works.

The process may start, following a procurement process, with handover of the site from the client to the contractor and end with handing back a completed project to the client. It does not include pre-construction activities such as preparation of the brief, forming a design team or design and so on, although these activities may be carried out at the same time as construction.

The following processes can form part of the construction process:

See Construction works for more information.

In terms of the work stages of the RIBA Plan of Work, the construction process can be said to start at stage 5 and finish at the end of stage 6, as shown below.

The site is generally handed back to the client after certification of practical completion. This followed by a defects liability period, during which any defect that become apparent may be rectified by the contractor. There is some debate about when practical completion can be certified and whether it can be certified where there are very minor (de minimis) items 'not affecting beneficial occupancy' that remain incomplete. For more information see: Practical completion.

The contractor may still be liable for damages, for breach of contract, or for negligence after the defects liability period if latent defects become apparent. See Latent defects for more information.

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