Fast track construction is becoming more commonplace, especially in industries such as retail, healthcare and telecommunications. The shift away from traditional building methods entails involving the general contractor in a project before designs are finalized, and thus considerably condensing the construction timeline. While there are daunting challenges that must be met to execute this correctly and it’s not without risk, there are several benefits of this construction approach.
1. Less Overhead for Financing Equipment or Personnel
Especially relevant for healthcare facilities, the need to procure and finance equipment well in advance is not so necessary in fast track construction. Since final design documents will be released late, major medical equipment can be selected and purchased at a later time. Not only does financing for a shorter period save owners money, but it allows healthcare facilities to invest in more up-to-date equipment.
2. Quicker Path to Revenue or Engaging a Market Base
The most obvious benefit of fast track construction is the ability to achieve revenue faster and also reach a target market quickly. For telecommunications and the technology industry, this can mean getting a disruptive product or service out before the competition can adequately respond. For healthcare facilities, this means receiving patients faster and leveraging the speed of construction to compete for the most highly qualified medical staff possible.
3. Facility Design is Adaptable
A delayed design phase has its disadvantages. A lack or breakage of communication can lead to compromises in quality or subcontractors claiming that tasks are out of scope from their original agreements. Things can change from loose initial concepts, and this requires contractors to stay on their toes.
For owners, however, delayed design allows for a malleable design. If changes need to be made during the course of a project, they can be (within reason). Traditional construction requires that a design be finalized before a project begins. The fast track method allows more fruitful on-the-spot collaboration between the owner and the designer.
4. Cut Construction Costs
One of the largest facilitators for its popularity, fast track construction can save owners considerable money. Overhead costs for employed construction personnel and financed equipment are paid over a shorter period of time. The more condensed the construction timeline, the more potential cost savings can be accrued.
Rapid-drying Concrete and Fast Track Construction
Rapid-drying concrete has applications in both traditional construction and fast-track construction. Concrete, however, is the most volatile construction material since conventional products do not have a set “ready date.” Environmental factors, water-to-cement ratios, facility conditions and the concrete mix itself all contribute to varying drying times. Rapid-drying concrete gives owners and contractors an ability to see concrete slabs reach target dryness within 45 days. For fast track projects, this is a major benefit to condensing construction schedules.