ground-up construction

Ground-up construction services in Kansas City

7 Steps in commercial site improvements

By Scott Hamele, DBIA President and founder of Construction DesignWorks, LLC and Nationwide Commercial Inspections, LLC

Commercial ground-up construction services are a multifaceted discipline in which the general contractor must be experienced in the erection of a new building as well as the knowledge of all the intricacies of site improvements. Interior detail, such as commercial sheetrock finish, is the least of concerns for a builder when taking into consideration all the steps to prepare the overall job site, pour the footings and foundation and erect the structure.

The ground-up construction site development (improvements) is designed and created by a civil or team of civil engineers. This is a multidisciplinary endeavor that includes numerous specialties.

Site improvements prior to ground-up construction

Subsequent to site selection, acquisition of the real estate and civil engineering design is where the real work begins. Hundreds and thousands of hours are invested into seven major areas of site improvements, also known as horizontal construction. Horizontal construction, including earth grading and site utilities installation, is done in preparation for going vertical with a new building.

Civil Land Survey

A professional survey that provides benchmarks on-site which contractors use to locate the property boundary, streets, storm sewers, building foundation, utilities, sidewalks, bridges, parking lots and hardscapes.

ground up construction

Erosion Control

Erosion control is the practice of controlling and/or preventing soil erosion due to water and wind. Once the original site is disturbed and the vegetation and roots are removed it leaves soil that is vulnerable to mother nature. Proper erosion control may include monitoring, silt fences, storm inlet protection, hydro-seeding as well as temporary storm water management.
ground-up construction in Kansas City

Earth Excavation

Earth movers begin cutting and filling the entire site to match final elevation and topography in accordance with civil engineering construction documents. Special testing, known as Proctor tests, are required for all foreign material introduced to the job site. This measures the soil composition and moisture content to ensure it is within acceptable tolerances of the design.
ground-up construction in Kansas

Site Utilities

You can’t very well construct a commercial building without installing electricity, potable water and a sanitary sewer. Careful consideration is made when designing and installing the required site utilities to operate a new building. The electrical service needs to be sized, conduit and transformers installed as not to interfere with other site utilities and avoid obstacles such as waterways and bedrock. These same considerations are made with underground sanitary sewers, gas lines, data, potable water and fire sprinkler lines.
site utilities for ground-up construction

Storm Sewer Management

Rain water must go somewhere. Site improvements inherently increase hard surfaces such as the building’s roof, parking lot, sidewalks and streets. These reduce the absorption of storm water into the native soil. Underground storm sewers are typically required and sometimes above ground storm water retention, to properly handle the additional run off.
Kansas City ground-up construction

Road and Parking Lots

The construction of roads and parking lots can be a highly complicated matter. The design considers normal traffic use and worse case scenarios. This helps determine the optimal products, thicknesses and densities to utilize. Freeze-thaw cycles are also critical in the design to meet client expectations of longevity and performance.

Kansas ground-up construction

Final Grading & Landscaping

This step can make or break a ground-up construction project. While all the other steps are critical in the performance of the site the final grading and landscaping is what makes the lasting impression on the guest. A high-quality and detailed installation of hardscapes, decorative water features, sods, seeding, rock, shrubs, trees, flowers, annuals and perennials will be the icing on the cake.

Each site is unlike another and requires different levels of design and site improvements. In most cases they will include at least these seven steps and more if it includes such things as waterways, dams and bridges. In every case, a well-experienced commercial general contractor, quality project management in conjunction with a seasoned civil engineering firm will be able to anticipate the pitfalls and complexities of these ground-up construction improvements.

About Construction DesignWorks, LLC

Construction DesignWorks uses its hands-on approach and design and construction expertise to create and develop a winning design-build team that is specialized for each customer. Their complete turnkey building solutions align with the unique business needs of various types of real estate. Construction DesignWorks, LLC is located at 6657 Woodland Drive in Shawnee, Kansas. If you are looking for more information about interior design-build, call (913) 745-4727 or visit their website


tags: ground up construction process, ground up development