What’s the definition of a constructability review, and what benefits does it provide for contractors bidding new jobs? While there’s a lot of buzz around the pre-bid process, figuring out the definition of a constructability review, and what it actually includes – and does not include – can be challenging.

Let’s learn more about the definition of a constructability review.

What is a Constructability Review?

What exactly is a constructability review, and when does it take place? Prior to issuing bidding documents, constructability reviews can take place to help correct conflicts and clarify bidding requirements for potential contractors and sub-contractors.

One definition of a constructability review is outlined by Stephen Petee in a comprehensive report on the subject:

“An independent and structured review of construction bid documents by construction professionals to make certain that the work requirements are clear, the documents are coordinated and that they assist the contractor in bidding, construction and project administration to result in reduced impacts to the project.”

During a constructability review, documents including draft plans, technical specifications and the proposed bid schedule are analyzed for potential misunderstandings during and after the bidding process. To learn more and see some of the components included in such a review, check out this checklist from the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Review meeting

What Isn’t Included in a Constructability Review?

While constructability reviews are comprehensive, they don’t cover all the bases when it comes to pre-construction processes. A constructability review is not a peer review or value engineering. Environmental health and safety considerations will not be analyzed during a constructability review. The project life cycle is also not included in a constructability review.

A constructability review is not the same as a biddability review, but overlaps with this type of document. During a constructability review, the bid schedule will be checked against the plans and technical specifications to ensure that the two match up.

Benefits of Constructability Reviews

While there is an upfront cost associated with hiring an independent construction professional, constructability reviews ultimately aim to save ownership time and money by uncovering problems or potential errors, omissions, ambiguities or conflicts that may be encountered during bidding or construction.

Prior to build, after a constructability review takes place, there may be higher quality bids, and limited addenda, clarifications and bid date slippage. During project execution, constructability reviews can help reduce conflicts and ambiguities, which in turn decreases problems on the jobsite and helps keep projects on time and on budget.

While they have many facets, and can be complex, understanding the definition of a constructability review might help your team prepare for and excel at your next development project!