What Is Ground-Up Construction?

When you start construction from a blank canvas, your company has 100% control over the details. 

Called ground-up construction, this option lets you achieve the perfect purpose-fit for your building according to your vision and business requirements. Let’s go over ground-ups in-depth, so you have a complete understanding of their construction stages, benefits and more.

Interested in exploring WBE’s successful track record in ground-up construction? Learn more on our Ground-Ups page! 

As the name suggests, ground-up construction involves constructing a building from scratch, starting with an undeveloped parcel of land. Since there’s no existing structure in place, ground-ups require end-to-end construction of a new building (foundations, walls/floors/roofs, utility connections, etc.). For this reason, they’re typically more expensive projects. 

3 Key Stages of Ground-Up Construction

1. Pre-Construction

Before breaking ground, your company must complete research and define the main elements of the project. In this stage, your team must pin down the building’s purpose, design and challenges. Key tasks include:

  • Planning via the IPD method
  • Designing and modeling 
  • Obtaining local permits and understanding building codes, community bylaws, etc.
  • Completing surveys, market studies, environmental assessments, etc.
  • Sourcing raw materials
  • Finalizing the construction timeline and financing

2. Construction

Once all the planning has been approved by company stakeholders, it’s time to begin construction. During this stage, the building of the structure will get underway, including tasks such as:

  • Setting up site access, material delivery, workflow, etc.
  • Constructing in phases (including excavation, foundation, framing, roofing, walls/floors, insulation, utility connections, etc.)
  • Integrating Instrumentation & Controls
  • Kicking off marketing and pre-leasing strategies, if applicable

3. Post-Construction

Now that you’ve wrapped up all construction phases, you must focus on operations tasks. As the building comes to life with occupants, you want to ensure a great user experience by:

  • Conducting extensive testing and quality control
  • Setting up a robust property management team
  • Performing ongoing maintenance 
  • Continuing marketing and leasing strategies, if applicable

The Benefits of Ground-Up Construction

There’s a lot that goes into building a successful ground-up, but the effort can truly pay off. While it can be more expensive than other types of construction, your company can leverage a wealth of benefits. 

1. Full Control to Realize Your Vision 

When you build a ground-up, you retain 360° control of the project. Instead of getting boxed into existing structures, you can create a purpose-fit design for your building and fulfill all your key requirements from the get-go. 

2. Forgo Risks of Legacy Structures and Materials

Renovating an older building may have some serious risks, such as structural damage, permit complications, etc. Constructing from scratch means you don’t have to take on unknown risks with the materials and integrity of your building. 

3. Define Your Own Flexible Timeline 

With unlimited flexibility, you can set your own timeline for completing work and even have future phases in mind for expansion projects. It’s all up to you!

Main Differences of Ground-Up Construction vs. Renovation

Though ground-up construction is a top choice to construct a building that meets all your business goals, renovation is another possibility. Renovation means improving or expanding an existing building or site. Key structural elements are already in place, so construction entails reforming areas to fit your vision.

The greatest difference is the limited flexibility, as you have to work around what’s already there. This may also impact certain project goals, as you may not have the ability to transform or expand depending on the structure. That said, renovation projects are generally more affordable and may give your business access to exclusive locations that otherwise aren’t on the market.

Our WBE Ground-Up Case Study

At WBE, our specialists have extensive experience in completing ground-up projects. Recently, we finished a complex, 83,000+ square foot Biotech facility from the ground up.  Our turnkey solution involved end-to-end construction that leveraged our expertise in Electrical, Telecoms, Security and more. Not only is the building beautifully designed, but its labs are purpose-fit for immunotherapy research. We’re proud of our industry-leading approach to ground-up construction that harnesses five-star teams and latest technologies for maximum outcomes. 

Choose WBE for Your Next Ground-Up Project

At WBE, we specialize in a wide range of construction projects, including ground-ups, renovations and more. With 40+ years of expertise in the Bay Area, our WBE teams are ready to bring your construction vision to life – no matter how ambitious the size and scope. 

To achieve spectacular end-to-end ground-up construction projects, we leverage industry-best practices, sterling relationships with vendors, and a seasoned team of experts. Reach out to WBE today to start discussing your next ground-up project!