How to Prepare Your Building Project for Downtime in December

Buildings covered in snow. The sun is rising in the back.
November 30, 2023

When it comes to building, the work never stops, but certain contingencies need to be included in your winter plans. Enabling operations to continue requires having a design-build team that will take every measure to ensure the work can proceed as smoothly as possible under inclement conditions. Plans should be made early on to heat spaces as needed, safeguard materials, and protect workers to minimize instances of downtime. These plans should take into account:

  • Schedules and Timetables
  • Protective Measures
  • Extra Equipment Rentals

No one can predict the weather during the planning phase of a project, particularly with bigger developments. What clients can do is work with their construction partners to plan for slowdowns and other impacts of cold weather before they happen. A commercial contractor that is customer-focused will make it their duty to convey both the practical and financial implications of winter weather delays so that you’re not caught unaware of what lies ahead.

Protective Measures for Construction in Winter Weather

Large commercial work is unique in that projects tend to move along in any season. Whether your project got off the ground in spring, summer or fall, find out what measures will be taken in anticipation of freezing temperatures. On any sizable projects, there will be many such measures, from protecting the integrity of materials and equipment through smart storage to the use of sheeting and enclosed spaces to ensure the safety of the workers themselves.

Steps can vary depending on what phase of construction you are in. For example, protecting open concrete foundations requires certain prep work in advance of snowfall and additional actions when it arrives. Buffering times can be built into your schedule to offset scheduling changes. Meanwhile, protective measures to anticipate on site may include:

  • Protective coverings for materials
  • Snow removal
  • Heating equipment
  • Hoarding measures
  • Ice melting

Workers Need to Be Protected, Too

A partner with extensive experience in the Midwest will understand what it takes to help prevent exposed structures from accumulating snow and ice. Construction workers are tough and no strangers to inclement weather. However, gusting winds and dangerously low temperatures can bring a commercial project to a temporary halt while indoor work moves forward. Construction managers, architects and planners will work together to protect materials and equipment – and ensure the safety of every worker there.

Take a Collaborative Approach & Solicit Building Details Early On

Clients that take a collaborative approach from the design phase onward will be positioned to manage expectations on their end throughout the development. That can include finding out more about the feasibility of certain aspects of a project, given its timeframe and the possibility of weather delays. Establishing strong relationships with your team members will also help set expectations as to what might be affected by an unexpected weather event. 

Ask about the financial implications of any stalled plans, as well. How is the funding of contractors and subcontractors handled when the unexpected occurs? How is that worked into estimates and overall costs? Understanding the alternatives will help your team prioritize as it pertains to your budget, timeframe and outcome.

Stay in Contact with Partners on Your Next Design-Build Project

Staying in touch with your partners will help you know how to prepare in the coming months on any building project. At W. A. Randolph, Inc., we consider it our job to set realistic expectations, provide detailed assessments regarding potential weather delays, and do everything we can to keep clients in the loop throughout the process. 

Working with W. A. Randolph, Inc. gives clients access to the most qualified and cost-effective specialty subcontractors around, ensuring the best possible finished results. From day one, we help our clients know what to expect if inclement weather occurs and what they can do on their end to prevent downtime. Contact us online or call us to discuss what we can do for you.