What Are the Challenges of Building on Open Land?

May 15, 2024

Everyone loves working and living in buildings with good views and enough surrounding outdoor space to stretch their legs. If you have ever been part of a new construction project on open land, you probably noticed that the successful completion of it can sometimes bring up a range of challenges that must be handled with the proper knowledge and skill set.

Not every issue is unique to building on open land, but the overall experience will be different than your typical downtown construction project or building rehab. A team of experts may be involved in different stages of construction. Your contractor needs to ensure that the designers, engineers, and workers are all on the same page to provide the level of expertise you deserve.

Accessibility Issues

The first thing that could pose a challenge would be the lack of direct access through clear surfaces and entrances. Workers might need to reach the building area on an unpaved road, for instance. In these scenarios, your contractor will work with engineers and operators to figure out the best way for people to navigate around the property.

Checking for Gas, Sewer Lines & Other Ground Preparation

All construction projects require some form of ground clearing and preparation. Before pouring any concrete, you need to know it’s safe to dig. However, where there is more open space, there can be more unexpected elements, as well. That’s why these types of projects may require some extra prep work before groundbreaking commences. Ground preparation could entail:

  • Clearing away trees
  • Removing roots and rocks
  • Handling underground material

The team will need to stake out strategic locations beforehand to deal with all of the materials that will be coming and going from the site. Some of that dug up soil may be used as backfill around the foundation. Utilities and components of a wastewater treatment system could also become part of the plan.

Addressing Possible Safety Issues

On open land – or where space has been left undeveloped for a prolonged period of time – the construction team needs to check for unknown elements that must be addressed. For example, underground gas and sewer lines could pose a danger if they aren’t treated with care. There can be other safety considerations with open space. Even the felling of a tree needs to be carefully considered so it is handled in the safest way possible.

Soil Analysis

With any new development, soil may be tested for a variety of reasons. An experienced design-build construction company will take measures to:

  • Assess the soil health
  • Determine its load-bearing capacity
  • Look for potential contamination
  • Remove obstacles
  • Prepare the ground for construction

It is not uncommon to treat environmental concerns along with other issues that come up, particularly in an urban area where lots have been used in many ways in the past. Underground concrete, storage tanks or contaminated soil may need to be removed before the team can move forward.

Leveling Foundations

Buildings are often constructed on the same foundation as previous structures. On open land, it can be another story. The contractor needs to become familiar with the local terrain to create an appropriate foundation. Laser equipment will be brought in to ensure every aspect of the base is in precise alignment. In the creation of a sturdy, well-built structure on open land, there may also be additional preparations, such as erosion control measures, for this crucial stage to be handled properly.

Making Better Use of Open Space

In locations with higher congestion and less wiggle room, open space can be an enormous asset. There are many ways to make use of it, provided there are also entities willing to support those projects. A developer such as W. A. RANDOLPH, INC. will be highly adept at designing various types of structures that can play a role in these projects. Extra space can be converted into many things that are highly desirable these days:

  • Parking lots and garages
  • Parks and gardens
  • Playgrounds
  • Recreational fields
  • Tenant build-outs
  • Outdoor artwork

W. A. RANDOLPH, INC. Provides Knowledgeable, High-Quality Construction Services

Only a highly experienced and dependable construction company should be trusted with the task of building on open land. At W. A. RANDOLPH, INC., we are committed to producing the highest quality of service to every project we take on. When you partner with our team of experts, you know your project will be conducted in a way that is safe, cost-effective, and follows the highest industry standards.

Contact W. A. RANDOLPH, INC. for a free consultation on your next open-space project.