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How to Set Up Construction Sites

Updated April 17, 2017

Construction companies and building developers often have to wait years for permission from authorities, and setting up a construction site is the first practical step taken after those long waits. However, the construction set-up should not be rushed, as it includes components that might be crucial for later developments. Decisions about construction set-up usually have to be made by a construction manager who can choose to arrange for the preparation of the site by a professional construction set-up company, or by his own in-house staff.

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  1. Survey the construction site and locate existing utility amenities including water, electricity and possible phone lines. Determine the exact boundaries for fencing with the help of the blueprints given by the architects or engineers involved in the project.

  2. Arrange for a phone line to be installed by ordering a landline from the local telecommunications provider. Uninterrupted construction management depends on faxes for the supply of updated plans and contracts and landline installation can take several days to be facilitated.

  3. Set up fences or boards following the drawings of the architect. Fasten your company posters on the most visible part on the outside of the fence. The poster should give details about the company name and present a phone number for emergencies. Screw your health and safety signs on the fence. Signs outside the fence should include "Construction Work in Progess" and "All Visitors Must Report to Site Office." Signs inside the fence should introduce the site safety regulations, and give specifications about emergency and first aid equipment.

  4. Carry out soil tests on different locations on the site. The tests need to be analysed by an environmental engineer or lab technician. Soil test results can indicate contamination or possible problems with excavations and concrete pouring.

  5. Search the site for underground obstacles such as old wells, excavation shafts, electrical cables and gas or water channels. Cover or fill if necessary.

  6. Demolish derelict buildings and clear the site of all vegetation. Salvage reusable materials including bricks and concrete for resale or later use.

  7. Hire an exterminator to clear the site of rodents. Animals will not only cause a health and safety risk for workers, but can also seriously damage construction material and equipment by gnawing through plastic covers, cables, wiring and wood.

  8. Hire site facilities such as canteen, material storage units, toilets, site office, and changing trailers for the workforce.

  9. Determine security measures and protective devices such as alarms, vehicle tracking systems, manned guarding, CCTV and locks to prevent theft of construction equipment and materials.

  10. Install the site facilities and storage sheds according to the availability of electricity, water, sewage and gas supply. Install alarms and protective devices. Inform management about the set-up of the site.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fencing material
  • Company and Health and Safety signs
  • Hand tools
  • Boards
  • Concrete
  • Heavy plant equipment if trees or buildings have to be removed
  • Skips
  • Construction trailers

About the Author

Petra Turnbull

Based in the U.K., Petra Turnbull has been working as a journalist since 1989. Her articles on the film and book trades have been published in "Screen International," "Dagens Naringsliv," "Film Magasinet" and other Scandinavian newspapers and magazines. She now manages her own book shop. Turnbull holds degrees in law and economics from Goethe University, Germany and Oslo Business School in Norway.

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