Work in Progress: Building on Winter Time
During cold seasons, a series of measures related to both preserving the construction as well as Health & Security of site workforce are mandatory to be adopted.
As we receive various questions on this topic, here are some answers regarding things that matter most when you plan to build during cold seasons.
Protecting Works Quality
The quality of works needs to be protected, as many of the construction materials cannot be applied under certain temperature limits (for example, metal welding or concrete pouring is not advisable under more than -5 degrees). It is thus very important to check all technical data sheet and to schedule works according to the coming temperatures, as well as to adapt work procedures to the low temperatures.
Also, during cold seasons good temperature conditions need to be ensured for the execution of interior finishes – for example, the closing of the building before the cold season arrival needs to be executed.
Once the cold season is installed, works can be continued locally by supplementing the heat guns or under temporary constructions that protect the works under execution.
The measures to be adopted according to the weather conditions always need advance planning – it is a procedure pertaining to the Site Management Plan. The weather conditions need to be permanently monitored by the Project Management teams and the working procedures need to be thus aligned.
What new construction materials /technologies can be used during winter time?
In the latest years, building technologies have evolved so as to facilitate the execution of some operations during winter time. For concrete (which cannot be typically poured at temperatures below -5 degrees) new winter additives were developed in order to facilitate this operation during winter time.
Also, some materials can now be applied during cold seasons (such as TPO/FPO, PVC membranes). Also there are new technologies for improving foundation earth during cold periods of time.
It is still necessary to consider that all technology involved on winter time will usually imply supplementary costs.
More to consider at building on winter time:
When planning to build during the cold seasons, as we advise our clients, a series of elements that can extend the budget or the execution period need to be considered:
- Foreseeing time schedule delays. Materials transportation on – site can be impacted by unfavorable weather conditions. Various delays or re-schedules are possible due to bad weather. Also, the holidays period also delays productivity of construction sites or the activity of materials manufacturers. Always consider the impact of the Winter Holidays on the schedule of works.
- Foreseeing Cost increases. A considerable impact over a construction budget is the construction materials price index after January 1st, every year. When planning to start a project over a period of two consequent years, always consider this potential impact in your planning stage, in order to mitigate all possible financial risks.