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Constructability (or buildability) is a project management technique to review construction processes from start to finish during pre-construction phase. It is to identify obstacles before a project is actually built to reduce or prevent errors, delays, and cost overruns.[1] CII defines constructability as “the optimal use of construction knowledge and experience in planning, design, procurement, and field operations to achieve overall project objectives”.[2]

The term "constructability" defines the ease and efficiency with which structures can be built. The more constructible a structure is, the more economical it will be.[3] Constructability is in part a reflection of the quality of the design documents; that is, if the design documents are difficult to understand and interpret, the project will be difficult to build.[4]

The term refers to:

  • the extent to which the design of the building facilitates ease of construction, subject to the overall requirements for the completed building (CIRIA [5] definition).[6]
  • the effective and timely integration of construction knowledge into the conceptual planning, design, construction, and field operations of a project to achieve the overall project objectives in the best possible time and accuracy at the most cost-effective levels (CII definition).[7]
  • the integration of construction knowledge in the project delivery process and balancing the various project and environmental constraints to achieve the project goals and building performance at the optimal level.(CIIA[8] definition).[9]


There are 12 principles of constructability which are mapped on to the procurement process:[9]

  1. Integration
  2. Construction knowledge
  3. Team skills
  4. Corporate objectives
  5. Available resources
  6. External factors
  7. Programme
  8. Construction methodology
  9. Accessibility
  10. Specifications
  11. Construction innovation
  12. Feedback


  1. ^ The Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand Incorporated (IPENZ). Constructability. Archived 2011-10-18 at the Wayback Machine Practice Note 13. April, 2008.
  2. ^ Construction Industry Institute (1986). Constructability: A Primer. Research Summary 3-1.
  3. ^ Schwinger, Clifford W. (March 2011). "Tips for Designing Constructable Steel-Framed Buildings" (PDF). Modern Steel Construction. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Gambatese, John A.; Hinze, Jimmie; Behm, Michael (May 2005). "Investigation of the Viability of Designing for Safety" (PDF). CPWR - The Center to Protect Workers' Rights. p. 5. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  5. ^ Construction Industry Research and Information Association
  6. ^ McGeorge, Palmer & Kerry London. Construction management: new directions, 2nd ed. Blackwell Science, 2002, p. 54.
  7. ^ Construction Industry Institute (CII), based at The University of Texas at Austin. CII Best Practices: Constructability
  8. ^ Construction Industry Institute, Australia.
  9. ^ a b Singh, Amarjit (2001). Creative Systems in Structural and Construction Engineering. Balkema. pp. 96, 97. ISBN 9058091619.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hinze, Jimmie (2001). Construction Contracts. McGraw-Hill Higher Education. p. 121. ISBN 9780072551693.