This article is intended to provide you with the perspective on the process to build a new commercial office building from the ground up in Tampa, FL. The project below was a material testing lab at the Port of Tampa. The smaller building made it easier to document the construction sequencing, so it was a good choice for this article. The building size was roughly 625 SF and took approximately 3 months to complete.
The site was fairly open with uneven gravel. Base materials were brought in and leveled for the site location.(Fortunately, this was an active material transport property, so plenty of materials were readily available from the Owner). Note: It is very important to have an underground line detection service(such as Sunshine 811) scheduled for all sites prior to digging plumbing, electrical, or foundations. It is free and can help prevent costly mistakes.
Once the pad is ready, we began forming the slab and foundation. This project was designed with a thickened slab edge, which means the slab and foundation were integrated and can be poured at the same time. The wood forms were set and prepped for the plumber to start work. We roughed in all the underground plumbing (right photo) per the project plans with coordination from the site dimensions provided by the formwork. A county inspection occurred at this point for the underground plumbing.
Following inspection approval, the slab was further prepped with plastic, welded wire mesh, and rebar. Another inspection from the county was performed for the slab prep prior to the concrete pour. Once approved, the slab and footings were poured and finished (right photo).
After a concrete cure period of a few days, the CMU block work for the exterior walls was brought in and installed on top of the floor slab. Additional inspections were performed prior to pouring the top beam and block cells. (You can see the knockouts at the base of the interior walls to ensure concrete makes it all the way down to the slab.)
Prefabricated roof trusses were built off site and delivered with the plywood sheathing. Each truss was installed and secured to the top wall beam using embedded straps. Once all trusses were secure, the roof sheathing, fascia, and soffit were installed.
The final phase of the project is considered the trim-out of all remaining scope items. The cabinetry and countertops are delivered and installed. All MEP items are trimmed out and tested including, bathroom plumbing fixtures, electrical devices, lighting, and the HVAC system components. During this phase of the project, all final inspections are scheduled with the county including a plumbing final, electrical final, mechanical final, and building final. Once approvals are obtained, the county provided a certificate of occupancy to confirm the project is completed. The building was cleaned inside and out and turned over to the Owner.
While residential and commercial projects can be very different, many of the core principles and building techniques are similar for many projects. Whether we are building a house or an office building, the process and sequencing follow a familiar path. From a concrete slab and CMU blockwork to mechanical/electrical/plumbing rough-in and trim-out, even a small project like the one presented above can provide a solid knowledge base of what it takes to construct a new building.
Hybrid Construction LLC is a General Contractor located in Tampa, FL. We specialize in residential and commercial remodeling through Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco Counties.