Shell and Core Construction

Shell (or core) construction is another commercial construction process that Chandlee Construction Company offers. This type of commercial project, also called base construction, is most often performed for a property developer or the building owner. A permit for core construction typically includes only the most basic structure the code will allow.

This type of construction is a long-lead item, meaning it takes to most time to build. A developer can get ahead by building the shell of a building while marketing for tenants.

The word ‘shell’ is exactly as it sounds, a hard or protective covering. In construction this is the supportive exterior of a building’s structure. The predetermined shape and size of the building is constructed using wood, engineered wood or structural steel erected vertically on a defined base plant. Doors and windows are inserted according to the specific design, along with egress or exit lighting, and sometimes a minimum number of restrooms are also added. Once this stage is completed it is enclosed with a chosen siding such as wood, aluminum, brick, stucco, etc. Note: This is not mass wall construction where horizontal layers are stacked one on the other using logs, masonry, rammed earth, adobe or other natural materials.


Sometimes included in this type of construction are paved pathways and roads, boundary walls, drainage and fencing, along with soft and hard landscaping. The above referenced base plant can also include mechanical, electrical, and fire detection systems. The structure can be completely fire clad on a solid foundation with defined floor heights. Working elevators, basements, and more can also be defined in the scope of the construction.

When construction is complete the client has an enclosed weather tight shell that is ready for a tenant to take this blank canvas – this clean, bare space – and outfit it to meet the needs of the business that will occupy the building. Our experienced team can progress the project through design and build to the Certificate of Occupancy.

Chandlee Construction Company provides expert design/build services, commercial interior build-outs and renovation, along with site and civil development, and grading and utility construction. If you desire a free consultation or quotation for a commercial project of any type, contact us by phone, email or by submitting the quotation form – all found under the Contact tab in the menu bar above. We promise to respond quickly and provide you best service in the industry.

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