Planning is the key to success in any commercial construction project. One of the first steps in the design and idea stage is to conduct a feasibility study. A feasibility study will be different for each project, but they all have the same end goal: minimizing the risks and unknowns and providing guidance for the viability and success of the project.
Before starting your next construction project, learn more about a feasibility study and its importance.
What is a Feasibility Study?
A feasibility study is a detailed assessment that produces information to decide whether you should proceed with the proposed project or not. It can also identify potential issues that may impact the outcome of the project.
An effective feasibility study will show all the potential benefits, barriers, and constraints that could affect the project. It will also help to set the course of the project.
Conducting a feasibility study can produce many benefits to a commercial construction project such as
Preventing cost overruns
Ensuring regulatory compliance
Refining the project design and scope
Establishing realistic timelines
Things to Consider
Think of a feasibility study as an evaluation of the entire project, including market conditions and the technicality of the project itself.
A comprehensive feasibility study will focus on areas such as:
Driveways and traffic patterns
Stormwater drainage mitigation
Legal requirements and approvals
The organization of the business (LLC, corporations, LP, etc.)
How you will compete
Is a Feasibility Study Always Necessary?
While a feasibility study is not a required part of the construction process, not conducting one can lead to further issues down the road.
Michelle Patton, owner of MPCE, finds when companies don’t complete feasibility studies, they face increased project costs and delays. Oftentimes, developers want to assume their design is fine and skip the feasibility stage. This assumption can lead to bottlenecks later in the process as plans have to be reworked to meet a certain requirement or delays in the approval process. She urges that a feasibility study can benefit even simple and straightforward projects.
When conducting your feasibility study, it can help to consult an industry expert. At GSD Construction, we’ve had over 13 years of experience in commercial construction and can offer you guidance on your project. Contact us to learn more.
The business landscape is constantly changing, driven by technological advancements, evolving work dynamics, and changing customer expectations. Businesses must adapt their commercial spaces to meet the evolving demands of the work landscape. Adapting commercial spaces goes beyond mere aesthetics; it involves creating environments that foster collaboration, productivity, and employee well-being and align with the demands of the digital age.
Understanding Changing Business Needs
To effectively adapt commercial spaces, it is essential to understand the changing needs of businesses:
1. Shifting Work Dynamics
The rise of remote work and flexible work arrangements has become increasingly prevalent. Companies now require commercial spaces supporting in-person and remote collaboration, offering flexibility and seamless connectivity. Office layouts must be designed knowing that teams may sometimes be physically present in different spaces. The optimal hybrid workspace includes integrating technology to facilitate virtual meetings, digital communication, and collaboration tools that bridge the gap between remote and on-site employees.
2. Flexible and Collaborative Work Environments
Traditional rigid office setups give way to dynamic and adaptable spaces that encourage teamwork, creativity, and innovation. Commercial spaces should include flexible furniture arrangements and communal areas. Modular furniture allows easy reconfiguration to accommodate different work activities and potential changes in needs. By creating open rooms and shared spaces, businesses can promote interaction and cross-functional collaboration, essential for problem-solving and knowledge sharing.
3. Employee Well-Being and Productivity
Modern businesses recognize the importance of employee well-being and its impact on productivity. Ergonomic workstations, adjustable furniture, and supportive seating contribute to employee comfort and reduce fatigue. Incorporating design elements such as plants and natural materials can improve employee’s moods, reduce stress, and increase productivity.
4. Embracing Technology and Digital Transformation
The digital age demands technology integration into commercial spaces. High-speed internet, innovative office solutions, and virtual collaboration tools are necessary for efficient operations, streamlined communication, and enhanced productivity. Reliable internet connectivity ensures seamless access to digital resources and supports real-time collaboration between in-person and virtual employees.
Adapting Commercial Spaces
To successfully adapt commercial spaces to changing business needs, consider the following strategies:
1. Redesigning Office Layouts
Create flexible and modular office layouts that can be easily reconfigured. Add adjustable furniture, movable partitions, and multifunctional spaces to accommodate changing work requirements. Emphasize open areas and collaboration zones to foster interaction and creativity. Design spaces that cater to different work styles, including quiet areas for focused work and collaborative spaces for group discussions. By incorporating flexible design principles, departments can adapt their rooms to the evolving needs of their team.
2. Embracing Technology and Connectivity
Ensure robust internet connectivity and infrastructure to support seamless communication and operations. Incorporate smart monitors and 360° conference call cameras for convenient collaboration. Integrating technology into commercial spaces enhances productivity, streamlines processes, and improves operational efficiency.
Overcoming Challenges in Adaptation
Adapting commercial spaces may present challenges, including financial considerations, privacy concerns, and legal and regulatory requirements.
The initial investment in adapting offices can be a significant barrier for businesses. However, companies can explore cost-effective solutions, such as leasing options, shared spaces, or phased renovation plans. Privacy concerns can be addressed by creating designated private areas or implementing soundproofing solutions in open office environments. Adhering to legal and regulatory requirements requires thorough research and compliance with building codes, accessibility guidelines, and safety regulations.
Adapting commercial spaces to changing business needs is essential for businesses to thrive in the future. Successful adaptations require careful planning, flexibility, and a commitment to continuously evolve to meet the changing demands of the modern business landscape. By building for the future, businesses can position themselves for long-term success and remain at the forefront of their industries.
Behind every successful construction project is an effective budget that allows everything to happen.
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Construction projects are often delayed for various reasons, including inadequate planning, poor communication between stakeholders, changes to the scope of work, unforeseen circumstances, and even disruptions caused by global events (think: the COVID-19 pandemic and supply shortages—remember the 200%+ increase in lumber prices?).
Delays are not only frustrating, but they are typically costly, and they can have a significant impact on schedules and outcome quality. When building on a commercial scale, these negative consequences are compounded even further.
This article will discuss 5 recommendations for avoiding delays in your next commercial construction project.
Always create a written, detailed project plan.
Even if you think you have a clear road ahead, always write down your plan. Writing down your plan can uncover gaps, disparities, or potential conflicts that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Your written plan should include:
Detailed timeline, checkpoints, meetings, and deliverable dates
Budget, including a buffer to absorb unexpected costs
List of tasks and assignments
It is important to consider all the potential risks and challenges that may occur and plan accordingly. Working with your contractor, engineer, and architect can help you understand what storms might be just on the horizon, and they can arm you with the necessary tools to navigate what lies ahead.
Get all stakeholders on board early.
Get the input you need from all stakeholders, including the owner, financing institution, architect, engineer, and contractor as early as possible. It is likely that the needs and demands of each group are interconnected and dependent on other parties, so establishing clear communication lines early will be key.
Communicate regularly with stakeholders.
Your stakeholders can be your greatest asset, as long as you start communicating with them early on in the project timeline.
One of the most common delays—permitting delays—can be mitigated and even altogether avoided with the help of your stakeholders.
Permitting and the permit approval process is commonly misunderstood, as we describe in our article, “Build Without Fear: What to Expect In Your Commercial Construction Project.” Even the most prepared and experienced professionals can’t always avoid the extra hassle and patience that permitting approvals require. Lean on your architect and contractor for help through this process for the least number of delays possible.
Be prepared for the unexpected.
No matter how well you plan, something unexpected will always happen. As long as you have the right resources and processes in place, you can overcome these not-so-fun surprises.
For delays like those caused by weather, contingency plans can help mitigate the effects.
Monitor the project closely.
It is important to monitor the project and all of its moving parts closely from early on. Keeping an eye on potential delays will allow you to correct and redirect as needed to make sure you stay on schedule.
For example, GSD Construction worked on a project that required an elevator that had a lead time of 30 weeks! Because we ordered it well in advance for our client, it didn’t result in the nightmare of a situation that could have happened without close monitoring. If you’re not diligent about these kinds of delays, your schedule and your budget could turn into something more like a pipe dream than a reality.
In addition to the five recommendations above, make sure you are always looking for trusted, reputable partners in the construction process. Here are some additional tips to keep you on schedule with your next project:
Choose a reputable, experienced contractor who will be able to guide you through a complex project process
Be clear about your expectations and your project scope early on with your contractor. Change orders are a leading cause of delays in construction projects.
Use a written tracker to monitor the project’s progress, and allow key stakeholders to collaborate on the tracker.
By following these key recommendations, you’ll have a smooth-sailing commercial construction project process, and you’ll end up with the office, industrial, retail, or educational space of your dreams.
Your project is only as good as your subcontractors and suppliers, so it’s vital to create & maintain good relationships. With so many different companies in the industry, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ve got you covered!
Download our comprehensive resource packed with the best practices to optimize collaboration, streamline processes, and ensure project success through your subcontractor and supplier relationships.