Preparing a Vision for Your Project

You have a need to expand, relocate or to build an entirely new facility. Embarking upon a building expansion program, of whatever size, is an arduous and complex undertaking. A myriad of details and issues need to be dealt with and resolved, oftentimes in an extremely short time period. Handling these demands can also take you away from your primary function of running a company or managing production. You have formed an idea of what this new creation should be, but are unsure as to how to proceed.

Typical questions that are raised include:

Often, when a company is faced with a building expansion program, the initial step that is taken is to contact several design/build contractors and to seek priced quotations. This contact is usually made without the benefit of well thought out vision, specifications and/or some engineered plans. Thus, design/build contractors have little information upon which to prepare their design and associated guaranteed maximum price (GMP) construction cost. This typically results in widely varying prices between competing firms for the same project. The potential exists for many extra costs to occur on top of the GMP. In addition, without a well defined vision from which engineered plans and outline specification can be prepared, the design/build concept offers little opportunity for you to have control over the quality of the materials used.

Planning is a process. It is a series of steps that can be anticipated and organized. It is not dissimilar from the development of a company's business plan. Such a business plan describes the goals and strategies to meet one's overall objective. Your vision for your facilities project should also define the goals and strategies to meet it's specific needs. But, most people do not take the time and effort to prepare a well defined plan. What they fail to realize is that it is this initial effort that has the biggest impact in reducing and controlling construction and recurring operation and maintenance costs. A well defined planning effort is probably the most important and cost efficient task to be completed to achieve a successful and economically viable project.

So, how should you get started? First, take the time to think it through. Your vision needs to answer, at a minimum, the above listed questions. It also needs to include specific details regarding what the project should be and the strategies to achieve this objective. We strongly recommend that your vision be set down in a clear and detailed written statement.

Why? This vision statement is a planning tool that can be used by your entire management and project team. It can become even more valuable if your management team can help in developing this vision statement. Having the ability to express their input can gain their needed ownership in the idea. This written statement is also essential for preparing a proforma and for attracting potential investors. Engineers, architects and other consultants will also need this information to better understand your needs and to prepare their scope of work.

What specifically should be included in this statement? Elements from each of the sections presented in this SITE DEVELOPMENT INFORMATION CENTER should be addressed. You should also describe and/or have sketch plans prepared regarding the major pieces of equipment and machinery that make up your complex.

Once you have prepared your vision statement an engineer should be retained to assist you in selecting a parcel or to evaluate your existing site for it's potential to support the envisioned building(s) and related site improvements. Should the evaluation results indicate that the site is indeed appropriate to meet your current and future needs, the engineer can prepare a Concept Plan showing the general arrangement of the major site improvements. An architect should also be retained to prepare a building space utilization plan from which preliminary Sketch Plans can be created. These plans can be used to obtain your direction and input, to obtain input from reviewing permit agency personnel and to prepare an opinion of probable construction cost. This effort is a part of the initial visioning process. It is from all of these documents that design plans can be created upon which the construction effort is based.


Should you desire to know more about the content of a vision statement and the manner it should best be structured to meet your needs, we invite you to contact us. We promise that we will not "bug" you!

Text-based Table of Contents

Preparing a Vision of Your Project | Developing a Marketing Plan | Developing a Proforma
Sources of Project Financing | Project Phases | Wetland Delineation and Summary Report
Environmental Site Assessments | Permit Acquisition Process
Project Delivery Systems | Data Checklist


 
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