When planning a commercial construction project, it’s easy to get caught up in the building design, architectural features, floor plans, finishes and other elements that make for a stand-out structure on the property. But long before you plan a groundbreaking ceremony, you need to ensure that the site is a suitable location.
Proper site selection is literally the foundation of any successful building project. Get that wrong during the pre-construction phase and the entire project could be compromised, leading to delays, safety issues, additional expenses and lots of headaches.
Consider the following key areas when conducting a site investigation for your building project.
The first consideration seems an obvious one. Will a structure physically fit on the site where you want to build? It’s not always as straightforward as ensuring that the real estate accommodates the footprint of your building plan. You also need to consider:
Many project owners underestimate the amount of land they’ll need to accommodate their building project, so make sure you consider all your current and future needs.
Environmental conditions on a site can vary widely and impact whether it’s suitable for your project, or whether it may add sizable costs and delays. Beyond ensuring there’s adequate acreage, project owners need to find answers to the following questions:
Conducting a comprehensive environmental assessment of your proposed building site will help you avoid major issues and remain in compliance with EPA standards and other regulations.
If your building site is in the middle of an old farm field or you’ll be the first to break ground in an area, you’ll likely have to foot the bill for installing many of these necessities. Even if you plan to build in an area that is already developed, utilities may be easily accessible but may require upgrades to accommodate increased use. Evaluate the feasibility of the following:
The modern workplace depends on technology and a reliable utility grid, and the level of accessibility can be a major factor in a site’s practicality.
Depending on the size of your workforce and customer base, accessibility from roadways may be a major sticking point.
Local governments and the state divide responsibilities for roadways, so determining who has jurisdiction for your proposed site is a first step in understanding potential transportation needs.
State and local agencies determine the zoning requirements for land use, but they can dictate much more than whether a property is suitable for commercial, industrial, residential or agricultural use.
Every property under consideration will have some form of associated zoning regulations and, as you can see, the breadth of those requirements can vary widely from district, city, and county.
If your organization wants to expand into a new territory or needs community buy-in, you’ll want to improve your chances of success by covering the following areas.
This type of data, though not about the physical landscape, is a key consideration during the site selection process.
Working with an experienced commercial general contractor that specializes in pre-construction planning and/or design-build can help you select the right location and ensure that nothing gets overlooked. Minimizing surprises and unexpected issues prior to breaking ground will help your project remain on time and on budget.
Contact the construction experts at The Samuels Group today to talk through even more considerations for conducting a site assessment. For additional insights into the design/construction process and choosing the right contractor, check out our helpful guide below.