Planning a Capital Project

Need for Planning Activities

The SDPL/FPDM Program can specify for clients many of the possible organizational highpoints, pitfalls, and phases that accompany facilities planning activities. When discussing the activities outlined on this page, we make the assumption that a decision has been made to plan by people with the responsibility and budget to plan.  It is at this point that we recommend focused planning.

The most likely occurrence to activate the need for any new school building is increased student population
, while the need to build health care, business, industrial, or recreational facilities may stem from a variety of demands, including the profit motive. It is unlikely that a capital project happens overnight, unless there is a fire or natural disaster.  Long-range planning is usually an ongoing process that paves the way for facilities planning, design, and construction.  The SDPL/FPDM Program offers assistance in capital project planning.

Given major beginning activities, the SDPL/FPDM is especially equipped to work with clients in getting to the "final design for construction" stage (Stages A - H).  We will work with an architect on the above activities; but the most cost effective way to build the facility is to work with SDPL/FPDM, first, in defining the needed functions and developing a sound concept design to eliminate duplication of effort and overlapping costs. Hiring an architect to work on FORM is the most logical next step, since Form follows Function. Contact us at: 706-542-4067 or eMail us a request.

850 College Station Road
125 River's Crossing
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30605

Beginning Steps in Planning and Programming for a Capital Project

The Beginning Activities for Planning a Capital Project
Planning takes place in the context of the organization and state and local policy and code constraints.  The most frequently followed activities or milestones (not necessarily listed chronologically) in planning a capital project in the United States are outlined below:  

A- Begin the Planning Process.  This initial activity has been labeled "pre-design and planning."  Set aside at least 1% of the anticipated planning, architectural, and construction costs.  Attaching money to the process, early on, will minimize the useless activity of "planning for the sake of planning."  Here are three questions we ask: 
Has the organization established a budget for planning? 
Have you determined an approximate date to move into the new facility? 
Have you hired an architect? 
The correct answers to these three questions, as we understand planning an programming, are Yes, Yes, No. This logic follows the time honored idea that functions to be performed within the facility are to be established by planners.  Once functions are determined, then an architect may be employed to deal with form; but only after owners, stakeholders and planners have identified the functions.

B- Forecast Target Population.  Forecast the anticipated population of clients for 10 to 50 years to determine trends. This is a vital activity. 

C- Determine Feasibility.What are the program needs now and especially in the future?

D- Establish Feasibility to Determine Space Needs.  Compare current facility needs with expected needs.

E- Prioritize Needs. 

F- Adopt Findings of the Needs Assessment (B, C, D, E above).

G- Choose to Build a New Facility or Renovate Existing Structures.  Determining the basis for renovating a facility instead of building a new one  is a special job where the SDPL/FPDM can provide assistance. 

H- Undergo a  planning and concept design process with stakeholders, emphasizing "green facilities" 

I- Hire an Architect and convert the concept design into working schematic drawings (Translate Functions into Forms).  This will ensure that THE FUNCTION is defined clearly ---- "form follows function."

J- Develop Capital Budget Estimates.  A project cost estimate from a professional estimating service is vital in today's market and economy.

Bidding and Construction Activities Follow!

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