Understanding the process behind developing a commercial space is an important part of bringing a concept to fruition, and those new to the industry will find it beneficial to better understand when and what needs to be done throughout the development process. When approaching a project, the (3) three-phase approach has proven to reduce costs, timelines, and avoid major pitfalls. What we call “Our Simple 3-Phase Solution” is at the core of how we at SCGWest Development handle projects. This includes Phase 1 – Pre-Design or Due-Diligence & Pre-Planning; Phase 2 – Architectural Design & Engineering; and Phase 3 – Construction & FFE (Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment). As we dive into each phase, we will look at the benefits of utilizing a system such as this and what can happen should phases be passed over.
Phase 1 – Due-Diligence, Pre-Design & Pre-Planning
Before shovels can be put in the ground, there are several steps that need to occur, starting with the “Pre-Design & Pre-Planning” phase. Pre-Design in the 3-Phase process entails performing a property assessment to understand the existing conditions and a preliminary code review to understand what is feasible in the jurisdiction you are working in. This is just the start of the due diligence process. This first phase is arguably the most crucial point of the development process, as large items, budgeting, and concepts are worked through to make sure the final product is feasible. Additionally, this phase is where “Due Diligence” on the site of interest occurs. Proper Due Diligence is an integral part of this phase, as much of the information and discoveries of unknown factors will become apparent. There have been countless cases of a developer not going through proper due diligence only to run into larger issues throughout later phases. These problems can include issues with architectural plans, mechanical plans, plans not being approved by governmental agencies, budgeting issues, scheduling issues and more. The Pre-Design phase is where a team should take the time to work through different layouts and any ideas for the space or site. Ideally any ideas on changes should be worked through here, as once a project progresses through the next phases or worse is in construction, it is much harder to change plans.
Phase 2 – Design & Engineering
As a project progresses, the information gathered and discovered during the pre-design phase begins to take shape on architectural plans. For us, Phase 2 involves the Designing and Engineering of a space or site, as well the procurement and creation of all the necessary documentation and permit applications that apply to the project. Design & Engineering is comprised of the Schematic Design, Design Development, as well as the necessary Construction Documents that will be submitted for Building Permits and approvals. The schematic design is an important part of this phase as it allows all the parties involved to better understand how everything fits into the space or site, and the functionality of it. This will allow for further Design Development, involving clients to better design the project for their needs, along with getting the interior and exterior design set in stone. Taking the completed design package, subsequent construction documents will be produced that will further detail out the various items for construction of the project. These are the official documents that will define the layout, interior, and exterior elements, what construction is based off, as well as what will be submitted to any governmental agencies for their review and approval. All information that has been previously obtained and/or discovered pertaining to the site is useful in the creation of accurate and well-designed architectural plans and it is easy to see how implementing a 3-Phase approach can help streamline the overall process.
Phase 3 – Construction & FFE
As the project reaches the 3rd Phase, the work of the previous phases often dictate how construction will progress. Should proper due diligence been fully completed, and all sets of plans and blueprints for the site are accurate, the construction phase becomes a much easier process to complete. All Phases of the 3-Phase process tie into construction; should steps be skipped or missed during this process, problems are more likely to come up during construction and are much more costly to address or correct than in previous discovery or design phases. Issues related to constructability or existing site conditions usually arise because of the lack of due diligence or attention to detail. Ultimately, once construction commences, time lost is money lost; one of the main goals to be achieved through this 3-Phase process is to eliminate lost time and money in the development process and discover and solve issues early on.
Between due diligence, design, and construction, most individuals would not know where to begin; bringing in an expert team that is prepared to handle projects like should be the preferred method. Our team at SCGWest Development are well suited for any commercial development project. Should you ever wish to learn more about our company and our proprietary 3-Phase Approach click here!