DO I NEED A FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR MY PROJECT?

Tips & Advice -

If you own or are considering a new property, an initial feasibility study could mean the difference between a successful project or a failed venture. This might sound dramatic however, a lot of money and time is spent on developing a property or site, imagine the consequences if a major problem is found midway through the process.


A feasibility study ought to be conducted before beginning any project. Its purpose is to answer two key questions: what is possible and is it viable? Whether your project is small or large, the feasibility study can be an extremely valuable tool to help you decide whether or not your project is worth pursuing, how to go about it and what to be aware of.


Ultimately, the feasibility study exposes risk, unveils opportunities and informs programme. The feasibility study carries no commitment or obligation from the client beyond its completion, it is a stand-alone piece of work with a pre-agreed cost and timescale.


You will want to consider instructing a feasibility study if:

  • You are looking at a site for sale and would like to know to what extent you can develop before you make an agreed purchase

  • You have a plan for what you want to build and are looking for a property/site that supports your project idea

  • You are a property owner who wants to develop your existing property/land but are unsure of the best approach

  • You are a property owner who knows how you would like to develop your land but need to know whether or not it is feasible.

Feasibility studies are often prepared by architects and can sometimes include contributions from other disciplines with the necessary expertise. This often depends on a number of factors and varies from smaller to larger or more complex projects however, your architect will be best placed to advise you if and which other consultant reports or surveys may be required as well as the associated costs. The architect will usually be responsible for coordinating these other disciplines and incorporating their information into the final report.


What does the feasibility study consist of and what are the associated costs?

Because each project is unique, there are many aspects to a feasibility study that may be done differently from one project to the next. For example, a study for someone who wants to convert a commercial building into a multi-unit residential building will have very different needs from someone who wants to know the best location for a house on an empty plot. For this reason, feasibility studies are often tailored to each individual project and the outcomes sought by the client.


In the majority of cases, a feasibility study will help establish a project’s brief and present to you in a clear and concise report, the opportunities and constraints of the site/building, viable options to achieving your project objectives. It will also highlight the requirement for further studies and key considerations from planning and environmental requirements to associated costs and routes to implementation. The study will assess the constraints that need to be overcome to meet a client’s particular operational needs. Your architect, if instructed, will also present you with initial sketch design options. Your architect will help you determine the level of information that would be most beneficial to you during this phase to ensure your objectives are met.


Typically the scope of this work would include a review of:

  • Relevant Local Plan Policy Allocations – Are you in a protected area AONB, SSSI, Conservation Area

  • Past Planning History & Local context

  • Tree Preservation Orders

  • Local Listed Buildings & Historical Environment Record

  • Flood Risk Analysis – Including initial contact with the Environment Agency if required

  • Restrictive Covenants

  • Required wider consultant team to present a robust planning application

Feasibility studies are generally not expensive with more straightforward studies starting at under £1k however, the cost and timescale of a feasibility study is largely dictated by the complexity of the study and information that the client has readily available, for instance, drawings/plans of the existing site. Usually, the information required for a feasibility study can be determined during the initial consultation stage where the architect will gain a better understanding of the site as well as your goals and will tailor the time and cost to suit your needs.


Conclusion

Understanding your options and the viability of a project from the outset allows you to make better informed decisions on the best approach to move your project forward. By identifying constraints, it enables you to address and overcome the associated risks early on and avoid the stress, wasted time and money down the line.


The relative cost of a feasibility study is small in the context of most construction projects and has the potential to not only save you a lot of time and money, but also to plan for a more rewarding and successful project within your budget.


Ashman Architects provide three fixed-fee price options for feasibility studies from a light study to a more comprehensive and detailed study. If you would like to request a copy of our feasibility study price list with associated service options, please provide a few details about your project using our enquiries form and we will endeavour to respond within 48 hours.


Please click here to continue to our enquiries form.