Introduction to Feasibility Studies for Construction ProjectsTo determine if your preliminary plans can be constructed according to your specifications, your project may require a feasibility study, also known as a feasibility analysis or viability study.
Feasibility studies are preliminary studies that are undertaken in the earliest stages of a project to address and clear up doubts and address difficulties related to the proposed plans.
A well-designed and well-planned project feasibility study should determine:
- Whether or not the project is viable
- What site remediations need to be made in order to complete the project
- If another location would be better suited
Feasibility studies vary based on the complexity, size, and circumstances of each project; most studies include some combination of the following:
In order for a design team to develop the best possible plans for your site, it may be beneficial to have a complete investigation of geologic hazards.
- Active faulting and fault rupture potential
- Seismic hazards
- Potential earthquake magnitudes and expected ground accelerations
- Slope stability problems
- Flooding and Inundation
- Lateral Spreading and Slope Stability
- Expansive Soils
- Subsidence and other risks
In your feasibility study, these potential risks should be assessed and include recommendations made for appropriate mitigation or repair.
There are numerous methods used to identify geologic hazards.
These may include any of the following:
- Surface mapping
- Boring samples for soil stability
- Subsurface analysis
- Landslide investigation
- Installation of slope inclinometers
- Geologic modeling of slope materials
Different considerations must be made based upon your property.
For example, a feasibility study for a hillside property should consider potentially destructive slope stability problems related to landslides, debris flows, soil settlement, erosion, slope creep, and rock falls.
A feasibility study for an area with a high rate of seismicity should include deterministic and probabilistic seismic hazard analyses to assess potential earthquake magnitudes and ground accelerations to provide seismic recommendations to the construction project design team.
Hydrogeological conditions may significantly impact your proposed facility plans.
An investigation to evaluate hydrogeological conditions and the movement of groundwater through soil media at your site will help to determine constructibility given your specific groundwater conditions, monitoring results, and other needs.
Hydrogeological studies identify groundwater conditions for the following:
- Water resource potential
- Design construction dewatering
- Assessment of hazards related to slope stability and liquefaction potential
A hydrogeological investigation will evaluate the potential impacts of shallow subsurface groundwater conditions in order for engineers and constructors to appropriately plan, design, and construct the phases of your proposed development for longevity, minimal maintenance requirements, and low environmental impact.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a complex study that assesses the anticipated environmental impacts of a proposed project.
To get the most comprehensive document, an EIA will depend on several factors and variables.
An EIA begins in the design stage with a feasibility study and leads to an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR).
At a later stage in the project, the EIAR will be evaluated by a competent authority who, pending public response, will decide whether the project should be permitted to proceed.
An EIAR states the effects, if any, which your proposed project will have on the environment if carried out.
Typically, the design engineer will determine if an EIA must be completed for your project based on the scope and type of work in your proposal.
In some cases, the government may require an environmental assessment to comply with local or federal laws and regulations.
Fault Studies & Seismicity
Depending on the scope of your project, an evaluation of geologic conditions may be necessary to mitigate the present potential hazards related to seismic activity.
A feasibility study may consider:
- Liquefaction potential and lateral spreading in seismic shaking hazard zones.
- Surface flooding potential for groundwater
- Landslides, rock falls, erosion, and mudflows based on slope stability.
- Ground cracking, rupture, and settlement in earthquake fault hazard zones.
- Soil stability risks (compressive, collapsible, expansive, and organic/peat)
Feasibility Studies Should Be Formatted for Usability
Your feasibility assessment should be completed and presented in a structured way so you can make a well-informed decision about the best way to move forward with the metal building project.
Any information your engineers and constructors prepare in a feasibility study should be shared with you in a format that can be easily shared, used, and stored.
If the feasibility study you receive is presented to you in a file type that is incompatible with your current software, the plans will not be utilized to their fullest potential.
The study should be created in or converted to a format that works well for the long-term scope of the project and your company’s operational demands.
Feasibility Studies Vary by Project
Feasibility Studies vary based on project scope and operational demands.
On a large or complex project, it may be necessary to complete numerous feasibility studies that have different requirements.
In addition to the considerations mentioned above, your feasibility project may include:
- Planning permission such as securing legal/statutory approvals
- Analyzing budget based on client requirements
- Considering alternative solutions such as a remodel or other possible locations
- Assessing client-provided site information
- Assessing operational and maintenance issues
- Consulting stakeholders, statutory authorities, and other third parties
- Completing additional site appraisals in addition to geotechnical studies (contamination, availability of services, adjoining land uses, easements and restrictive covenants, and more.)
A Feasibility Study Will Ensure Your Project Runs Smoothly
In order to establish feasible options for your project plan, a feasibility analysis will provide the comprehensive information necessary for a quality project outcome.
Be sure to partner with a skilled, experienced project designer who has a long-standing portfolio of successful projects to ensure all necessary considerations are made.
For a construction and design firm you can trust your project to, contact CDMG. Our designers and engineers will ensure your project is suited for any geologic risks your location poses.
Our team completes comprehensive, reliable feasibility studies to ensure your building's longevity and durability.