Pre-Construction & Planning Services
Welcome to our Drawing Board.
Feasibility & Market Studies
The feasibility study is perhaps the most important step in our process because mistakes at such an early stage can permanently handicap the project’s performance. A good feasibility study is more than just a set of financial projections. When done properly, it becomes the market-driven strategic plan that serves as a road map for all subsequent decisions.
Schaefer’s feasibility program uses a proven and thorough method of site inspection, field work, competition analysis, and geo-demographic and geo-lifestyle cluster analysis combined with our experience, knowledge, and research. Our feasibility study is divided into Market Feasibility and Economic Feasibility, which determine primary and secondary market areas and facility parameters based upon various factors.
Our site/facility assessments are designed to evaluate the overall building and site conditions before a single dollar is spent or adaptive reuse of an existing building is even started. Not only can we assess the condition of the existing structure to make our client aware of any potential deficiencies which could increase development costs, but we can also prepare price estimates to assist with their budgets. We partner with design teams to develop a schematic design plan, to work out all pricing details, and to evaluate existing infrastructure capacity, location, and proposed routing.
We have seen circumstances in which a client has opted not to make a site purchase because this process has uncovered issues that make the project unfeasible. Our pre-purchase evaluation process is collaborative, involving stakeholders and the design and construction team developing conceptual budgets in order to reduce risk. We develop a project site implementation plan that encompasses issues such as parking, traffic circulation, landscaping, staging areas, and site ingress and egress. To be successful, this process should include the owner, architect, design-build consultants and structural engineers. We even use our engineering consultants to conduct environmental and soil analyses to ensure the foundation design is adequate. Our goal is to eliminate surprises before and during construction, leaving our clients with the most cost-effective results.
At Schaefer, Cost Management is a critical process. It requires the integration of separate disciplines and the involvement of many persons. Our Cost Management Plan (CMP) clearly defines the specifics for how the costs on your project will be managed throughout its lifecycle. All of our projects are managed and measured by success criteria of several types including: cost, time, quality, safety, contingencies and value-engineered savings for the owner.
With a general understanding of an owner’s needs, we can strategically use historical data in combination with similar project vision and component information to provide accurate quantities and project cost information. Our Project Managers use project tracking software, which is fully integrated with construction accounting, management, scheduling and mobile field software. We use recent comparables that reflect a detailed design stage, complete or under construction, in order to maximize the available level of detail. This also allows us to accurately track job costing, equipment and various purchasing transactions related to your job. At a glance, we’re able to effectively monitor your project’s actual costs against your budget. If our Project Managers identify any variances, they can correct them right away. Our CMP is effective because our Project Managers are continually interacting with the owner, subcontractors, suppliers and our in-house accounting staff to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
Conceptual, Preliminary & Final Estimates
We often operate under a design-build scenario in which we are selected and brought onto the team at the very beginning stage of the project’s development. Over the course of many years, we’ve been able to refine our capabilities in conceptual construction cost estimating. Our team develops cost models of the project from start to finish by drawing on decades of experience and an extensive (and growing) database. With the design/build approach, you can rest assured our estimates are timely and accurate, even from the most preliminary of drawings. Our estimates are always based on the true cost of the job and a complete project, not just a low estimate to grab your attention.
Whether a client has hired an architect or simply has a sketch on a napkin, we can play a valuable role in making our client’s vision into reality. Once the design and consulting team has been chosen, we’ll work together to provide the highest quality building, all within our client’s targeted budget and expected time schedule.
Schaefer Construction provides comprehensive constructability reviews in which we carefully examine your construction documents to ensure that the design intent is accurately reflected. This allows us to provide the clarity necessary to eliminate unnecessary contingency pricing from subcontractor bids.
First we review design documents to ensure they’re complete and free of inaccuracies or oversights. We evaluate the proposed materials, systems, and product deliveries for your project. Then we target any areas of concern and solicit subcontractors and supplier input to get a full understanding of your project’s possible needs. We will consider our findings and come together as a team to provide alternate solutions for your project if needed.
No matter the size or scope of your project, the schedule is a critical part of our efforts. It identifies and organizes project tasks into a sequence of events that create the project management plan and help us understand our resources, constraints, and risks.
In order to effectively develop a project schedule, the entire scope, resources, and budget of a project must be considered. We focus on understanding the number of working days available, holiday schedules, resource availability, targeted key start and end dates, major assumptions behind the plan, key constraints, known restrictions, identifiable risks, stakeholder expectations, and more. This also allows us to create an outline of design and construction activities, including progress meetings, protocols, approval procedures and project milestones to assure clarity of expectations are aligned for each stakeholder group.
At Schaefer, we focus on all of the tasks required for the entire life cycle of the project, from site mobilization to post-occupancy review, and our Project Managers stay on top of deadlines and resource availability issues that could make the construction schedule less flexible.
Our Project Managers are able to calculate the “critical path” we need to take in order to successfully complete your project in the shortest amount of time. Wherever possible, we strive to schedule projects in distinct stages, where delivering final-quality finished components are done at the end of each stage. This way, quality problems can be identified early on and rectified before they seriously threaten the project schedule.
Our Project Managers use project tracking software that is fully integrated with construction accounting, management, scheduling, and mobile field software, which also allows us to accurately track all phases of your project cost and scheduling. At a glance, we’re able to effectively monitor the real-time progress of your project against our budgeted timeline to see how well we’re doing.
At Schaefer Construction, we understand that a critical element of delivering a superior construction experience is planning and procurement management. During this process, we identify, plan, and establish schedules for long-lead item procurement and storage.
This service entails the identification of long-lead delivery materials and equipment for your project, as well as pre-qualifying equipment and material vendors. We then solicit proposals and award purchase orders where the project’s schedule dictates and coordinate equipment package submittals. Finally, we verify and expedite fabrication and delivery for your project.
Value engineering is important, and it’s something we strive to do whenever possible. When we look at a set of plans or are in discussions with an owner or architect, we’re always looking for ways to improve the design, shorten the timeline, and save our clients money. We’re not talking about a total redesign, but rather small, measurable things we can suggest to make your project more cost-effective.
Because we’ve performed work all across the United States on so many different types of projects, we have an impressive level of experience with a wide variety of building types and materials. This enables us to bring forth new and innovative ideas that have a direct and positive impact on the performance and cost of a building. We love the chance to recommend modifications when they can reduce costs, all while maintaining the design intent for the building. Most importantly, we don’t just stop in the early design phase – our Project Managers continually provide value-engineering services throughout the life of the project.