Repositioning Site Approvals
Repositioning is a process which examines a current site plan or planning approval, the constraints and the building program to determine what options are available to meet the financial model and marketing opportunities. In prior housing downturns, prudent companies acquired land and approvals, positioning themselves for the upturn. During this recession, this has not happened due to escalated land costs coupled with restricted credit. Projects have been put on hold and some even returned to lenders. High-priced designs once viable due to absorption rates and general market fever are no longer relevant. The financial model is no longer viable and substantiated by the design. In addition, developers do not have the luxury of beginning new approval processes and complete redesign which may delay construction starts in a recovering market. The industry needs to start working now on redefining plans within the constraints of existing site plan approvals and find ways to reduce costs. This may involve rethinking the product design within the building footprint permitted or as simple as increasing the efficiency of the building.
An Independent evaluation may also be the solution to introduce a new perspective or direction. A new fresh and innovative look at a design can put a project back on track and pose alternatives which make the financial model work.
For many projects, Value Engineering will be a necessity to combat high construction and land costs while still providing lower home prices in order to make an existing project financially viable. By reexamining the design decisions, understanding the vision, market and constraints, it is possible to salvage the design intent and pose alternatives. Material, structural and mechanical changes are obvious. Value engineering decisions must be looked at from two perspectives: construction costs and design. The emphasis should be placed on “Value.” Creating value will positively position builders and developers in a competitive market. This can be achieved without sacrificing the design particularly by addressing efficiency.
Efficient building and home plans can reduce the building area substantially by removing excess circulation or reducing common areas. Circulation can sometimes simply be reduced by relocating a door or flipping the room arrangement. Every space should be functional. Every space is a design opportunity. Efficient, compact solutions such as computer niches can make a room multifunctional.
Every decision should carry a perceived and visible Value. A material and color change or adding French doors or interior transoms allowing light to filter through rooms make a small home appear larger. Opportunities to create Value are only limited by the imagination.
Top of Page