Property that you own, or are considering purchasing, is a valuable asset. But, unlike some assets that have a fixed value, your property’s worth is based in large part on how you develop it. Make the right choices on what you build there and how you build it, and you may see its value soar. Make uninformed choices, and the opposite can occur. Consequently, an in-depth site analysis and feasibility study isn’t just a formality, it’s an essential part of maximizing the return on your property investment.
Key Considerations Uncovered by a Property Evaluation
Having an architecture firm evaluate a property before you purchase or build on it provides a wide range of insights you can use to formulate your development plan. They include:
- Possible uses for the parcel. Zoning regulations dictate as-of-right uses, uses permitted by special exception, and those where a variance will be needed. Not only does a site assessment help ensure that your use of the property is allowed, the regulations in an area are a strong indicator of what type of project (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) a community needs.
- Existing and required utilities. Depending on your intended use for the property and the utilities available in the area, the site may have to be improved with a well, a septic system, and/or connections to gas, water and power.
- General site requirements. Zoning regulations typically have bulk requirements for things like site setbacks, maximum building height, floor area, site coverage, required parking, etc.
- Best use of natural site aspects. What is the optimal orientation of a building or buildings on the site to take advantage of views, natural light, existing vegetation, solar radiation, and other natural features? These recommendations can be based on many factors, including whether you are looking for privacy in the case of personal use or want to maximize visibility for a business.
If Patriquin Architects assists you with your site analysis, our responsibility is to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, to come up with options for placement of various elements, to determine the best size and orientation of the building(s), and to address all other site elements, from circulation and parking to utility connections and landscaping.
BONUS: Read our Site Analysis & Feasibility Case Study – Historic Rehabilitation
4 Key Benefits of a Site Analysis and Feasibility Study
As a critical component of your “due diligence” in purchasing or improving a property, a site analysis and feasibility study provides four important benefits:
- An empowering pause in the purchase process. The decision to buy a piece of property is a significant one that shouldn’t be made hastily. Making a purchase offer contingent on a site evaluation and feasibility study allows you to engage with the seller while still having the time needed to make a wise choice.
- Confidence in your proposed direction. Whether you own a property or not, you may not know the best use for it. A property evaluation gives you the insight you need to move ahead with no ambiguity.
- A more complete sense of project pricing. Knowing the location, size, and orientation of site elements is an important first step in pricing the design work prior to officially moving ahead with architects and engineers.
- A list of options for an existing structure. If you have an existing building, utility connections, and circulation/parking, a property evaluation can tell you what the capacity of the property is currently, whether a change of use is possible, and if so, whether you will need special permits or variances to make the change.
More than Just Money: Maximizing the Enjoyment for Property Users
While the primary purposes of a site analysis and feasibility study are typically enhancing the value of your property and avoiding any legal entanglements, there are other benefits as well. For example, orienting a building so that the entrance has a snow-melting southern exposure and the north-facing courtyard gets wonderful summer shade will make occupants or tenants very happy.
To make the many factors affecting a property’s development and long-term use readily apparent, we provide information from our assessment in a way that is very easy to understand. This includes drawings, 3D computer simulations, and physical models. And, our evaluation process is collaborative from start to finish, so there are no misunderstandings or hidden “gotchas” that come to light later.
Are you interested in learning more about what a site analysis and feasibility study entails and provides? We’re happy to talk with you about the process in more detail. Please contact us at your convenience.