A construction project does not always necessitate raising a new building. Sometimes, you can make a significant impact through building facilities improvements and alterations.
But of course, you have to be sure that as you embark on a project that builds on an existing structure, you keep a number of items in mind to ensure success. Here are 5 consideration points that can help you improve your facility and ensure success.
1) Know The Existing Structure
When you build a new construction, you start from scratch. That takes longer, but comes with significant advantages – not the least of which is that you and your construction company can be in the loop and influence everything that goes into the structure.
But when you are looking to improve or alter an existing building, that’s not always the case. When you open up the walls, you never know what you might find. So before getting started, be sure to conduct a thorough survey of the entire building, including blue prints and old engineering drawings if possible, to help prepare you for any possibilities.
2) Understand ADA Compliance
Depending on the age of your building, it may not have been constructed with the American Disabilities Act in mind. And while you may have gotten away with some smaller violations (such as the width of your stair rails), now is the time to make sure that you don’t have to rely on chance for the future.
The ADA is a comprehensive law that covers every aspect of public buildings. Familiarize yourself with it, and make sure that every part of the new construction and alteration is in compliance. You don’t want to risk violations and even law suits as a result of negligence.
3) Get Up to Date on Codes and Opportunities
The original construction of your building to be altered probably followed code. It also probably did not account for the next years and decades, during which that code changed significantly. Similar to ADA compliance, familiarize yourself with local building codes and use your alteration and improvement project as an opportunity to get up to date.
At the same time, the last few years have also seen significant improvements in sustainable construction. A building renovation and alteration is your chance to incorporate some of these concepts to ensure a more energy-efficient, sustainable facility.
4) Account for Down Times
When you embark on a major construction project within an existing building, time is not on your side. In fact, you or your tenants probably have to deal with significant down times and inconveniences as the improvements are put into place.
The best thing you can do is to account and plan for these types of down times. Notify your tenants and/or clients and visitors about them, and how the construction project will positively impact their lives. It won’t be easy to manage this inconvenience, but can be significantly easier with a simple, thorough plan.
5) Find Local Experts
Finally, in the course of your building facilities alteration project, be sure to work with a construction company that is familiar with both the local area and its laws. Building codes and ADA compliance can, if not followed properly, significantly delay the project, and (as mentioned above) you don’t tend to have that time.
By working with local experts, you can rely on a broad knowledge base that streamlines the process. For example, we work in Minnesota, so we know the complexities required for altering and improving facilities in this state. To learn more about how we can help you, as well as information about maximizing the success of your building renovation, contact us.