2012 @ wobuilt.com
About to embark on your first commercial renovation?links:
Here are ten things to keep in mind, especially if you’re tempted to gauge your impending commercial project against residential renovations.
Bottom line? Make sure you’re working with a design / build contractor you can trust; someone who will keep your interests top-of-mind as they work through the many challenges and pitfalls that any commercial renovation project is bound to present.
- 1. Design / engineering costs are higher. Due to larger size, greater complexity and/or other factors, commercial renovations require more upfront time and energy to be planned properly.
- 2. City requirements and permitting process more onerous. The City scrutinizes commercial renovations to a greater degree; asks for more engineering reports; etc.
- 3. Services are much more expensive. From mechanical systems through to electrical, sprinklers, fire alarms, HVAC, etc., commercial-grade services and systems require more time and effort to upgrade, relocate, work with and work around.
- 4. Fire/life safety requirements. These are numerous and require a high degree of precision and reliability, including emergency lighting and exits, addition of alarmed push-bars on emergency exit doors, etc. Attempting to change any emergency exit routes may lead to all sorts of project complications or delays.
- 5. Studs are metal. Metal studs are more expensive and more time consuming to work with.
- 6. Hospital-grade wiring and electrical systems. If you’re upgrading medical treatment rooms, standard commercial-grade wiring simply won’t do. Hospital-grade wiring is uniquely designed to meet the parameters of sensitive medical equipment.
- 7. Rules of the landlord. No doubt the landlord will want to have a say in how the project proceeds, making sure none of the building’s rules are broken and the disruption to other tenants is kept at a minimum.
- 8. Rules unique to residentially tenanted buildings. If the building is mixed residential / commercial there are additional rules and restrictions that must be adhered to that can complicate and/or delay a project’s progress.
- 9. Location of bins. This might not seem important, but renovations produce a lot of building waste. The farther bins are from the worksite, the more time is spent getting rid of waste.
- 10. Even relatively simple things become much more complicated. Take adding a bathroom for instance: you’ll likely have to drill through existing concrete structure which will require scans or x-rays (if they are permitted) which are not always conclusive. It should be wheelchair accessible, requiring more real estate.
VP of Strategic Development
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
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