Last edited 05 Oct 2016

Feasibility studies for construction projects

Feasibility studies are preliminary studies undertaken in the very early stage of a project. They tend to be carried out when a project is large or complex, or where there is some doubt or controversy regarding the proposed development. If an environmental impact assessment (EIA) is required, this may involve assessments best undertaken as part of feasibility studies.

The purpose of feasibility studies is to:

On large or complex projects, there may be a number of different feasibility studies carried out, sometimes requiring different skills, and considering issues such as:

  • Planning permission.
  • The likelihood that an environmental impact assessment will be required.
  • Other legal / statutory approvals.
  • Analysis of the budget relative to client requirements.
  • Assessment of the potential to re-use existing facilities or doing nothing rather than building new facilities.
  • Assessment of any site information provided by the client.
  • Site appraisals, including geotechnical studies, assessment of any contamination, availability of services, uses of adjoining land, easements and restrictive covenants, environmental impact and so on.
  • Considering different solutions to accessing potential sites.
  • Analysis of accommodation that might be included or excluded.
  • Assessment of the possible juxtaposition of accommodation and preparing basic stacking diagrams.
  • Assessing operational and maintenance issues.
  • Appraisal of servicing strategies.
  • Programme considerations.
  • Procurement options.

Various stakeholders, statutory authorities and other third parties may need to be consulted in the preparation of feasibility studies.

The assessments carried out should be presented in a structured way so the client can decide whether or not to proceed to the next stage. Wherever possible, any information prepared or obtained should be in a format which can be readily shared and used, and should be stored and named in a way consistent with the long-term project and operational needs.

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