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:
- Establish whether the project is viable.
- Help identify feasible options.
- Assist in the development of other project documentation such as the business case, project execution plan and strategic brief.
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.
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.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Briefing documents.
- Business case.
- Concept design.
- Design flexibility.
- Desk study.
- Development appraisal.
- Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Options review report.
- Planning permission.
- Project programme.
- Site appraisals.
- Site information.
- Spatial diagram.
- Statutory approvals.
- Strategic brief.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Demographics, digital tech, climate change, AI - all challenges facing the built environment. Enter our ideas competition.
Lessons from Australia on how to make affordable, sustainable housing a reality.
Adjaye Associates reveal their designs for a new espionage museum in New York.
CIAT submit their recommendations to the government's Grenfell Tower inquiry. See the summary here.
Read our introductory article on collaborative practices for building design and construction.
Read about the history behind one of Italy's most recognisible buildings.
Roland Busch of Siemens AG looks at how cities can fight climate change.
Every home and small business in Great Britain will be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020.
The PM’s speech stole the headlines but what was said about infrastructure at the Conservative Party conference?
We interviewed the photographer Jade Doskow about her new book documenting the strange architecture of World's Fair sites.
Industry leaders join CIOB and Stronger Together to tackle modern slavery in construction.
Drawing on the recent Mexico earthquake, a collection of free journal articles has been assembled.