- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 27 Feb 2018
Preliminary business case for construction project
The preliminary business case sets out a justification for the investment that would be required by a potential development. It is used to decide whether the potential project merits being investigated in more detail.
A preliminary business case should be prepared very early in the project, before any decision has been made to proceed. It allows the client to explore high level options for meeting the requirements set out in the statement of need. This may include an assessment of comparable projects.
Experienced clients may have in-house expertise allowing them to prepare a preliminary business case. However, some clients will not have the full range of skills required and may wish to appoint independent client advisers to assist them.
A preliminary business case may include:
- Funding options.
- Legal agreements.
- Management structure.
- Objectives and mission statement.
- An assessment of constraints.
- Alternative solutions, such as refurbishment, or changing operational practices.
- A summary of options considered and discarded.
- Assessment of the main hurdles to surmount, show-stoppers, uncertainties and risks.
- Assessment of previous similar projects and lessons learned.
- Assumed procurement route.
- Assumed programme and phasing.
- A schedule of consultants that will be required.
- The market and competition.
- The budget, inclusions and exclusions and contingency allowance.
- A description of the business needs, benefits and keys to success and value.
- Public relations and external communications strategy.
- An assessment of any political consequences of the project.
- An assessment of the likely costs for the next stage.
- A proposal for the way forward.
- Relevant research, including assessment of similar facilities.
The preliminary business case is likely to be in a report format, however, where possible, information and requirements should be scheduled in a database or spreadsheet format that will be easy to expand and will be easy to use to test whether proposals satisfy requirements later in the project.
Once feasibility studies and options appraisals have been carried out by the consultant team, the preliminary business case should be developed into a full business case for the preferred option. The full business case is the document that will be used to obtain authority for the preferred option to progress to concept design.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Business case.
- Cash flow.
- Client requirements.
- Cost plans.
- Development appraisal.
- Feasibility studies.
- Funding options.
- Funding prospectus.
- Options appraisals.
- Risk management.
- Risk register.
- Whole-life costs.
Featured articles and news
New BRE book considers the progression from project-based knowledge creation to whole-life urban knowledge management.
This CIOB article explores the concept of value in building design and construction.
BREEAM and Measurabl announce integration to improve the financial performance of commercial real estate.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners' release new images of soon-to-open 3WTC tower in New York.
A document can be called a bond or a guarantee. Does the name matter and what is the difference between them?
New briefing note is launched focusing on increasing knowledge of housing that promotes health and wellbeing.
Arbitration is a private, contractual form of dispute resolution used in the construction industry.
The European Parliament has approved a revised Energy Performance of Buildings directive.
One in six MPs supports the ring-fencing of retentions as proposed in the 'Aldous Bill'.
A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in the process or outcome of a construction project.
BRE launches online self-assessment tool for ethical labour sourcing.