- 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.
 Find out more
 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
Dublin housing crisis restricts employers' ability to recruit, according to new U+I research.
Intricate inlays and beautiful patterns can be created with waterjet cutting.
Two historic quarries in environmentally sensitive areas were reopened to repair Exeter Cathedral.
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.