Should you build new or renovate?

This is a fairly typical question that plagues building owners.  It is not unusual for clients to assume that, to get what they want, they have to build new…and ‘we’ certainly can’t afford that!

Owners will often overlook the tremendous value in their existing facilities.  This is understandable if you were looking at the (typically) huge mountain referred to as deferred maintenance.  But, I am here to tell you that should NOT be your only consideration.

So, how do you know what you should do?

First, if you own multiple buildings, it is critical that you understand if you actually NEED the building being reviewed.  A utilization analysis of all of your facilities is a crucial step in making this determination (one that we can help you with, but is not the focus of this blog).  Now that you have determined you need the space/square footage, what do you do next?

Second, it’s time to gather objective and measurable information to help guide the decision-making process of build new or renovate.  This process focuses on two things:

  • Life Cycle Costs – A review of first costs (either deferred maintenance and upgrades or new construction), and the cost to operate and maintain the design.
  • Functional Adequacy – A measurement of how well your facility supports its intended purpose (it might be a ‘good’ building, but does it support/enhance the functions occurring within the building?).

BLDD has developed a proprietary software that then analyzes both life cycle costs and functional adequacy of your building, in order to QUANTIFY the relationship between different design options.  This cost/benefit analysis creates a logic based analysis identifying the design option that provides the most value to the Owner:  the best functional environment, and the best use of your funds; an analysis that can stand up to rigorous scrutiny.

We aim to be a valuable resource to our clients.  We firmly believe this process will do just that.  If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me.  Happy planning!

PS…Here’s an example of one client who chose renovation over building new:





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