Service Feature

A Comprehensive Approach to Project Siting

Finding the optimal site for your project is integral to overall success. But the task of finding that location can seem daunting when facing the multiple steps it takes to determine if a site will be suitable. An experienced partner understands this process and can help you find an ideal site.

For many projects, the perfect site can feel just beyond reach. Finding that optimal site often means sifting through multiple sites, learning about the area and each site's unique features, and then determining a rank for each based on the accumulative details.

Unfortunately, an independent broker may not have the skill set necessary to provide these details. Creating both a qualitative and quantitative assessment requires a variety of site information to then inform the site ranking and selection process. Employing a firm with the engineering know-how offers you a comprehensive look at a site and its ability to support your project.

Figure 1: Typical development factors considered


Site Assessment

Any site selection process should begin with an assessment of all available and practical sites for a project. Greenlighting a list of sites can be achieved through the consideration of development factors — including environmental status, and permitting and zoning — and through working with jurisdictions and governments to determine the approach for developing each potential site.

Additionally, a site assessment team will perform a feasibility study for each site to determine if the site is appropriate for the project. Through this, the feasibility study can identify and mitigate site flaws or provide a reason to eliminate the site from the list. A firm with engineering and environmental experience can be better prepared to mitigate flaws in permitting and zoning as well as understand the constructability of each site.

Site Selection

When there are multiple sites up for consideration for a project, the site selection process becomes vital. The selection team will provide qualitative and quantitative technical analysis for your evaluation, whether you already have sites to compare or need help identifying potential sites before a broker is involved.

During this process, the team analyzes various development factors, which are weighed by the project to determine the optimal site for the project. This means that sites will be ranked based on both qualitative and quantitative attributes.

A range of variables will be considered, including environmental regulations, government restrictions and permits, and the overall cost of siting a project at the location.

Throughout the process, each site is given a score for each variable that is weighted for the project goals. These scores are then plugged into a scoring matrix, which ranks each site through a formula specially written for the project, allowing you to view each site’s results and weigh your options on a qualitative scale. Once specific regions, states or counties are identified for development, the selection team geospatially analyzes, scores and maps each unique parcel to highlight the most attractive parcels for development.

Figure 2: Site selection is the first thing considered during the execution of a project, affecting the overall cost and timeline.


Cost Savings

Cost savings is a primary goal of site selection. The amount of detail provided in the site assessment is a marker for how successful a cost savings assessment will be.

A comprehensive approach will consider a relative cost differential analysis that avoids assumptions about project cost and instead determines costs based on all aspects of a project and the site.

A cost savings analysis uses business cases to put together a fully comprehensive financial model for the project as it would appear for each selected site. In this way, a financial model for your capital budget is created, giving you insight into every aspect of a project and integrating with whatever project delivery method you are using. This process optimizes your budget to provide you with the lowest cost option available for the project and site as a whole.

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