New development efforts require a series of sequential steps to bring projects to life; however, adept developers recognize the value of engaging trusted architecture, engineering, and construction partners in iterative planning efforts well before entitlements. As discussed in Planning: Getting Your Development Project Off the Ground (PART I), this early integration of expertise arms developers and owners with powerful information to usher in a successful, efficient, and cost-effective project.
In part two, Execution: Getting Your Development Project Off the Ground, we examine the construction means and methods employed to turn a development vision into a reality using Kinsale, a 2018 corporate office new development in Henrico County, VA as a case study of the execution process.
Following finalized plans with the architect, engineer, and necessary regulatory approvals a construction team can mobilize. Ideally, a construction manager (CM) has been engaged early in the project’s planning process to assist in feasibility and preconstruction studies. Early CM engagement addresses potential budget, schedule, constructability, and material lead-time issues from the get-go, to avoid potential delays or surprises in the process.
PROCESS IN ACTION: BUILDING KINSALE
Kinsale’s new office, in Henrico’s Westwood neighborhood, is the first major vertical development in decades in this area. The building breaks the sight lines with a sleek modernized exterior skin comprised of curtain wall, brick, and metal panels. Utilizing the mix of different skin types helped to give the building contrast and dimension, while proving to be budget-savvy with all glazing designed as non-standard. As the design-build contractor, Hourigan worked with the design partners to conduct feasibility studies on the right percentage of exterior cladding to glass ratio. The objective was to bring as much natural light into the office and amenity spaces as possible while keeping the overall building façade current and within the appropriate scale to the surrounding buildings.
Extensive experience in office building construction and leasing allowed the team to closely study the building core to maximize leasable square footage. These early planning efforts resulted in an extremely efficient floor plate, maximizing employee count per floor and returns on leased areas. A very low core factor makes the project a great development play for Kinsale and allows for profitability at current market rental rates.
Integrated Teams Benefit Your Bottom Line
Integrated construction/development teams bring ownership thinking to the project. Helping clients by consistently looking at long-term operational costs and longevity of the materials and design, integrated teams increase a project’s overall ROI and ultimately optimize company success. Moving to the owner’s side of the table, integrated teams are an advocate and resource for owners and the project’s overall goals, eliminating middlemen and providing breadth and depth of understanding of the entire real estate life cycle.