With real estate costs rising significantly across the country, and at unprecedented rates in central Texas, it has become more important than ever for owners to test fit potential sites prior to purchase to assure they can meet ROI goals with their land development.
You are probably thinking all you need is a good civil engineer for this. While that is true, we have had several recent experiences that have proved that a strong initial collaboration between the civil engineer AND the architect can be incredibly beneficial. Not only does this collaboration minimize future risk of permitting or construction cost surprises, but it also helps drive a planning process that considers multiple ways the solution can differentiate itself from similar developments. The overall goal being to increase your return on investment.
Here are just a few great examples of how involving Cornerstone Architects in this teamwork has led to enhanced land development plans:
1. Our involvement in preliminary site permitting meetings with the city has proved valuable since many departments, such as fire and engineering, bring building design, code, and site lighting questions. Demonstrating due diligence across all disciplines sets a positive tone for the permit application and review.
2. Depending on individual site topography, many hill country sites often lend themselves to parking underneath buildings which reduces impervious cover and often increases buildable area and vegetative opportunities across the site.
3. Even small considerations such as water tank location, required by fire departments in many rural areas, can become unique signage/branding opportunities if positioned properly.
4. We have all witnessed the concrete retaining wall standing proud on the corner of a highly visible, high dollar property. By teaming up with experienced civil engineers, we have been able to find creative design solutions for the materials and locations of water quality and retention spaces. Some sites have even allowed us to implement a more natural approach using vegetative swales. They are significantly better looking and a fraction of the cost of a standard concrete water quality unit.
5. We are finding it common for owners to engage us in a preliminary building space plan during site feasibility study, a minimal soft cost to assure their program needs are a correct fit for the site and further assurance that their land investment makes sense. This also incorporates wayfinding/building entry design discussions into early site planning, all resulting in greater confidence that our clients can differentiate their development in a competitive market.
If you have questions or want to learn more about how this team approach to site feasibility might benefit your project, feel free to contact Jeremy Koomler at 512-329-0007.