Category: Commercial Construction


Infrastructure Planning for Townships

November 6, 2018

Commercial Construction

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Comprehensive and well-coordinated Infrastructure planning is a prerequisite in developing a new town or housing estate and is carried out in tandem with the master town planning and well in advance of any physical developments. It serves to establish the full infrastructure requirements and guide their timely implementation thereby ensuring quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the infrastructure provisions for the proposed development.

Specific functional modes of Infrastructure can be listed as Streets, roads, water supply and water resources, waste water management, sewage treatment plants, solid-waste treatment and disposal, electric power generation and transmission, telecommunications and hazardous waste management etc.

Infrastructure planning can be conceived as a multi-stage process. Each of these stages varies in duration. The greater the time spent on project preparation and structuring, the more likely it is that the project can be implemented smoothly and in a cost-effective manner. Hasty project preparation often leads to rework of documents, leads to false or missing information, and leads to project delays.

The planning process must to take into the local context. More specifically;

• Local needs should be satisfied.
• The project should comply with the existing institutional and legal frameworks
• The project should align with political objectives and ideology
• The project should be technically and economically feasible

Various stages of planning are listed below:

a) Preliminary Feasibility Study

The preliminary feasibility stage of the project establishes the need for the project. Existing information as well as field visits are conducted to substantiate the need for a project. This phase also determines the kinds of detailed studies that need to be undertaken.

b) Detail Study and Project Structuring

This stage is most time consuming. During this stage various technical studies like Geotechnical, land surveys are taken up. Economic market study, Environmental compatibility, Environmental Impact Assessment, Socio-economic Cost Benefit Analysis, Financial Analysis.

c) Detailed Project Report (DPR)

At the conclusion of the above stage, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) is also prepared with detailed technical specifications Financial Engineering and Structuring must also be done during this stage. Lenders, Terms of Loan (Tenors and Rates of Interest), mix of debt and equity, and user charges can all be modelled to determine the financial viability of the project. For Private participation in infrastructure, the private sector may be tasked with many of these studies.

d) Contracting and Procurement

Once the DPR is prepared, the project can be contracted out. Expressions of Interest are sought, Requests for Proposals are sought. Pre-bid conferences are held to clarify terms of the project. Proposals are evaluated and a successful bidder is selected for execution. In the case of Private Provision of Infrastructure, a winning bidder is selected based on their ability both to build and operate the infrastructure.

e) Construction

The successful bidder then proceeds with the construction of the project. Material, manpower and productivity risks must be managed in this phase. Once the project has been built and commissioned, operations can commence and the infrastructure service can be availed by the citizens.

f) Operations and Maintenance

An Operations and Maintenance Contract can be given to a separate party. Maintenance Parameters can be fixed well in advance. Technical Maintenance and quality issues, Revenue generation issues and Administrative risks must be considered in this phase.

Editor’s Note: Masters has been involved with several township developments these include Batanagar Township at Kolkata, IQ City at Durgapur. In addition we have executed large-scale developments such as L&T Phoenix SEZ at Hyderabad, Godrej Prakriti at Kolkata and Godrej Anandam at Nagpur and Riverdale at Pune all of which had considerable infrastructure requirements.

Tips for New Residential Construction

November 6, 2018

Commercial Construction

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The process to entitle lots can take more than five years and is expensive. The cost of parcel maps for five lots or less is $100,000. Tract maps for more than five lots can cost more than $500,000. The number of lots and the potential size are determined by biology, health-department regulations, slope, and the zoning and general plan. Included in the cost are engineering, processing, and regulatory fees and various reports and studies.

Reports and studies include conditions of approval costs, storm-water treatment, anthropology and archeology, soils, biology, noise, and traffic. When a map is approved and recorded, there are additional fees that include, but are not limited to the following:
• Potential greenhouse gas studies
• Retention and drainage basins
• On- and off-site mitigation land
• School fees
• Parks and recreation fees
• Physical secondary access
• Fire fees
• Annual bonding fees.

Politics comes into play when obtaining the required approvals from county boards, city councils, and planning commissions. The level of public opposition or support affects hearings completion. They can be completed in as little as four months, or take years and cost over a million dollars. Property owners have three courses of action to take into consideration.

1. Entitlement and sale of the property ‘as is’ – This option brings the lowest price, but costs the least and requires the shortest time for property disposal. Under rare circumstances, the land is worth more when it is unentitled.
2. Enter into a long-term agreement – The agreement is made with a home builder who incurs the expenses of processing a tract map. This option is the most utilized. The process could take up to five years. The buyer is required to release nonrefundable deposits periodically to the seller after approving their contingencies. Escrow closing typically occurs after tentative or final map approval.
3. The owner incurs the entitlement costs – Much of the process is like option two. The difference is the owner has full control of the mapping process and bears all expenses.

The ramifications of each choice should be weighed carefully before making a decision. Owners, who have chosen not to seek advice, have made the decision to process a map and found out later the number of lots was not financially feasible. A competent engineer can determine the optimal number of lots that can be obtained and approved. Smart growth design principals call for buildings with a variety of materials, texture, and color and individuality; well-defined open space; a building and street relationship; mixed uses; and high-density development. Contractors, who specialize in residential subdivisions, can give realistic cost estimations.

The process of entitling residential property to higher densities is costly, complex, and cumbersome. Many factors must be taken into consideration. The leading concerns that communities have about increased density are the quality of life and increased costs.

There is a need for new affordable housing to reduce recent overpayment and overcrowding. There is also a need for high-density housing that supports economic recovery, accommodates new workers and their loved ones, and economizes the costs of infrastructure. It is quite a balancing act. Open spaces need to be conserved and the distance between new jobs and new homes reduced.

10 Benefits of Commercial Landscape Maintenance

November 6, 2018

Commercial Construction

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It is a known fact that a well-preserved and maintained landscape adds to the aesthetic appeal and value of your brand and enhances the overall image of your business. On the contrary, a poorly maintained landscape repels customers and there is a high possibility that they won’t even enter your interior space. First impression is the last impression, after all.

An adequately maintained commercial landscape attracts customers towards your business and marks a professional impression in their minds. From small enterprises to large corporates, manufacturing plans to clubs-all gain huge benefits from commercial landscape maintenance.

Below are the top 10 benefits enterprises can achieve through commercial landscape maintenance:

1. Building an eco-friendly environment

A green environment is a clean environment and it makes your clients breathe fresh air helping them realize the importance you give to your workplace environment. It adds to your professional image in the eyes of the client and makes you their first choice for doing business.

2. Making your Commercial Landscape highly Attractive

Often while travelling you see big lush green beautifully maintained offices, don’t your eyes stick to? That’s what a well-maintained landscape does, it makes you want to visit the office and see what the inside environment is like.

3. Helps in establishing your Brand and building a Clean Image

Your business is what your clients perceive of it. A commercial landscape with well-preserved plants and trees all around leave a lasting impression on your clients and makes them feel that you pay attention to every minute detail in your workplace, from professional work to professional space.

4. Enhanced Employee Productivity

An enterprise is only as good as its employees. Your employees work hard for you every day but even they need a fresh and healthy environment for their lunch breaks and between work walks. A clean environment refreshes your employees multiple times during the day, increases their productivity and boosts their performance.

5. Adds to your Business Value and Attracts more Clients

A beautiful commercial landscape architecture adds diversity to your business and makes you stand out from your competitors. It attracts more clients towards your business and increases your market demand.

6. Maintains Standardization

When your commercial landscape complies with the established design standards, it helps you to doing business effectively and avoids uncomfortable encounters with business-district communities.

7. Physical and Psychological Advantages

Numerous researches have proved that interaction with trees, grass and other plants helps humans get rid of their work stress and instills refreshed productivity in them.

8. Economic Advantages

As per the reports of the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association, a beautifully maintained commercial landscape leads to a 14% increase in the resale value of the property.

9. Increases Safety, Lowers Crime Risk and Saves Money

Well-maintained commercial landscape reduces the risk of employee injury from stumbling over debris. With properly trimmed bushes and trees, and nicely cut grass, your commercial space can keep away thieves and criminals as they realize that your property is regularly maintained and employees are always alert.

A planned landscape architecture takes into account the design for minimal heat during the warmest months and can help you save huge amounts on your electricity bills.

10. Greenery increases Privacy

Properly grafted plants and trees help you keep the dirt, dust and pollution away from your premises and maintain your privacy. It allows for better utilization of workplace, which can include car parking, fountains, etc.

Amidst several architects in India, Morphogenesis is the pioneer architecture company which has designed state-of-the-art commercial landscapes and helped corporates and various other enterprises achieve maximum returns from their landscape investments.

7 Ways Construction Firms Can Hire and Retain Quality Tradesmen

November 6, 2018

Commercial Construction

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Whether you are a construction recruitment agency or a construction firm itself looking to hire the best of talent industry has to offer, here are a few important tips to help you in this quest.

Hire in the off season:

Conventional wisdom has it that you must never go grocery shopping while you are hungry. You tend to buy whatever you get at the earliest and that’s almost never a good bargain. The same is true for hiring tradesmen when you need them.

So the best time to look for a tradesman is when you don’t require one. It will help you scan wide range of talents, be more selective, and acquire the kind of worker you exactly want. As an added piece of advice, aim for the off-season when many construction workers are out of work and you might get a bargain.

Pay the market rate:

When you pay peanuts, you get only monkey! Firms who pay below-market wages not only have the least-qualified and least-productive employees, but they are also the ones always in need of new workers. Why? Because competitive tradesmen will leave you the moment they get more lucrative opportunities. Do I need to tell you what a dent it makes to overall productivity?

Provide a safe work environment:

Don’t underestimate the value of a safe and healthy workplace in retaining workforce. Too many workers falling sick on site might force others to look for a safer option. A major accident on site and the resultant bad press might turn away potential hires.

Develop a great work culture:

There is something more than a good salary a qualified and talented tradesman look forward to. Bonuses, paid leaves, company outings, work-life balance, and retirement programs are some of the perks that entice the best of talents. The more people want to work for your company, the easier it will be to attract (and retain) quality people.

Invest in your workforce:

I haven’t met a tradesman who doesn’t like adding on new skills or getting a pat on the back for a job well done. So it’s a good idea to invest in your workforce. When you provide them a chance to learn, grow and develop they can help your company do the same. Training improves the efficiency of the workers and quality of the output. This is also a great way to identify the people with potential to take on bigger roles within the company.

Be in step with time and technology:

Embracing technology not only makes the company more efficient and productive but it also attracts younger and tech-savvy workforce. You can also publicize it as your USP to entice people buying your product or services.

Character can pay more dividend than the skill-set of a hire:

Characters can’t be built, skills can be. People with character can make the most of the training you give them. Such workers are more likely to stick with you in bad times as compared to those with only skills and potential.