Construction or renovation projects always carry risks, especially those related to mistakes made during the phase of physical works. But there is an important, non-physical area that if done incorrectly, will not only affect your bottom line, but actually endanger the whole project.
In this, the third installment of our blog series on how to avoid and mitigate development risks through energy planning, we identify three important risks, and the actions to take in order to avoid them so that your California development projects are successfully achieved.
We encourage you to read the whole series, by clicking on the following links.
- How Energy Planning Impacts the Cost and Value of a Development Project
- 4 Critical Phases for a Successful Development Project in California
- The 3 Top Energy Compliance Risks in Commercial Development across California
- 5 Energy Compliance Mistakes that Will Kill the Bottom Line of a Development Project
- How to Be Energy Compliant Without Impacting Your Development Timeline
- Commercial Development in California: Mitigating Energy Compliance Risks
1. Not including energy regulations in your conceptual design
The first risk we want to refer to is the failure to include energy efficiency planning in your project’s conceptual design. The earlier you are aware of any minimum energy measures that are required for your project type, the better. If you do not consider these minimum requirements early, the result will be time spent on re-design at some point. The more time you spend with the professional guidance of an energy consultant, the more integral the final design will be.
Redesigning costs money and time, so being conscious about it from the start represents an enormous advantage.
2. Omitting energy planning from the development budget
The second mistake is not including an energy planning expense in your development budget. Budget planners and reviewers may believe that the energy planning cost might be a good area to trim a few dollars and increase return, or it may not have been included in the first place thus becoming an added cost.
Understand that meeting the minimum requirements of the California Energy Code, as well as federal and local regulations, is a must. At the same time, however, they allow for modeling several possible energy configurations until the most efficient and cost effective system is reached. Most of the times this will require expert support, but in light of ulterior costs, this is a really small and worthy expenditure.
3. Failing energy inspections
The third risk to mention here is failing energy inspections. This is a time, labor and possible material cost you cannot afford because it will happen too far into the construction phase. Be aware of any and all testing and/or verification requirements. The entire construction team must be aware of these requirements because what one trade does or does not do may impact another trade, creating a domino effect that will impact your construction timeline and adding labor costs to the project.
Take this piece of advice from us: create an internal process from the design stage that helps you keep an eye on energy inspections. First, have a roadmap with all hurdles and approvals clearly stated in your project timeline. Second, know each inspection and have requirements at hand. Third, be proactive and do not consider inspections as a battle with the enemy but as an opportunity to be better.
Keep energy planning in mind from the beginning thoughts about your project. Make energy use a possitive asset of your project. This way, energy planning will be integrated with your design, and hopefully, there will be fewer costly surprises.