Feasibility Studies in Construction Projects


All projects simply begin as an idea. An “idea” is a rough notion in our head about something we like or want to do. As an idea is developed, it goes through a fine-tuning process which results in a final form known as a “concept”. Many concepts will never be developed, while some will. A feasibility study is an important technique which helps to decide which concepts should be developed as a project.

Feasibility studies in the construction sector are preliminary studies undertaken at the very early stage of a project. They tend to be carried out when a project is large or complex. Construction projects require huge investment, in both time and money, and for this reason it is important to establish if the project will be feasible at a very early stage. The purpose of a feasibility study is to;

  • Establish if the project is viable.
  • Identify numerous feasible options.
  • Assist in the development of business cases and project execution plans.

A detailed feasibility study can take time in accordance with the size of the project. It will let the client know if the project is viable, needs to be adjusted or is unlikely to succeed. At ORS, we assess the project feasibility in five specific areas:

  • Technical Feasibility

In this area, our team will study the whole project from a technical aspect. The team will use engineering knowledge to decide if the proposed project is technically possible. This will involve considering the size of the site, access, land topography, geotechnical information, existing buildings on the site, flooding risks and other environmental factors associated with the site.

  • Economic Feasibility

This is where a cost benefit analysis is carried out. In this step we determine if the project is economically viable. Based on our team’s experience and current market trends, we will analyse various options and advise on what type of project or scheme is best suited to the site.

  • Legal Feasibility

To establish the legal feasibility of a project a due diligence process is undertaken.  It ensures that the project can be performed in accordance with current legal requirements and that key aspects of the project have been analysed from a legal perspective. In this stage, issues like planning permission, land ownership/easements and taxation are all considered by the project team.

  • Operational Feasibility

This stage assesses how well the proposed project solves problems and meets goals. Whether it is a new school, hospital, housing development or road, every construction project is and should be an answer to a problem. The operational feasibility takes a bigger picture view of the outcomes of the project to ensure that when completed as planned and budgeted, that the identified problems and goals are achievable.

  • Scheduling Feasibility

This assessment is arguably the most important for project success.  A project will fail if not completed on time. In scheduling feasibility, the project team estimates how much time the project will take to complete. It is beneficial to analyse the design, materials, budgets, environmental impacts, regulations, and risk areas. It is also important to assess the ability of the team to succeed in completing the construction project on-time and on-budget

If the consensus is that the project is feasible based on these five assessments, it will be time to move on to the next step in the planning phase of the project.

The ORS Project Management Team conducts feasibility studies to support the interests of the key groups in all projects. We consider the objectives of the project and advise a project plan which aligns the stakeholders and delivers a successful project for the client.

If you have a project that requires a professional team to manage from inception to handover, please contact Cormac Geoghegan, ORS Project Management Team Leader at c.geoghegan@ors.ie.

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