Maximizing Value: Getting the Most from Your Senior Living Construction Project
Maximizing the value of your senior living project requires optimizing all inputs — from time and effort to financing. Every decision in the construction process contributes to the efficiency and long-term value of your senior living community.
In this blog, we’ll share straightforward advice for getting the most from your construction project, so you can provide the best environment for your staff and residents. Our five tips include:
- Set Up for Success
- Prioritize Value, Not Cost, As Much As Possible
- Consider Operating Costs
- Plan for the Future
- Explore Design-Build
- Partner with the Right Construction Firm
The work you put in before breaking ground can often make or break your project.
To set your new or renovated community up for success, identify the specific needs and preferences of the people you aim to serve. Their input will help you invest your resources in the features and amenities your target market really cares about.
Continuously seek input from your project team as well. Choose firms that value collaboration and encourage communication within the team. From designers to engineers to contractors, their specialized experience shared early on can lead to huge gains as the project progresses.
With more specialized information, you can create a more accurate project approach, which may help reduce changes or adjustments throughout the process.
The term “value” is often conflated with “low cost.” But this ignores a crucial element of value: the advantage(s) offered.
The true definition of value considers both price and the benefits a service or item offers.
Take for example a car. If we optimize only for cost, we’d probably end up with an old vehicle that has several thousand miles on it and a tire or two falling off. On the other hand, if we optimize only for advantages, we’ll end up with a costly, top-of-the-line model with unnecessary bells and whistles.
Depending on your needs, the best value probably falls between these two extremes. It has a reasonable price tag but is also functional enough to get the job done.
It’s important to optimize for costs, stick to budgets, and save money anytime you can. But if that comes at the expense of functionality or longevity, you may be getting a bad deal.
An experienced construction firm that knows the ins and outs of the senior living industry can help optimize the value engineering process of your community. They should present solutions that optimize for quality and advantage while still staying within budget.
When you’re building a new community, there’s a lot of focus on how much it costs to construct. And given the size of the investment, that makes a lot of sense. However, construction costs are only the tip of the iceberg.
As you’re choosing your future community’s components, you should also consider their total lifecycle costs. This includes costs related to their operation, maintenance, cleaning, repair, and replacement.
Maintenance costs may be higher for specialty items, or certain finishes in high-traffic areas may need frequent cleaning, adding to costs over the years. While an energy-efficient item may be more expensive to purchase initially, its reduced operating costs could save you money in the long run.
By considering future costs, you can be sure you’re investing your money wisely and in a way that optimizes the overall value of your senior living community. Looking at the whole picture when evaluating costs can lead to a community that stands the test of time.
Picture a senior living community from 40 years ago. How different are their design, amenities, and layouts compared to those constructed today?
The communities we’ve created for seniors have changed in the past decades to meet shifting market demands, and they’ll likely continue to do so. That said, buildings are a long-term investment. To get the most out of your money, you’ll need to balance the trends of today with planning for the future.
One way to do this is to design multi-use spaces that can be easily changed and adapted to suit different activities and functions. This flexibility could minimize or streamline additional construction and renovations in the future as the needs of your senior living community evolve.
Another strategy is to design for scalability. As your community grows and your need for space changes, you’ll be positioned to expand in the way that’s easiest and most convenient. This forward-thinking approach helps safeguard your investment and positions it to remain relevant and competitive for many years to come.
The project delivery method you choose will dictate the organizational structure of your project team, which impacts everything from the flow of communication to the distribution of responsibilities to the decision-making process. This, in turn, can affect the project’s budget and schedule.
Opting for a design-build approach over design-bid-build and construction manager at risk can help you get the best value for your project. One recent study analyzed 350 projects and found that the design-build project delivery method led projects with faster completions and lower budgets compared to those that employed the other two methods.
Additionally, design-build can help the owner save time and effort. The collaborative environment of design-build places more responsibility on the project team. That frees you from many project-related duties and administrative tasks. It does not, however, reduce the level of influence or control over the project.
The team you assemble to help create your new senior living community will have a tremendous impact on how far your money goes. When choosing a partner, look for one with a proven track record in delivering successful senior living projects. They’ll be able to help you anticipate and navigate around challenges throughout the process. They may also offer valuable insights into constructability, value engineering, scheduling, and more.
At Horst Construction, we’ve been building senior living communities since the 1960s. From non-profits to for-profits, renovations to new builds, our expert project management teams have the experience needed to make your project a success.
Posted January 18, 2024