section in Chapter 2). The client then obtains estimates from competent cost estimators and construction experts who have extensive experience in estimating the costs of conceptualized laboratory projects. Gathering the necessary information is the first cost of the project.
The reality, however, is that often neither time nor funds are available for a thorough predesign process. In addition, even though a project's scope and justification may be adequate, resources currently available to the organization often are not. As a result, it may be necessary to reduce the scope of the project or to phase construction over a period of time. This is the first decision to be made in the project. Possible solutions include leaving some or all of the building a shell and, as more funds become available, constructing the laboratories floor by floor, if permitted; designing and constructing a smaller building and to plan for future addition(s) to the structure when funding becomes available; or phasing the construction floor by floor, or wing by wing.
In addition to cost, the decision to build or renovate is based on feasibility and other considerations. Before making any firm decision, clients should arrange for a thorough study of the feasibility of renovation and reuse of an existing structure for laboratories. Many cities and communities have architectural review boards and historical-building commissions with the authority to deny amendments to zoning or occupancy permits for existing buildings for historical reasons, political and environmental considerations, structural capacity, or code changes.
Other factors influencing a decision to renovate or replace an existing building, include loss of use during renovation, time and phasing of construction, quality of renovated versus new space, and most important, anticipated performance of a renovated versus a new laboratory facility. Some of these issues are discussed in the "Predesign Phase" section of Chapter 2 and in the "Design Considerations" section above in this chapter.
The construction costs for renovating technically intensive laboratories can equal those for erecting a new facility. Moreover, construction costs are only part of total project costs (see "Project Cost Components" below in this chapter). Total project costs for a renovation, which can be 1.5 to 2.0 times the construction cost, are often relatively greater than total project costs for entirely new construction, which can range from 1.2 to 1.5 times the "bricks-and-mortar" construction costs. Thus, overall project costs for major renovations often ex-