Efficiently designed dental offices can cost more per SF

Depending on who you ask, the cost per square foot (SF) you should expect to pay for your new dental office varies. The only way you will truly know how much your project will cost is after it is designed, built, and completed.

Cost per SF is the unit price per SF of finished space – a project’s actual total construction cost divided by total square footage. However, general contractors use “unit pricing” (e.g., cost per lineal foot of cabinetry) to estimate a project’s cost before it is designed. Understanding the difference is significant when deciphering “cost per SF” declarations.Unit pricing is a legitimate method for assigning costs to easily definable projects (e.g., general office, warehouses, Target store finish-outs) where the level of finish, construction methodology, lighting/HVAC infrastructure is “standard grade” or “repeated.”

However, applying similar unit prices to dental facilities that have varying complexities – nitrous oxide, multizoned HVAC, multiple lighting needs, differing esthetics within varying square footages – can be deceiving and confusing.You can’t avoid references to cost per SF. You can, however, “qualify” assumptions made to avoid assigning unrealistic cost expectations to your project.

Consider these points when calculating Cost per SF

  1. Cabinetry – Purchasing dental furniture eliminates this cost in construction. Building operatory, sterilization, and lab cabinetry raises the cost per SF for the same dental office. Arguably, the total cost for the equipped dental project is typically higher than that of the built-in dental project.
  2. Plumbed nitrous oxide – Plumbing nitrous oxide can add $15,000 to $ 20,000 in construction costs. The loss of convenience associated with mobile units for some is worth the savings.
  3. HVAC – Most dentists want to solve frustrating heating and cooling issues in their new office. To do so effectively, zoning the distribution of air (static areas – waiting, staff vs. dynamic operative areas) is critical and can add $3 to $5 per SF to a project’s cost beyond one-zoned systems.

Realize that a GC or dental supplier does not want to offer a “cost” that dissuades you from a project. Avoid the “spin” assumption that a low number is reality and a high number is inflated. The fact may be that neither is true. Defining a realistic cost for your project up front is paramount to a satisfactory and successful completion. Get to reality by challenging the “spin.”

Reference: Cost per square foot ‘spin’, Jeff Carter, DDS, and Pat Carter, IIDA retrieved from: www.dentaleconomics.com

10 things you might want to add to your dental practice

When you are designing a commercial space you need to rely on your knowledge of materials that are on the market today. All the materials that you use in your office are going to make your practice unique, fresh and modern at the end of construction.

Your space should be one that you desire to walk into everyday. Lots of dentists we consult with on remodeling their practices cant’ stand their carpet and dingy walls any longer. They are eager to ripe out old lighting and ceiling tiles and when demo day comes they welcome it. Seeing how their practice can look eases the anxiety of the construction process.

Put these on your wish list, Get inspired!

  1. Flat screen in lobby
  2. New Flooring
  3. New Feature wall in Lobby
  4. New countertops
  5. New Artwork
  6. New Doors
  7. New Ceiling Tiles
  8. Under Cabinet Lighting
  9. New Lighting in exam rooms
  10. New Cabinets

Construction Site Surveillance

Millions of dollars are lost to construction equipment theft every year. The security challenge is difficult but technology now offers owners and construction managers the ability to have complete oversight of their project site.

It should come as no surprise that with the thousands of dollars that are at play in most construction sites these days, construction companies now seek a diversity of security technologies to protect their assets. As a design-build company ourselves, we see great value in offering this kind of service to our clients. Want to have peace of mind? Make sure your contractor offers this type of service before signing any agreement.

Consider this when adding security surveillance to your jobsite.

  1. Use security video combined with wireless communications to an off-site monitoring facility. This will provide you the convenience of monitoring your jobsite in realtime from virtually anywhere with a internet connection.
  2. Set up extra lighting and/or motion-censored lights around the jobsite. Darkness invites crime, so the more light you have the better the protection.
  3. Adding some type of barrier protection, like a fence or guardrail, makes it tougher for the bad guys to get in and to take your supplies out. Look for ways to keep the important items properly secured and protected with barriers.
  4. Having just one entry point in and out of your jobsite will cut down on crime. A popular trend right now is Geofencing, a virtual barrier using GPS to track behaviors using mobile phones. This has been particularly helpful for payroll and inventory.
  5. For those professional contractors that rely on their tools and equipment to get their jobs done it’s important to take safety precautions. Construction companies can become an easy target for theft — both during and after work hours.
  6. There are many ways that you can ensure tools and material goods are kept safe, from extra lighting around the jobsite to storing your tools in a lock tight storage box.
  7. While these tips will not guarantee your important items are always safe, it will strongly help deter theft and vandalism. Construction site crime cannot only cause financial hardship but also delay production schedules.

Multipurpose-room Design Strategy

Accessibility, ease of use, connectivity & collaboration define modern multipurpose spaces.

Multipurpose rooms help maximize ROI by spreading AV and IT technology around a facility to maximize usage.

Tips to consider when coming up with multipurpose-room strategy.

Collaborate

During the design stage, get input from every type of employee to see how they’re collaborating—and how they want to but currently can’t. What types of devices do they prefer? Tablets feeding projectors? Interactive whiteboards? Videoconferencing? Are most meetings an executive holding forth, or is there a lot of back and forth?

If you’ll be using outside parties such as architects and AV integrators, include all of them as early as possible to avoid expensive change orders later. One common pitfall is putting meeting rooms on exterior walls to take in views. That design floods the room with light that often washes out displays and projectors, to the point that another $10,000 has to be found to pay for shades. Walls of windows also can produce temperature swings that force the HVAC system to run at a high rate, creating ambient noise that affects the mics’ ability to pick up speech.

Adaptable furniture and gear

Multipurpose rooms frequently have furniture and AV gear that can be moved around to support a variety of collaboration types, from lunch-and-learns to board meetings to all-hands sessions. So look for furniture that’s designed to provide flexibility, including for huddle rooms: small spaces designed for impromptu, Starbucks-style collaboration.

Although WiFi and other wireless technologies have cut a lot of cords, plenty remain, such as for power. Getting everyone’s input about how they want to connect to AV systems ensures that the finished rooms don’t wind up with cables that are unsightly and trip hazards.

Sound matters

Microphones are key for effective collaboration in larger rooms, as well as smaller ones with remote participants. The better everyone can hear, the longer it takes for conferencing fatigue to set it. Regardless of the type of technology they use, wireless mics are worth considering because that’s one fewer set of wires to be a trip hazard or eyesore when a room is reconfigured.

Years down the road, wireless mics also provide flexibility for accommodating meeting styles that weren’t invisioned when the space was first designed. Multidivisible and reconfigurable rooms are ideal for wireless mics, this is the main reason why our client The Forum decided to utilize them.

Reserve ‘The Forum’ Conference Room for Your Next Event

Customized For Your Needs:

Designed for meetings, conference, presentation, or training. The room has a capacity of 35 people for classroom style and can be configured to meet your needs from a conference table, to a classroom, or theater seating.

Fully Digital For Today’s Multi-Media Needs

The room is equipped with a projector, a wide projection screen, a microphone system, individual work stations, and an integrated video and sound system to record or broadcast your meeting.

Food & Beverage

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are available along with beverages and break snacks during the meeting. Or, you can host a lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants within walking distance on Bethesda Avenue.

Click here to learn more.