Expanding your industrial plant is an exciting venture. It usually means that your company is ready and willing to take on new clients and accounts, and you are able to offer more services through your plant. However, before you get the architect in and begin rapid expansion, you should probably do the following tasks first, and with good reason.
With a plant as big as the one you already have, you may not even know where all of your utility lines are located. For all you may know, half of them might be right underneath the area where you are hoping to break ground on new construction. Typically, it does not cost much to get the phone, communications, electrical, sewer and water and gas companies to come out, locate these lines, and clearly demarcate where they are buried underground. Once you know where all of these utilities are, then you can choose to relocate the lines, relocate your expansion to another side of the plant, or alter the design of the new addition to accommodate where the utility lines fall.
New Utility Line Construction
With any new construction, there is always the need to add new power, fuel, sewer and communications lines. If you are fortunate enough to not have to move your new wing to another part of the property, you will still need to begin construction by installing these new utility lines. Since you already have the utility line companies out to mark off where your underground lines are, they can take things a step further by showing you where you can install fresh lines for the new expansion. Be sure to have your electrical and construction contractors on hand so that everyone involved with this project knows exactly where the lines are going. If you have also hired an architect, be sure he or she is at the same meeting.
Checking Your Plant's Current Electrical, Gas and Water Loads vs. What You Will Need
While the electrical and gas companies are present for either of the above utility checks and markings, have them check out your current electrical, gas and water loads (i.e., what you use on average every month for these specific utilities). Then have them and your engineers calculate what you will need once the new addition is fully built and functional. This will also help your contractors and/or architect design and install your new utility lines so that everything will be fully operational with few kinks on the projected deadline.