What is a Programming Study -- and Why Do I Need One?
A Programming Study provides you with the foundation for developing a new facility, whether you're hoping to replace an aging and inadequate animal-control shelter currently in service or starting from scratch.
The study takes many different factors into account -- the demographics of your area, for example, or a comparison of the number of animals your the current facility handles with national averages -- and proposes a detailed estimate of the facility size and construction budget required to meet both your current and future needs.
The Programming Study can also address the benefits and drawbacks of possible building sites. By testing the feasibility of accommodating a building with adequate arrival, parking and potential for future expansion, diagrammatic layouts of a possible site are especially useful, particularly given that they are part of the normal public-approval process required in most localities.
The building program will include a line-item listing of the various spaces required to operate the facility including:
- Overall building size requirements
- Room listing with square footages
- Accommodation for circulation between spaces
- Areas for the necessary supporting equipment and building systems
Once the size and scope of the facility have been defined, your design consultants can propose a cost estimate based on both recent experience and the current construction market. The cost estimate will include not only projected building costs, but also the costs of site work and built-in equipment. While furnishings are usually accounted for in a separate budget, their inclusion should also be considered.
Lastly, the Programming Study can often estimate staffing levels and operating budgets based on national averages. These calculations provide you with an understanding of the financial and human resources you will need to maintain your new shelter's ongoing operations.