What is the Feasibility Design Phase?
The Feasibility Design Phase is an advancement of the Concept Design Phase. The Feasibility design phase is exactly what it describes; the Creative team continues to advance the design concepts and storyline while the architects and engineers incorporate the Creative design intent to create their high-level drawings to evaluate if the Owner’s operational program requirements and the Creative design intent can actually work on the site and/or in the existing building or in the existing theme park, etc.
At the end of the Feasibility Phase a more detailed set of drawings from both the Creative team and the architects and engineers are provided to the estimators for a deeper and more detailed estimate. All of these deliverables are provided to the theme park Owner for review. If the theme park Owner agrees with the direction the design is going, the estimate of the budget, and the project schedule they are being proposed, the Owner (in most cases) will fully fund the project and greenlight the design team to move forward.
- Feasibility Design is the third formal design phase of a theme park or themed entertainment project.
- Feasibility Design often is completed by a small design team with certain parameters to aim for project feasibility.
- The Feasibility Design phase precedes the Schematic Design Phase.
- Many projects may never advance past the Feasibility phase for a host of reasons: budget overruns being the common reason.
- On smaller theme park projects, to save time and design costs, the Concept and Feasibility design phases are combined into one single design phase.
- The final review of the Feasibility Design Phase deliverables often determines if a project will proceed to fruition and if the project will be fully capitalized – full funded – to complete its remaining design and construction phases.
Understanding the Feasibility Design Phase
With respect to the formulation of design projects, the Feasiblity Design phase also somewhat unique to theme park design, however other large commercial (non-theme park) projects may implement this design phase. Along with the advancement of the project’s design, the Feasibility Design phase may include other non-design efforts such as: a project pro forma review (financial feasibility review) or extensive early site investigation efforts such Phase I or II Environmental impact studies, Geotechnical boring and surveys, or site hydration flow studies on existing deep utilities, i.e. storm, sewer, chilled water, etc.
For large theme park projects that require extensive site development (site manipulation) of existing conditions and/or existing assets, a preemptive civil engineering design and drawing packages may be produced to enable the various early site development permits that may be required to modify the existing project site. These early site design packages are required since site manipulation design permits – often in the order of 5 to 10 individual permits from multiple local or state agencies – can take up to a year to obtain. For specific projects that may require the demolition of existing assets, buildings, etc. to make way for a new project, often the Architecture and Engineering teams will generate specific Demolition design packages to enable the removal of assets at the onset of the project – all while advancing the design the new (replacement) project.
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As with all theme park design phases, a specific list of deliverables are typically required by each major project group and design discipline. These deliverables will vary depending on the various groups of project team members. The final Feasiblity Design phase deliverables are reviewed by the various senior leaders, the project estimators, the project schedulers, the project’s various end users and other stakeholders relevant and impacted by the project’s evolution.
- Blue Sky Design Phase
- Concept Design Phase
- Schematic Design Phase
- Design Development Phase
- Construction Document Phase