Process projects are often started with an architectural firm, leaving the engineering issues to be addressed later on. This is common practice in commercial projects, but can cause problems when this method is used for process projects. This usually happens when a Director of Facilities, tagged as the project leader, first considers issues like building codes and layout rather than how the manufacturing process will actually work and what it will need. Consulting with an engineering firm first when planning your process project can save you a lot of work by addressing several issues up front that might never be addressed by an architect.
Now that more new ventures are developing cutting edge technologies, instead of software, capital costs are becoming a significant percentage of a start-up’s funding. Investment firms and government grantors are requiring more thorough capital cost evaluations for establishing manufacturing facilities. In particular, companies such as clean tech start-ups working in biofuels, photovoltaic production, energy storage, and green materials manufacturing can have significant initial capital costs and therefore must provide detailed explanations of both capital costs and the overall plan to bring their product to pilot scale manufacturing. We’ve worked with many government and VC funded clients (including Itaconix and Anellotech) on these comprehensive project proposals. By helping our clients develop their scale up plan, these clients have gained access to vital funding.
Clients often question us about our unique approach to executing design/build projects. Specifically, they question the value of the preliminary design package (Design Basis Report) we create very early in the project, typically for a small fixed fee. It’s not that we’re adding extra cost to your project, or trying to differentiate ourselves in some artificial way from the competition. It actually comes from our understanding that a round of preliminary engineering makes everyone much happier in the long run.
SPEC has worked with several clients in their efforts to comply with EPA regulations. We have supported our clients in various capacities from providing calculations for permit applications to actually evaluating control technology and installing it at the client’s site.