4 Questions to Ask Your Engineering Firm During the Real Estate Development Process


Real estate developers assume the greatest risks – and are generally subject to the largest rewards – during the creation or renovation of real estate. Commercial developers typically elect to bring in a qualified engineering firm early on; Shield Engineering works frequently with developers both large and small to facilitate the purchase and development of real property.

Which questions should real estate developers ask their engineers during the redevelopment process? Here are four to consider.1. Do I need an engineer before or after I purchase the property?

One of the most common questions regarding real estate development is when and how to bring in experienced engineers. It is always advisable to consult with engineers as early in the process as possible. Professional site assessments are the best way to ensure no unplanned surprises will derail the project’s budget and/or timeline down the road; they’re often a pre-purchase requirement of a bank loan or from an insurance provider, too. If a developer has already purchased a property before consulting with an engineer, a full site assessment should be performed prior to building (or even making architectural plans) to remediate any potential pitfalls.

2. How do engineers help with permitting?

When working with a turnkey engineering services firm, you should expect a permitting partner. Whether developing for public or private use, permitting can be a huge bottleneck in the building process and is always best planned out well ahead of time and with all pertinent information in mind. Shield Engineering is a full-service engineering firm which means our engineers and support staff manage the permitting process on behalf of developers, reducing red tape and saving projects time and money.


3. Do I need a special kind of engineer for Brownfields development?

In a word, yes. The Brownfields process is its own discipline, rife with complications and nuanced regulatory issues. When considering purchasing or building on Brownfields land, it’s always smart to work directly with an engineering firm that has extensive experience managing such projects. Brownfields development can include anything from soil sampling to environmental mitigation; it’s critical to understand the risks and options available before beginning construction.

4. Do engineers offer any design expertise?

Some do! At Shield Engineering, our engineering design services are multi-disciplinary meaning our engineering groups collaborate fully to create full picture for clients. Engineering design can span several disciplines, from geotechnical engineering to wastewater management, but the goal is always to create an integrated and responsive design solution for every project.

All engineering firms are not created equal. Shield Engineering offers an extensive array of in-house services geared toward developers of both public and private projects. Real estate development consulting is one of our specialties and our experience shows.

For information on how Shield can help move your project forward, contact one of our regional offices today.


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