Feasibility studies and early design

Undertaken at the beginning of the process, feasibility studies allow departments to establish whether a project is viable and worthwhile, and support business case preparation for seeking further resources and funding.

Starting during the strategic definition stage (RIBA Stage 0), Estates Services appoints a consultant to undertake an options appraisal. This considers options, project risks and opportunities, programme constraints and other design team requirements, and develops the brief.

If the appraisal sufficiently indicates that all options have been considered and the anticipated outcome is clear, it can be used to support a paper to the relevant capital steering group seeking endorsement and/or project funding from the University Capital Fund, either for a detailed feasibility study or for full project funding. 

If a feasibility study is required, this will build upon the work undertaken in the options appraisal, providing more detail on the identified option(s), again with the objective of ensuring that the project is viable and worthwhile before committing further resources. Not all projects will go forward – in some cases funding is not realised and so the project may be delayed or cancelled.

Examples of feasibility studies carried out by the Capital Projects team:

  • Chemistry Research Laboratory – feasibility study for the Chemistry Department to consider the viability of a new research building in the Science Area.
  • Oxford Centre for Interventional Technology – pre-feasibility study for the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences to consider the viability for a new physical multidisciplinary institute aiming to solve common medical problems, driven by technological developments that can be rapidly translated into trials and clinical practice.
  • Department of Materials – pre-feasibility study to review the current space allocated to the department and to explore the potential for a new building in the Keble Triangle.

Please contact Linda Ranford, Capital Projects Administrator for more information.

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Richard Jones

Head of Capital Projects

Jennifer Makkreel

Deputy Head of Capital Projects