By Jeff Eriks, Cambridge Companies
February 1, 2016
Defining material recovery facility costs from site selection through operation and maintenance at the beginning of facility design can help control costs for years.
In some cases, overspending during the design-build of a recycling facility includes incidental items, such as the thickness of concrete, types of overhead doors, and other items along those lines.
While these items play an important part in designing your facility, controlling the costs of your new recycling facility hinge more on:
- On-site selection
- Efficient and safe design
- And designing an efficient building layout that is “right-sized”
We like to look at recycling facilities in two different ways. First, you have the initial capital outlay to purchase the site, design and build the facility, and install the equipment. Second, you have the ongoing operating costs of the facility. And those costs include your employees, the building and equipment-related operations, and maintenance costs.
Saving at the outset
The major factors at play here are the site selection and the building size. The site itself can cost an owner millions during the construction phase. In addition, not vetting a site before a purchase can lead to many unforeseen costs down the road. This varies based on whether you purchase an existing building or a clear site.
Existing buildings can be full of issues, including:
- Too many interior columns that get in the way of the equipment
- Improperly sized electrical services
- Insufficient water pressure to take the fire sprinkler system up to code
- Concrete not designed to carry the loads required
- Improper clear heights within the building for the equipment or operations
- And many others
Along with these issues, environmental issues, such as asbestos or other contaminants, also could be present.