Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How Much Will that Light Bulb Cost?

How much will that light bulb cost?

You might have a better understanding of what we are going through as we prepare to start construction if you have ever worked with architects to design a dream home within the parameters of a limited budget.

Armed with a schematic design that gets much more detailed as we go along, our contractors are getting much more specific about what it will cost. Since we have a limited budget, we are always looking for ways to save money without impacting the functionality or the beauty of the building.

Fortunately, our contractors and architects are helping us find things we could do that will keep our costs down. I’ll give you two examples from a list of proposals they have shared with us. The designs call for wood paneling on the walls throughout the building. If we cut back on that feature, keeping the nice paneling in the common areas like the student lounges and hallways, we can save thousands of dollars.

Another example is glass. We’re planning on a building that has tremendous views of the valley. We want maximize those views by using large sheets of glass on the exterior of the building. If we purchase smaller sheets of glass and use more studs, we will save thousands of dollars without impacting the view much. These are the types of discussions we are having at this point. We’re trying to get the most value we can for every penny that is invested in the building.

We are still doing some fund-raising to help get us to our goal. The truth is, however, that no matter how much money we have, we’ll still be crunching the numbers and reworking the designs to get the very most building we can get for the buck. It’s all part of the process.

The next step will be to create the construction design, and that’s the document that will include all the nuts and bolts, all the lights and the door knobs, the bathrooms and custodial closets, and, yes, even the specs for the size of the glass and the amount of wood paneling that will materialize in Huntsman Hall. When you explore the possibilities for a new building as we have been doing, you take little for granted because you know that everything you see moved the bottom line on the costs up or down.

Ken Snyder

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