3 ways to plan for future growth

3 ways to plan for future growth

Don't shortchange yourself. Think big when designing your veterinary facility and assume you'll need the extra space later.
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Jun 01, 2011

Nearly every veterinary hospital runs out of space at some point. But what if careful planning meant that a major renovation to add space wasn’t major at all, but a planned endeavor that didn’t result in enormous expenses or hassles?

This scenario could become reality in your practice if you plan properly, says Wendy Wheeler Martinez, architect at BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, N.M. Here are a few tips to help you plan for future growth:

1. Determine your square footage needs. As a planning guideline, Wheeler Martinez suggests multiplying the number of exam rooms you’d like to build initially by 1,000 to 1,200 to determine the approximate amount of square footage you’ll need. Multiply that number by 5 to plan the approximate size you’ll need for the facility, parking, and landscaping, or multiply by 7 to account for all of that plus future growth.

2. Design your building to meet future needs. Exam rooms and reception areas are where most practice owners would like to add square footage, Wheeler Martinez says. Design the initial floor plan to account for an easy addition to these rooms.

3. Think about where growth will occur. Building a parking lot that surrounds your reception area, for example, doesn’t leave you with many options when it’s time to expand. Avoid landlocking important areas of your practice to make future renovations easy and efficient.

Talk to your architect or contractor about how to design a veterinary facility that will meet your needs—both today and in the future. By organizing spaces smartly now, you’ll reap the benefits later.