Planning for any medical facility–either a full clinic, an office suite, or a combined exam and retail center–can be intimidating, to say the least. A few very important things to consider are parking and handicap accessibility. Also, if you're looking at a preexisting building, be sure to check the electrical and mechanical systems to ensure compatibility with any new equipment. Unexpected upgrades are the #1 budget-killers.
Determine Design was introduced to this project through the general contractor who was a friend of the owner. They had already found a space on the ground level in a medical building in South Anchorage. We traveled to the site to as-built the existing space and meet the owner to discuss the original scope for the project: A large optical gallery for selling prescription glasses with an efficient circulation system for getting clients in and out of the testing rooms.
Unfortunately, the lease agreement for that space had fallen through after design was underway. However, a new location had emerged on Tudor Road— a stand-alone building that the client could purchase. The initial scope did not include plans for a parking lot to be added or any exterior work, this had to be incorporated into the project in a very rapid fashion to ensure permitting could be achieved in time for construction to begin.
Additionally, the building was originally designed for residential standards rather than commercial, so there were many structural shortcomings. One such instance was incorporating large glass retail windows facing Tudor Road. A structural engineer was required to provide plans to reinforce the openings. Despite the location change, we were able to work together in order to adapt our plans to the new facility, which the owners are excited about owning rather than dealing with the uncertainties of leasing space.