A site with foresight

May 01, 2006

Q. I'm in the process of buying land for a new practice. How much land do I need if I want to expand in the future?

"The answer depends on how much you want to expand," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Wayne Usiak, AIA, with BDA Architecture in Albuquerque, N.M. "Here's my rule of thumb: If you were building an 8,000-square-foot facility and didn't plan to expand, you'd multiply the building size (8,000) by five, for a total site size of 40,000 square feet. This allows for the building, parking, landscaping, exercise area, and so on."

"If you want up to a 50 percent expansion, multiply the building size by a factor of seven," he says. "So you would purchase a 56,000-square-foot site to allow for a 4,000-square-foot expansion plus parking landscaping, and exercise area.

Wayne Usiak
"If you want to double the square footage of the building," Usiak says, "multiply 8,000 by nine." To figure acreage, divide the total square footage by 43,560.