Three Ways to Plan for Profitable Cultivation

Maximizing your return on investment with a commercial grow facility design doesn't happen by chance. It takes planning; you’ve got to make sure all the moving parts of your grow facility are designed to work together with greatest efficiency. Starting with a turn-key solutions provider can help simplify the process from beginning to end. An ideal provider will guide you every step of the way, from initial design to systems integration and procurement to start-up and commissioning, all the way through ongoing facility optimization.

When your building design, systems integration, and facility optimization approach are aligned from day one, you can avoid costly change orders and delays, while also beating your competition to market.

So, what do you need to think about if you want to maximize the ROI of your commercial grow facility?

We provide a three-part breakdown of all the basics.

How much does it cost to build a grow facility?

Building a commercial grow facility is complex, and doing it well requires a realistic investment strategy. For a truly turn-key solution, you should budget around $350 per square foot. The cost is inclusive of consultation and property assessment, design and engineering, systems integration, and facility commissioning.

The programming and planning process for building a commercial grow facility is extensive and detailed. You owe it to yourself and your investment/management team to lock down a solid strategy before design begins to mitigate unwelcome surprises down the line. A successful facility plan begins with defining business expectations, calculating realistic metrics for production, and then making sure that both elements work together. From there, you'll need to determine your operational needs, choose the types of building HVAC and plant systems you will use, and figure out your process flow. These critical decisions will have long-term implications to your future yields, plant performance, and profitability. Working with an experienced partner can help ensure you’re making the right decisions to support your current, and future, production goals.

Given the number of critical systems and pieces of equipment responsible for the efficiency and success of your grow, the reality is that you will work with dozens and dozens of vendors and manufacturers. And while many of those vendors will eagerly offer you free planning and advice for their specific system, the missing piece lies in the integration of the complex systems.

There is an easier approach that delivers a better facility. By working with a single point-of-contact, turn-key provider, you gain the benefit of a purpose-designed facility that gets you to market faster. Rather than piecemealing equipment and learning by trial and error, urban-gro applies practices proven in 500+ other facilities and helps keep you from making the same mistakes as your peers. When things “just work” as intended, it frees you up to do what you do best, grow plants.

What do construction planning and build-out look like?

Preparing for construction and build-out begins early in design, when you first engage critical stakeholders, establish consensus, and determine the proper sizing for essential equipment and systems such as lighting, building controls, and fertigation.

Typically, architecture and engineering designers provide initial planning alongside stakeholders. An experienced design team ensures that you have all the drawings and document details to submit to the reviewing agency. For construction planning, permits will have to be obtained from your local municipality, and permit requirements vary from city to city.

The timeline to complete your facility will vary based on the requirements of your project. Simplifying communications with just one point of contact for the whole project will ensure greater transparency in expectations and help keep the project schedule moving forward.

Before you break ground on construction, you should have a minimum of six months of OPEX (operating expenditures) funds set aside in addition to the CAPEX (capital expenditure) funds you will need for construction. This cushion will allow the time necessary for your facility to begin turning a profit without worrying about exhausting your funding.

What do I need to consider once my facility is operational?

Once your commercial grow facility is operational, you need to carefully monitor all equipment and processes to ensure optimal performance. The key to consistent yields is maintaining stable conditions from grow to grow

Gaining a competitive advantage is achievable when your systems function at peak efficiency and in harmony. The time and money that goes into early-stage planning and design are what will keep you competitive.

Contact urban-gro and start your design today if you are ready to design a top-tier commercial grow facility that will give you a competitive advantage.

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