Franchise Fitout: How MEP Engineers Can You Help Beyond Design

Anuj Srivastava
4 Minutes Read
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    Key Takeaways

    - When opening a new franchise location, you will need a design approval and construction permit from the local building department.

    - In addition to building codes, there may be local laws that affect your project. Some of these laws are published a few years before they come into force.

    - Construction administration services can help you complete your project on time and budget, while meeting the approved design.

    - Energy consulting services provide a long-term benefit, since you can save thousands of dollars in electricity and gas bills.

    When opening a new franchise location, you need a project design that meets not only building codes, but also all specifications provided by the franchise. Also, when using a rented commercial space, there may be specifications from the landlord. However, meeting all these requirements is not an issue when working with MEP engineers who are experienced in franchise fitout projects.

    Choosing the right engineering firm to design a new franchise location improves your chances of success, especially when they offer complementary services. Ideally, you will want to work with a firm that gets the project approved quickly with the local building department, while helping you meet any legal requirements not mentioned in building codes.

    Get professional MEP engineering services for your franchise fitout project.

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    Completing the project exactly as specified in the approved design is simpler when your chosen engineering firm also provides construction administration services. Energy efficiency recommendations are also very valuable, since they can save you thousands of dollars in utility bills over time.

    1)Getting a Quick Design Approval and Construction Permit

    construction permit

    Two identical franchise locations in different cities may be subject to different requirements, and you need an engineering firm with local expertise to get a quick approval. Otherwise, you may have to deal with design revisions that will delay your opening date. 

    MEP engineers who know the local market can also recommend you qualified contractors. This is also necessary to proceed with a project, since only licensed contractors can get work permits.

    f you plan to open franchise locations in multiple cities, it helps to hire an engineering firm with regional expertise. This way, project designs will be approved quickly even when building departments have different requirements.

    2)Meeting Local Laws: Current and Upcoming

    local laws

    Building codes don’t cover all the requirements for business owners, since new requirements are always being introduced with legislation. For example, NYC buildings over 25,000 sf will be subject to Local Law 97 of 2019 starting from 2024, which has emission limits that are calculated based on floor area and occupancy group. For every metric ton of CO2 equivalent above the limit, building owners must pay a penalty of $268 per year.

    Other examples of NYC laws that apply for buildings are:

    You must pay special attention to laws that are already published but not in force yet - if they are not considered during design and construction, you may have to modify your location later.

    3)Construction Administration Services

    project management

    Hiring the same engineering firm for design and supervision is the most efficient approach in any franchise fitout project. Otherwise, the supervision firm must take time to get familiarized with the design documents, and some construction mistakes may go unnoticed.

    Some MEP engineering firms offer full construction administration services, helping you coordinate the full process from the preliminary design to the final inspections.  When working with NY Engineers, you can choose from our list of approved contractors to ensure high quality workmanship.

    4)Energy Consulting Services

    energy efficiency

    State energy codes have minimum performance requirements for construction projects, and this includes the franchise sector. However, you can achieve significant savings over time by exceeding the energy efficiency levels required by codes. Each project is unique, and energy saving measures must be selected carefully to maximize your return on investment. You cannot simply assume that measures used by neighboring buildings will work in your case.

    Professional MEP engineers will not simply meet the local energy code when designing your franchise fitout project. They will also propose energy efficiency measures that are suitable for your project, including their estimated costs and savings. This way, you can select an optimal combination of measures that meets your budget.


    Franchises give you the opportunity to replicate a successful business model, but fitout projects bring unique requirements. However, starting a franchise is simpler when you work with the right MEP engineering firm. Your design will be approved faster, and you can rest assured that your project meets any local laws that apply. If the engineering firm offers complementary services like construction administration and energy consulting, you can also reduce initial construction costs and long-term operation costs.

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    Tags : construction administration franchise rollout franchise fitout design approval local laws construction permit energy consulting

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