Needs Assessment & Master Planning

Start your project with a firm understanding of your organization's needs

In addition to providing construction and pre-construction services, Carl A. Nelson & Company also is able to provide clients with pre-project services in the areas of needs assessment and master planning. Depending on market and location, terms like feasibility study and programming may be applied to this type of project planning. Regardless of vocabulary, these services are available to clients across market segments, although they are most commonly sought in educational and healthcare projects.

When engaged as a consultant to help plan a project from the concept stage, our experienced team will work with the client's leadership and other stakeholders to help determine what building improvements — be it new construction, an addition, renovation or some other solution — presents the best option to address an identified need.

Carl A. Nelson & Company led a successful needs assessment and master planning process, as well as pre-bond planning, for a K-12 addition and renovation project for the Danville Community School District in Danville, Iowa.


CANCO provided needs assessment and master planning services to Decatur County Hospital in Leon, Iowa, prior to construction of a replacement hospital facility.

Needs Assessment

Working independently or with design professionals and other consultants, Carl A. Nelson & Company will gather a wide range of information to inform the client of its needs and lead the decision-making process about future changes to programming and facility operations. Depending on the client's unique needs, these assessments may include:

  • preliminary cost estimating;
  • interest surveys;
  • space utilization/programming;
  • market conditions (i.e. demographics, enrollment);
  • ADA accessibility;
  • code review;
  • structural systems;
  • electrical and mechanical systems, and; 
  • site conditions.

Master Planning

Carl A. Nelson & Company collaborates with stakeholders to process the information developed in the needs assessment phase and create a comprehensive facilities master plan. We assist the client in evaluating and prioritizing options to determine the short-term and long-term goals.  By providing accurate cost data for potential facility changes, Carl A. Nelson & Company gives confidence to the process for the client to make vital decisions about the future. 

Carl A. Nelson & Company delivered a successful master plan to the Keokuk School District, and it kept the district focused on priorties when a portion of its project funding fell through. Read about how the plan helped the district achieve success with what it could afford in our wibi newsletter.



We frequently work in cooperation with architectural and engineering firms during needs assessment and master planning processes to help our clients determine their facility needs, which can range from HVAC system upgrades to remodeling to entirely new buildings.

Pre-Bond Planning & Promotion

For educational, healthcare and other public clients, we also are able to provide pre-bond services in advance of a funding referendum. In partnership with design consultants and the Owner, Carl A. Nelson & Company assists officials with developing a strategy that fits the community. We support the bond referendum by providing relevant cost data, site selection advice and critical schedule information to support the organization's effort.

We participate in public meetings as needed to lend our construction expertise to the process to generate confidence in the community that taxpayers are getting sound information.

Contact us today!

Carl A. Nelson & Company is ready to serve your organization with Fairness and Honesty, Quality Workmanship and Service Second to None as you plan for the future. Contact us now by calling 319-754-8415, or fill out the contact form to connect with our Business Development office.