Full-Delivery Mitigation: A Model for Efficient Stream and Wetland Restoration Part I

As a model for efficient, cost-effective, and ecologically successful mitigation, the full-delivery process offers multiple benefits from inception to close-out. A full-delivery project is similar to a design-build process in the vertical construction field, where the contractor manages and integrates both the design and construction elements of a project on behalf of an owner. But full-delivery projects include a preliminary step that involves the contractor seeking out and acquiring suitable property to begin the project process (often through competitive bidding) and a post-construction step that follows the project all the way through to a successful close-out with the regulatory agencies. By conceiving a project from start to finish, all team members have a stake in working together to avoid some of the pitfalls found in projects completed with a traditional bidding process.

At project inception, the entire team of engineers, scientists and construction managers work together to identify any potential constraints and decide if a site will offer the best opportunity for restoration within the watershed or service area. When looking for sites, the team considers practical elements (upstream watershed conditions, construction access, grading needs, environmental constraints and real estate availability) in addition to whether or not the site needs restoration from an ecological viewpoint. These early site planning decisions are essential to a successful project—not every site in need of restoration makes for an ideal mitigation site. Once a site has been selected, these conversations continue among the project team, allowing for adjustments to be made wherever necessary. This flexibility in the control of the process often results in changes that greatly benefit the project.

Design-Bid-Build versus Full Delivery

 

The full delivery approach was first developed in North Carolina by the North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program (now the Division of Mitigation Services) to provide environmental mitigation credits to private and public sector permittees in North Carolina. Full-delivery started as one of many options for procurement of mitigation in the state, but due to the effectiveness and efficiency of the process, it has evolved as the primary method of procurement in North Carolina, producing approximately 90% of the mitigation credits statewide. KCI has been contracted to provide over $30 million worth of mitigation through 25 separate full-delivery contract awards. Our firm is particularly well adapted for full-delivery work because all of the work (including construction) can be completed in-house, offering KCI a distinct advantage over other traditional consultants without construction capabilities and mitigation bankers that serve as competition.