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

Beyond the big picture benefits, there are also many small efficiencies to be found in the full-delivery process that lead to substantial cost and time savings. For example, the full-delivery process is especially helpful for on-the-ground coordination. Here is a list of five significant advantages:

  1. If a problem arises during construction due to site constraints or other issues, the construction manager has an established working relationship with the designer to recommend changes. There is no need to complete change orders and wait for approvals that may delay the project and unnecessarily extend site mobilization.
  2. Similarly, since these projects are self-performed from a construction standpoint, detailed specifications, special provisions and bid documents are not typically required. This offers significant cost savings as sites transition from the permitting to the implementation stage.
  3. The full-delivery process also requires and allows for a close link between the monitoring process and any maintenance activity that may be required on the site to ensure that performance standards are being achieved. This link is achieved through active collaboration between the scientists doing the monitoring and the maintenance team, which performs construction measures in response to feedback from the monitoring team. Often these individuals are cross-trained to be able to provide both monitoring and maintenance functions, another ancillary benefit of the full-delivery process.
  4. In the end, the benefits all come together to make for a mitigation site that will be more ecologically successful, which is the end goal for all parties. A committed contractor will be all-in to ensure that the site selected will be a successful one and that the site is performing to its fullest once it’s turned over to the regulatory agency or other managing owner.
  5. The full-delivery process also presents significant advantages to owners, primarily in the deferment of risk. Typically these projects are initiated by an owner to produce assets in the form of mitigation credits. The owner contracts with a provider to produce a fixed number of credits at an agreed-upon unit cost. The risk associated with producing the credits from start to finish rests solely on the provider, allowing for cost certainty and alleviating administrative burdens from the owner.

Risk factors for a full-delivery project occur at every phase of the project. Liens, mineral rights, existing easements, historic and cultural issues, endangered species, invasive species, unforeseen conditions during construction, acts of nature, regulatory changes and credit delivery are all examples of potential risk factors that may occur on large-scale environmental restoration projects that are subject to federal regulations due to funding sources. While these risks must be planned for by the provider in developing the cost for the project, if risks are minimized it offers the opportunity to convert risk to profit while still offering the owner a cost effective, low-risk model for developing environmental restoration projects.