Successfully Integrating Land Development and Environmental Requirements

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Here are some real-world examples that illustrate the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach that enables better communication for successful projects.

  • A remedial plan that called for a 2-foot “clean fill” cap on a project would have resulted in a net soil export cost of $250,000. Langan’s team of site/civil and environmental engineers and landscape architects reduced the export by revising the site grading strategy, limiting the cap area, and developing a soil profile that allowed for reuse of site soils as planting soil in areas not requiring a cap.
  • On another project, regulators initially required that stormwater not be infiltrated through contaminated soils prior to recharging the groundwater. The Langan environmental,  geotechnical, and site/civil teams worked together to evaluate soil characteristics and use synthetic precipitation leaching analysis to demonstrate that contaminants would not be flushed by infiltration and reach the groundwater below. The project design team strategically oriented the proposed buildings over “hot spots” and optimized green infrastructure features including a green roof, bioswales, and an underground detention tank. These solutions allowed stormwater to be managed on-site per the local regulatory requirements.

owner-developers-chartOf course, at Langan, we provide the essential technical disciplines, so we know firsthand the value our integrated services model brings to clients. In each of the scenarios above, proactive communication between team members avoided delays and unnecessary costs.

 
How can you foster communication on your projects?

One key way to promote communication is to get the team together to plan. Ask them to identify competing priorities, such as the contractor’s need to promptly backfill an excavation vs. the consultant’s need to collect samples. Another technique is to request a detailed review of bid documents, plans, and specifications from each of your team members with specialized knowledge. This gives them the chance to point out connections and critical path items that may have been overlooked. Stress the importance of your entire team working closely with your environmental consultant. Collaboration produces the best solutions.

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