How do I know if my team has the right skills?
While general knowledge of grading and landscapes is important for all contractors, many construction teams lack the knowledge and experience to successfully build green infrastructure. Stormwater management designs are site-specific. Green infrastructure design can have even more specificity due to soil media and plants associated with the system. Not all contractors are prepared to construct such systems. Be sure to require a demonstration of existing green infrastructure work as well as references for those projects during the bid process. Mandatory Pre-Bid meetings can help the design team convey the complexity of the systems to contractors. A contractor associated with subconsultants specializing in green infrastructure should be seriously considered. For certain systems, such as green roofs, familiarity with construction processes may determine the success or failure of a project.
In addition to a contractor with experience, it is also important to select design professionals with green infrastructure portfolios and a high degree of detail in their work. Engineers and landscape architects may be hired as a team to ensure that green infrastructure functions on a vegetative and hydrologic level in addition to an aesthetic and programmatic one. The transition from the design phase to the construction phase of a project is key as the owner, design professionals, and contractors need to be coordinated and aligned on the project goals and expectations. Throughout the entire process, communication between the client, developer, engineer, landscape architect, architect, contractor, and owner is vital.