Is a fixed cost remediation scheme good value?

We are constantly being asked to provide a fixed cost for remediation schemes but is this good value for the client…?

It is very normal for us mere remediation contractors to have had no involvement with the site investigation stage of a sites redevelopment.  For some reason our experience is not called upon until the client needs to know ”how much’ and ‘how long’…? By then the SI is done and dusted and there is no money left in the budget to return to site to collect further data to define or quantify the remediation costs.

So we are left to second guess; the extent of the contamination, whether there are sufficient nutrients present for a bioremediation approach,  what the recharge of the wells are, the PSD of the soil, etc, etc, etc.  Hence, there is a large element of risk.  And where there is risk there are added costs.  So if the client wishes us to take on this risk we have to allow for it in our pricing structure.  Simple stuff.

But what about another approach…?  In construction projects it is normal to have a Project Manager, Architect, Structural Engineer, QS, M&E Engineer, etc, etc.  So why not ask experienced folk like us to be involved in your project team at an early stage, so that informed questions can be asked and additional information gained to better inform your remediation strategy and minimise those hidden risks and associated costs.  Or if the SI is believed to be robust, then why not undertake the project on a cost plus basis, where the client carries the risk and the contractor simply undertakes the work demonstrating all remediation costs.  Better for us and better for the clients pockets…!

And a happy client means more repeat work, which we all want.

Remediation and EIA’s

Save Britain’s Heritage –v- Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – 25 March 2011 Court of Appeal [Civil Division] EWCA CIV 334

A recent landmark ruling of the Court of Appeal in the above case determined that demolition of buildings is considered to be a “project”, for the purposes of EIA Directive 85/337/EEC, and hence, an Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”)  has to be undertaken before planning approval can be granted.

Whilst this ruling may have important consequences for the demolition fraternity will we soon see EIA being required for remediation works…?  Another remediation expense…!