Document Detail

Title: RS48-1 - Environmental Remediation
Publication Date: 10/1/1995
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 18
Provides an overview of Environmental Remediation Management: An Eight-Step Process (IR48-2), Influence of Potential Soil Contamination on Construction Projects (SP48-3), and 'Evaluation of Owner-Contractor Relationships on Environmental Remediation Projects' (SD-106).
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Remediation of environmental contamination from past industrial practices represents a substantial percentage of annual expenditures by industry and government. Despite the experience gained with contaminated site remediation and development of new technologies, the ability to predict cost and schedule of remediation projects remains poor.

The Construction Industry Institute Environmental Remediation Technology Research Team, comprised of practicing environmental professionals and academics experienced in remediation, investigated reasons for the growth in cost and schedule of remediation projects and identified methods and procedures to control these cost and schedule issues.

The research concluded that: (1) remediation projects differ fundamentally from conventional construction projects because of uncertainties in site characterization, clean-up technology performance, and regulations; and (2) it is the effective management of these factors, rather than technological advances, that can result in the largest cost savings in the near term.

The research conducted resulted in three CII documents with the following themes:

Avoid the “Ready, Fire, Aim” Syndrome

Huge expenditures are at risk in environmental remediation projects. The eight-step process developed in CII Implementation Resource 48-2, Environmental Remediation Management: An Eight-Step Process, will save big money and prevent schedule delays for owners and contractors. Owners are counseled to proactively manage remediation projects to realize these savings. Contractor’s financial risks will be minimized by implementing these recommendations.

“Think First, Dig Later”

Documented cases of errors in excavating and handling of unexpected soil contamination on conventional construction projects, which could have been avoided, resulted in substantial extra costs and time delays. A path is charted for both owners and contractors in CII Implementation Resource 48-3, Influence of Potential Soil Contamination on Construction Projects, to manage these uncertainties and avoid unexpected problems.

“Old Ways Don’t Work Well”

Cooperative management approaches and more flexible contracting relations, as documented in CII Source Document 106, save cost and time for owners and contractors. The team’s research indicates that Turnkey and Design/Construct management structures are the most effective for remediation projects.

The three works cited above are summarized in this publication. Readers are encouraged to use these resources as they begin their next environmental remediation projects. Significant savings can be achieved through better planning, project execution, and use of technology.