Leveraging ARCO’s Development Expertise for Green Infrastructure Construction

In the rapidly evolving landscape of Green Infrastructure, the journey from concept to completion is fraught with complexities and challenges that demand not just expertise but foresight and strategic planning. At ARCO/Murray, our dedicated Development Services team has been pivotal in transforming these challenges into opportunities for our clients. Our approach is deeply rooted in understanding the nuanced demands of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), Waste-to-Value, Water Solutions, and Power Solutions, among others.

The foundation of our success lies in the early stages of project development, where meticulous site selection plays a critical role. Unlike selecting a site for traditional industrial development, green infrastructure projects require a more detailed analysis due to their unique environmental, operational, and economic implications. Our Development Services are tailored to navigate these complexities, providing our clients with early pricing, fatal flaw analysis, and comprehensive feedback that informs decision-making from the outset.

As a key resource and subject matter expert in predevelopment, I have had the privilege of guiding many clients through the intricate process of bringing their Green Infrastructure projects to life. Our value extends beyond just solving problems; it’s about aligning with our clients’ vision for a sustainable future and making it a reality. Through this article, I aim to share insights into the critical elements of site selection and project development in the Green Infrastructure sector, highlighting how ARCO/Murray’s expertise can be your advantage.

Aerial photo of a construction site.

Site Conditions: Laying the Groundwork for Green Infrastructure

The selection of a site is the first critical step in the journey of developing Green Infrastructure projects. This process goes beyond mere location scouting; it involves a detailed analysis of various factors that could influence the feasibility, cost, and future performance of the project. At ARCO/Murray, we emphasize the following key elements during site selection:

  • Earthwork: Understanding the lay of the land is crucial for designing facilities that can maximize efficiency and minimize costly ground improvements
  • Zoning/Entitlements: Identifying legal rights that may affect construction and operations is vital to avoid future disputes, allowable uses, & aesthetic goals
  • Permits: Identifying permits that enable construction to those that enable Occupancy
  • Utilities: Working with private and public utility providers to achieve development needs to analysis of off-site improvement scope and costs
  • Environmental: Scoping and reviewing thorough environmental assessments to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with regulations and opportunities for development

Our team is integrated into every stage of this process. Early pricing and Fatal Flaw Analysis are conducted to provide our clients with a clear picture of potential challenges and costs associated with a site. This proactive approach allows for informed decision-making and strategic planning from the outset.

Time to Market: Accelerating Green Infrastructure Projects

In Green Infrastructure development, timing is not just a factor; it’s a critical component of success. The ability to navigate the intricacies of entitlements, permits, design, and decision-making processes efficiently can significantly impact a project’s time to market. At ARCO/Murray, we leverage our extensive experience and in-house capabilities to streamline these steps:

  • Entitlements and Permits: Our proactive approach involves early identification of necessary entitlements and permits, setting the groundwork for a smooth approval process.
  • Design Integration: Collaborating closely with our in-house design teams, we ensure the facility’s layout is optimized for the selected site, addressing potential challenges early in the development phase.
  • Expedited Schedules: Identifying opportunities for exemptions or accelerated schedules is a key strategy we employ to keep projects on track, reducing time to market without compromising on quality or compliance.

Our strategies are designed to mitigate delays and enhance efficiency, focusing on the seamless integration of design, permitting, and construction timelines. This integrated approach streamlines the development process and provides our clients with a clear roadmap for their projects.

Photo of a greenfield site with power lines.

Utility Sizing and Sourcing: Powering Green Infrastructure

The complexity of Green Infrastructure projects extends into the realm of utilities, where sizing and sourcing become pivotal elements of preconstruction planning. Our team at ARCO/Murray specializes in navigating these complexities, offering expertise in:

  • Utility Coordination: Working closely with providers and our internal Power Solutions team to ensure capacity sizing, service extensions, and the possibility of value-engineered options for utility capacity reduction.
  • Off-take and Interconnection Agreements: Facilitating agreements for selling back to the grid and ensuring that power, water, and gas needs are met efficiently.
  • Permitting and Connections: Streamlining the process for tap connections with wastewater facilities and other regulatory requirements.
  • Incentives and Rebates: Not only identification but implementation of utility incentives and rebates can be the breaking point of a development. Our team can provide the insight and execution of these programs to reach project financial goals.

The value of our Preconstruction team shines in our ability to coordinate these elements effectively, ensuring that utility services are aligned with the project’s needs without unnecessary delays or costs. This meticulous planning is critical for setting a solid foundation for the development, focusing on sustainability, efficiency, and the long-term success of the project.

Costs and Final Considerations: Ensuring Financial Efficiency and Sustainability

Managing the costs associated with Green Infrastructure projects is crucial for their financial efficiency and sustainability. This encompasses not only the initial investment but also long-term operational expenses. Our approach at ARCO/Murray focuses on providing our clients with accurate cost estimations and identifying opportunities for value engineering throughout the project lifecycle.

  • Market Conditions Impact: We meticulously analyze market conditions to forecast potential impacts on material and labor costs, ensuring our clients are prepared for any fluctuations.
  • Procurement Strategies: By leveraging our extensive network and expertise, we develop procurement strategies that align with project timelines and budget constraints, mitigating risks of delays or cost overruns.
  • Earthwork Concerns: Our design/build mentality is truly shown during the early stages of site analysis. Reviewing and working with geotechnical engineers to determine cost-effective options for proposed ground improvements. One of the most variable cost factors on any ground-up development.

Market Conditions: Navigating the Landscape for Strategic Advantage

Understanding and adapting to market conditions is crucial for the strategic planning and success of Green Infrastructure projects. This includes evaluating transportation logistics, labor markets, and economic incentives that can influence the project’s viability and competitiveness.

  • Strategic Location Analysis: Assessing the accessibility and connectivity of a site to ensure it meets the logistical requirements of the project.
  • Workforce Considerations: Evaluating the local labor market to ensure access to a skilled workforce, which is essential for operating Green Infrastructure facilities.
  • Economic Incentives: Identifying and leveraging economic development incentives can provide significant advantages, from tax breaks to grants and subsidies, enhancing the financial feasibility of projects.

By carefully considering these factors, we guide our clients through the complexities of market conditions, ensuring that their projects are positioned for success from the outset.

Through these strategies, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the costs involved, enabling our clients to make informed decisions that align with their financial goals and project requirements.

Written by:

Bradley Berg, M.B.A.
Project Developer, ARCO/Murray

The ARCO/Murray Advantage in Green Infrastructure Development

The journey to developing successful Green Infrastructure projects is complex and requires a partner who can navigate the intricacies of preconstruction with expertise and strategic insight. At ARCO/Murray, we pride ourselves on our ability to guide our clients through every stage of this process, from early site selection and utility sourcing to navigating market conditions and managing costs.

Our dedicated Development Services team, led by experts like myself, is committed to ensuring that every project meets and exceeds our clients’ expectations regarding sustainability, efficiency, and value. By choosing ARCO/Murray as your partner, you gain access to a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a commitment to excellence that is unmatched in the industry.

We invite you to reach out to us below to learn more about how we can assist in your next Green Infrastructure project and experience a better way to build firsthand. Together, we can build a sustainable future, one project at a time.

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