While dealing with environmental works and regulations, it is best to hire a firm owing to the novel and dynamic nature of the field. It’s imperative that the firm thus hired must have demonstrated expertise as their arsenal.
Do not be sold on the cheapest service without looking into the expertise, licenses and experience that a firm has. Remember that any mistakes your partner makes could end up becoming a liability for you and your company. Do some research and ask like-minded businesses for recommendations on firms they have worked for in the past. Following are some non-negotiable tips to consider when hiring a sustainable engineering firm:
1. A General Checklist
Please understand that these projects are an elongated commitment, lasting usually well over a year, especially with regard to site assessments and regulatory services. Therefore, here is a checklist that you should consider while finalising a firm.
Timelines: The firm should be able to provide you with an accurate time period within which the project will reach completion. What is ideal is also equipping you with various tracking tools to monitor progress at each stage.
The Financials: As far as environmental engineering firms go, the cheapest is not always the best option. But many times, the firms come up with many hidden costs which cost much more in the longer run. Therefore, evaluating the cost proposal thoroughly and many times is a must.
Innovation & Technology: The more innovative and updated the firm is, the better the efficiency. This can be analysed by the technologies and resources they use.
2. The Necessary Licenses
To be able to provide certain services, a firm needs to get licensed by the authorities/state. This is to protect the public and customers from potential greenwashing or general incompetency or even fraud. Please note that not every engineer needs to have a license but there must be one licensed engineer present on-site.
3. Demonstrated Experience
Environmental or sustainable engineering firms ought to be versatile by default so not all or many might directly and conventionally fit what you are looking for, asking the questions mentioned below can help. We also recommend asking partners or people in your community as word-of-mouth continues to hold solid relevance. Also, ensure that before finalising on any firm, you have spoken to their clients in order to gauge organic and honest feedback. Any dependable firm will gladly comply, so do not shy away.
Here are a few questions you can ask to get a feel for the type of experience the firm has:
4. Available Resources
The completion of projects mandates the availability of various resources which range from simple tools to smart tech, along with skilled & experienced staff. In some cases wherein the firm does not have the necessary resources, they outsource the same by hiring subcontractors, only to cause more stakeholder management, cost and usually also delay. So, please ensure you extract the utmost clarity from the get-go.
As far as human resources are concerned, it is well-advised to ask for resumes of all the staff who will potentially onboard the assignment. You should even request references from the Project Manager or an equivalent.
5. Warning Signs
Warning signs of a bad environmental firm include hard-selling, marginalizing or exaggerating problems, overly optimistic timelines, strong biases, unfamiliarity with regulations and more.
Environmental work is notoriously complicated and involves many different facets. Firms to perform investigations, consultants to perform project oversight and consultants to supervise other consultants all cost money and delay communication. Environmental firms that integrate all these services provide greater flexibility and are generally more efficient.
We recommend The Cotocon Group for its proven history of providing sustainable engineering services in New York City to building owners. Their highly-skilled team ensures building owners meet all the requirements from planning compliance schedule, conducting energy audits and retro-commissioning to generating and all too innovatively. They demonstrate that the greatest return on investment for building owners is investing in energy efficiency.
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