Ecology surveys and mitigation works are a key part of development and infrastructure projects in the UK, and are increasingly being viewed as a necessary stage of the project life cycle. Although the work of ecological consultants is well understood, the work of their colleagues, the ecological contractor, is less so.
The ecological contractor turns the ecologist’s recommendations, now part of the planning conditions, into a reality. Whether it be a newly constructed newt utopia, a bat hotel or maybe a new area of wetland, they help to turn that piece of brown dirt into a paradise for wildlife and ensure that the planning conditions are met. The ecological contractor plays a vital part in the success of your project. They are usually involved at the front and tail end of schemes – where deadlines are critical and the threat of delay damages is ever looming!
It’s important to choose an ecological contractor carefully. Specialist contractors will have an extensive track record within the sector and will be able to provide references for work on similar projects. Whilst the temptation could be to use a cheaper contractor, they may be less experienced, and over the project life-cycle, could cost more due to extra supervisory time needed and project delays. We have experienced situations on site, where costs have doubled, due to poor workmanship by previous contractors.
The top specialist ecological contractors will hold relevant accreditations to give you confidence that they know what they are doing. Thomson Habitats has ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 (quality and environment), CHAS (health and safety), RISQS (Rail) and UVDB Verify (Utilities).
The advantages of highly trained staff who are specialists in their respective fields are obvious. They will usually have CSCS/CPCS/NPORS tickets. Project managers will typically have a degree or HND, as well as experience in the field, and so will be able to provide innovative solutions to problems, as well as having the ability to provide recommendations as to the best way of carrying out the works. Having a specialist knowledge of work methods, plant types and equipment can provide huge value to schemes, and can identify areas of cost savings.
The most forward-looking ecological contractors will also be looking at how they can best integrate BIM, or BIM capable services, into their offerings, and how they can add value. This isn’t necessarily through the services that they offer, but through the way they deliver those services.
Choosing the right contractor can make the difference between your project being a success and a failure.
Thomson Habitats is a highly experienced ecological contractor, with an enviable track record. We have worked on some of the UK’s largest development schemes including DP World, East West Rail, the M1 Smart Motorway Scheme, Dudgeon Onshore Cable Route, Wallasea Island, Crossrail, CP5, Birmingham Airport, Gatwick Airport, Wellesley Development, Northstowe Development, IEP Depot Programme and Stanton Cross. We can offer a BIM integrated approach through our in-house interactive mapping system, TIM. This is an integrated project platform enabling you to see all documents – from RAMS to licences – and daily updated progress data on one e-site.
To find out how we can assist you on your projects, please contact us on 01483 466066.