Commercial irrigation contracting can offer many complex challenges during the bidding, installation and turnover phases. Most veteran commercial contractors have horror stories about projects that went off the rails at some point. In a few cases, they would have avoided these projects altogether or at least approached them differently. At Central, we are here to help you navigate through the potential minefields to make the process as trouble-free and as profitable as possible. There are two main types of commercial projects: specified and design/build.
- Specified projects may be done by an irrigation consultant, an architect or engineer
- Design/build projects include a description of what the finished system should be
Specified projects include a design, details and written specifications describing the design intent, installation process, materials to be used and how the system is to be turned over to the client. Some are very detailed and allow no substitutions; others are more general. Design/build projects include a description of the areas to be irrigated and products to be used. Some are very vague and leave much open to interpretation. I’ve seen landscape plans where certain areas are highlighted with a note to “irrigate this area”.
Let our commercial services team assist with any of these situations that come your way.
- For specified projects we can supply complete material take-offs. We do this by carefully going through the plans, details and specs, looking at more than just the big picture items – heads, valves, controllers and pipe. We look for the less obvious items like grounding and ACME fittings that can cause serious delays if missed or can mean the difference between profit and loss.
- We also provide complete submittals that are often required once you’ve won the job but before construction starts and as-builts required at the end of the project. We sometimes uncover specified products that are no longer available or those with very long lead times that can affect your production schedule. Considering price volatility over the last couple of years, we can advise you of impending or expected price changes before they happen.
- For design/build projects we can provide design, details, material take-off and as-built services. This includes specialty designs such as green walls and roofs, filtration, fertigation, pumps and pump stations, central control and sensor reactions. We can assist with long-term planning of phased projects, including mainline and water source sizing, as well as specifying the proper controls for future expansions.
Do you need assistance on the project site? Commercial services are there for you also. We offer surveys for radio, cell and network connectivity for central control systems. We have the experience necessary to offer grounding recommendations and to assist you with central control programming and customer training requirements. Are you installing a Baseline control system? Baseline offers an extended ten-year warranty when the grounding has been verified by a trained individual. We’ve got you covered! Are you replacing an obsolete or no-longer-supported control system? Let us know. We can help you sort through the customers’ requirements and wish-list and recommend the appropriate system and can even provide a software/hardware demonstration.
A specification trend we’ve seen recently calls out the qualifications of the supplying distributor. Consultants tell us this is to ensure a more trouble-free control system turnover to the client. Controls are becoming more complex and this group effort by contractor and distributors is often necessary for a successful outcome. Here at Central, we have the hands-on experience it takes to help you meet this requirement.
As commercial work becomes more complex in general, partnering with an experienced commercial distributor becomes more critical. All indications are this will be a strong year for commercial projects. At Central, we are very well positioned to help you grow your commercial work and profitability in 2023. Reach out today!
About Dave Shane
Dave has more than three decades of experience in the irrigation industry in both distribution and manufacturing roles. He specializes in commercial project solutions with an emphasis on controls to meet complex requirements. He is an excellent resource for any technical questions about irrigation systems and finding the right solutions for efficient irrigation systems.