international marina construction

international marina constructionEXPERTISE

DESIGNING MARINA UTILITY SYSTEMS – INTERNATIONALLY

What are the governing regulatory agencies when working abroad?
An example might be Caribbean marina projects.

Every country in the Caribbean basin has its own unique requirements. Marina Utilities has many years of experience in providing quality marina utility systems- water, sewer, electric and standpipe systems for international marinas, including those in the in Caribbean. We can offer a wealth of information for contractors and developers wishing to develop or retrofit marinas in this arena.

For example, Marina Utilities has worked on projects in the Turks and Caicos, and in the Bahamas where we have identified and worked with required local partners and cooperated with local agencies. We have the ability to enlist skilled (and often required) local labor, develop partnerships and alliances and supply our own experienced designers and technicians.

It is important to note that the countries weigh the specific and long term benefit to the country in deciding whether to allow a project to proceed. Marina Utilities can assist developers and contractors in understanding and negotiating the maze of international requirements for any marina project.

What research or special knowledge do you have regarding the codes and requirements for international marinas?

We have researched and adapted guidelines based upon our knowledge of the International Building Code. It is essential to know which code to adapt for which specific country; for example, the Bahamas may use the Canadian Electrical code, and one would need to know that in the design and cost estimating stage.

How are the permitting procedures different?

Permitting procedures vary widely country by country. Requirements for marina utilities submissions will typically include submission to the general contractor under the general building permit and possibly under the plumbing section of the general building permit. Marina Utilities provides required “proof of competency” and licensing to assist in the process.

Does your international work with marina utilities extend the required project time?

Not typically. Because the scope of our work with the design and supply of marina utilities is smaller than the types of work that dictate the project schedule, our work falls comfortably within the project schedule guidelines.

How does working abroad affect the job cost?

The biggest factors impacting job cost abroad are mobilization and transportation, because virtually everything has to be shipped from here to there. Marina Utilities has become very efficient and good at itemizing exactly what will be needed – we fabricate in our custom shop and we ship to the marina project site. Inspections at the Port typically add 1 week to the process, plus obtaining trucks and drivers to locations that are at times, remote, and if not remote, busy.

How are materials and fabrications sent to the site(s)?

Everything is designed and fabricated here and those components, plus spare parts are transported in shipping containers. Marina Utilities has a careful system for doing this, because it is not as though you can run out to the local store for more parts and materials.

Can you explain how you get crews to remote locations – how you staff?

Crews typically need to be onsite for a period of three to six months, and their needs include housing, food, electric, telephone and internet. It is important to factor in costs such as water, which can run 10 times higher than normal. In remote locations, such as Chub Cay (Bahamas), the owner must build and supply crew quarters meeting these needs. In populated areas, such as Grenada, we will work with a real estate agent to provide housing and related needs.

How do you determine the marina customer expectations? Do you receive a program or brief when you are designing the project?

In-slip requirements, such as electrical service requirements, and other factors are provided in a set of generic plans and specifications. We may know that yachts will be in the range of 80 feet and will require water and sewer systems to meet the continuous needs of American and European systems, with in-slip water to wash the boats and electrical service for navigation, communications, entertainment, AC, and food refrigeration. We then design a specific custom system for the marina and craft a Design Build contract to secure service delivery.

Does the fact that you have designed and provided marina utilities for Clean Marina ™ and ecomarina projects, positively affect your outlook or that of potential clients?

It certainly could, and in the future we are hoping that building clean, green and sustainable ecomarinas will be the norm, and therefore our experience with such projects will become ever more valuable. Regionally, we see people putting more emphasis and value on green design and installation, and as it affects marina utilities, we assist developers in obtaining Federal Grant money for such projects.

What is an example of modern day international criteria that reflects the highest standards of development?

Leeward –Turks and Caicos eco marina project is a prime example. Marina Utilities was responsible for marina utilities, including the state of the art in- slip bilge pump out systems.

How involved are you, or aware are you of spearhead projects in international boating and super yacht facilities? Are there conferences that you attend or will attend that will update and augment your knowledge of the developing trends?

We, at Marina Utilities, are very involved with staying at the forefront of information and idea exchange about cutting edge trends in the marina industry. We attend such important shows as The International Boat Show, The Marine Equipment Trade Show (Amsterdam METS), Miami International Boat Show, Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show, the International Marina and Boatyard Conference (IMBC), the International Marina Institute Conference (IMI) and the Miami Boat Show, attended by leading developers and suppliers to marinas in the US, the Islands and Central America.

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