City creates Standardized Products List for development projects
The Development Services staff, along with help from both Utilities and Environmental Services and Transportation, has created a Standardized Products List for development projects. Though the average resident may never hear of a Standardized Products List (or “SPL” as it’s lovingly referred), it is the City’s hope that eventually all development permit applicants and capital improvement projects utilize this Standardized Products List.
Once a project has been issued a permit, submittals are a vital document. Submittals contain actual manufacturer’s information about the material to be used. This documentation cites the product manufacturer’s specifications related to durability, size and chemical makeup.
Up until now, the applicant would provide these submittals, which would take the form of a ream of sheets, a three-ring binder, or an inch-high stack of paper. Not only is this wasteful, it takes a great deal of time to sift through and review these documents. With the new Standardized Products List, applicants can now choose from the hundred or so allowed products for utilities including waterlines, wastewater lines and drainage infrastructure. This List cuts hundreds of sheets down to a few dozen.
Additionally, less review time is needed. Time is the critical factor at this point in the development process. The next step is what’s called a Pre-Construction Meeting, which allows the Design Engineer, City Inspector and General Contractor to meet and get everyone on the same page, and acts as a stepping stone to actual construction. Less time in review means the Pre-Construction Meeting can get scheduled more quickly.
The City of Austin has the most commonly known Standardized Products List in the area, but Round Rock wanted something all its own. City employees Laton Carr and Eddie Imken took on most of the heavy lifting, creating the layout and design, and gathering all the information and associated documentation.
“It was a true challenge, but once implemented, something that we see as filling a true need within our process,” Development Services Manager Aneil Naik said.
The List is still in its infancy, and Naik is certain there will be continual updates within the next year to clean up any bugs, update products as they are approved, and add some sleekness.
“I want to get to the point where there are active links that are updated and current, but maintain that clean and concise look,” Naik said.
The City hopes to obtain feedback from engineers and contractors about this new process as well.
Getting a product on the List can be difficult, but it is possible. Allowed products are the same ones City crews use in the field for maintenance and repairs. Part of the updates will be communication with the City departments to make sure equipment can be coupled with the product, stage testing, and consider the experience of field crews and staff.
“The more we believe in the List, the more it will thrive,” Naik said. “We cannot be blindsided by the habit of our systems. We have to continually search for solutions and efficiencies that will make life easier for Developers, Engineers, City staff, and ultimately the residents of Round Rock. If we don’t, well, we’re just being lazy.”
The latest version of the Standardized Products List can be found here: SPL
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Source: City of Round Rock