Miami–Dade County Sustainable Capital Improvement Process
RS&H served as the lead consultant to integrate sustainability and accessibility policies and procedures into Miami-Dade County’s capital improvement process. RS&H assessed the county’s present performance, developed new guidelines and recommendations for improvement, and provided education and training services to support implementation.
RS&H worked with the county to identify significant sustainability and accessibility aspects of its current approach to building or substantially renovating facilities and infrastructure. Methods employed included surveys, interviews, and workshops with county engineers, architects, project managers, and other capital improvement professionals. RS&H also reviewed county ordinances, orders, and administrative controls. The team benchmarked current policies and procedures against Best Management Practices identified within the federal government, state of Florida, and Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle. Working with Miami-Dade County, RS&H identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the sustainability and accessibility of the county’s capital improvement projects.
RS&H then created guidelines and recommendations for implementing new construction and major renovation projects that maximize energy efficiency, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and increase the use of renewable energy. They also ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The guidelines incorporate techniques to improve project performance, including minimum design standards, life-cycle cost accounting, energy modeling, and commissioning, as well as the US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating Systems.
Training and Implementation
RS&H developed and led training and orientation modules for county professionals to implement the new guidelines. Modules included an orientation to the new guidelines for capital improvement professionals, a train-the-trainer curriculum for senior staff, and a policies and recommendations brief for high-level decision-makers. Miami-Dade County subsequently incorporated RS&H’s recommendations and guidelines into a new implementing order governing the county’s capital improvement projects.