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Standards Explained

The First Edition of the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission's Regional Construction Standards (Standards) was published in December 1999. In June 2016, the Sixth and latest edition was adopted, with new editions anticipated 5 years.

The cities and counties that make up the region of Hampton Roads, Virginia, have recognized the need to develop uniform construction standards for improvements in public rights-of-way. The intent was to develop standards that would accommodate most of the "typical" construction projects in the region. Therefore, these documents are intended to support the majority of issues communities face in building minor roads, drainage, and utilities. Large (over 36-inch diameter) utility pipelines, major roadways, and vertical construction (including buildings) are not intended to be addressed by the Regional Construction Standards, although projects have adapted the Standards for "vertical" applications. In a nutshell, the Standards are intended to provide quality construction throughout the region, simplify the bidding and construction administration process, and reduce construction costs.

The development of the document relied on the collective industry knowledge and skills of many individuals in the region. The Full Committee is the governing body and consists of up to 36 voting members, including up to two voting representatives from each of the 17 cities, town, and counties in the Hampton Roads Planning District and one voting member from the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) and the Hampton Roads Utility and Heavy Contractors Association (HRUHCA). The Virginia Department of Health - Division of Water Programs (VDH), the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are invited to participate in Full Committee meetings and provide comments.

Technical Review Committees (TRC) were established by the Full Committee to provide technical reviews and updates of the Standards. At key stages of the project, Focus Groups are convened to provide critical input. One group is comprised of locality Attorneys and Purchasing Agents whose task is to review the Front-End (General Provisions) portion of the document. The second group includes consulting engineers, contractors, and suppliers who review the technical specifications and standard details. The TRC collects information from jurisdictions that have used the document with an emphasis on reviewing Special Provisions to determine common elements that could be incorporated into the next Edition. The more comprehensive the Standards become, the fewer Special Provisions will be required for future projects. A standard format was developed for the jurisdictions to use in preparing Special Provisions. The TRC also makes a concerted effort to reference the latest edition of the VDOT Road and Bridge Specifications for matters involving roadways, drainage, and ancillary items.

Modification to the Standards may be proposed by interested parties by going to the HRPDC website and downloading the "Proposed Revision Form". The completed Proposed Revision Form is returned via e-mail and allows the user to offer potential changes with supporting information for initial consideration by the TRC. A "Proposed Revisions Log" is maintained on the HRPDC web site to provide the status of Proposed Revisions. The website also contains a section called "Publication Updates" which displays Proposed Revisions that have been ultimately approved by the Full Committee. The Standards do not test or approve products. Product reviews are performed at the locality level. Each locality must then decide if the Publication Update should be incorporated into their "Standing" Special Provisions.

HRPDC provides training on the use of the document on a regular basis at their Chesapeake Office in the Board Room. The training lasts approximately 3 hours. Participants are presented with a Certificate of Completion for attending the course and are awarded 3.0 Professional Development Hours (PDHs). There is a nominal charge for these training sessions to recover the reproduction costs of the Training Manuals that are provided.

The document may be obtained electronically at www.hrpdcva.gov (or directly to the Regional Construction Standards microsite at www.hrregconstds.org) or by purchasing a "hard copy", for a nominal charge at the offices of the HRPDC. The front end documents are available in Microsoft Word software, while the technical specifications and standard details are available in Acrobat Reader (.pdf) format. The user must acknowledge all modifications to the Regional Construction Standards and must illustrate changes in the Front End documents using strikethroughs and bold for deletions and additions, respectively. The user is entirely responsible and completely liable for misrepresentations to this document. In October 2008, the document was copyrighted to prevent unauthorized modifications to the document.

Over one thousand projects have used the Regional Construction Standards ranging in construction value to over $20 million for roadways, drainage, sewer rehabilitation, VDOT Urban-funded roadway improvements, streetscape, water distribution system replacement, sanitary sewer, storm water management pond, site plans, and demolition. By the end of 2015, more than $1.1 billion worth of construction projects have been completed; were under construction; or, under design, using the Regional Construction Standards since 2002.

Updated July 1, 2016