The City of West Hollywood contracted with Black & Veatch prior to the start of its projects to ensure rapidly evolving smart city solutions.
Guided by its smart city plan, the city of West Hollywood (WeHo) in California began implementing projects that would help it become a “city of the future”. But like many communities, WeHo was busy and needed support in the form of technical expertise to integrate several smart city technologies into the built environment. This could have stalled progress, but WeHo proactively established a sourcing route that provided access to a bench of technical experts before smart city projects kicked off.
Through the established Master Services Agreement (MSA), Black & Veatch provided innovation, data and design services and expertise to advance WeHo’s smart city projects, including vehicle charging electrical (EV).
Collaboration is important to solving smart city challenges, but access to critical collaborators is often limited by procurement bureaucracy and lengthy contracting processes. Black & Veatch estimates a project delay of 3-6 months if a city has to backtrack procurement to resolve an unexpected project issue.
To ensure that its projects don’t lose momentum, WeHo set up an MSA before the project launch, allowing quick access to technical experts, as needed. By pre-qualifying technical experts, WeHo avoided a potentially lengthy procurement cycle. This proactive action means that WeHo and other smart cities will successfully navigate the complex process of deploying smart technologies even if conditions – such as internal staffing or technical aspects – change over the course of the project.
Working under this MSA, Black & Veatch partnered with WeHo and provided a range of support – from telephone consultations to fully developed technical solutions. The MSA proved beneficial when WeHo tackled the interplay between several complex technologies related to its electric vehicle charging sites.
Complex technology integration
Sustainability and mobility are important parts of WeHo’s Smart City strategic plan, and electric vehicle charging is one technology that helps advance the plan’s goals. The development of electric vehicle charging stations involves several important considerations, including charging infrastructure technologies, supply demand and capacity, and utility coordination. As WeHo progressed with development, they realized that the intricacies of electric vehicle design required expert collaboration. Working through MSA, WeHo engaged Black & Veatch who quickly partnered with WeHo to help navigate the complexities of electric vehicle charging design. As an engineer and designer, Black & Veatch:
- Review of contractor permit applications on behalf of WeHo to ensure sound electrical engineering and design
- Served as an advocate for WeHo during the development of a specific charging program for electric vehicles
As a testament to a successful engagement, WeHo trusted Black & Veatch to continue the evolution of its EV planning by issuing a work order under the MSA to help implement the EV charging plan at city scale.
Quick smart solutions
Cities that collaborate are the first to create best practices and shareable assets that benefit their smart city programs. Ultimately, the collaborative city will have an innovative and vibrant community, while cities that unknowingly try to solve problems on their own take a slower path to innovation and citizen-centric city functions.
Whatever technologies a city wishes to deploy – from electric vehicle charging and connected terminals to smart buildings and smart transport – they will benefit from a bench of experts.
WeHo contracted with Black & Veatch to roll out its smart city projects. Working with a single contractor helps ensure a cohesive set of solutions, avoid duplication of digital investments and increase asset optimization.