Blog

Design-Build Delivery Achieves Chronic Grit Accumulation Relief at Georgia’s Largest Wastewater Facility

To solve a chronic grit-removal issue plaguing the 240 MGD RM Clayton Water Reclamation Center (WRC), Georgia’s largest wastewater treatment plant, the City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management (City) required urgent upgrades to the headworks facility involving complete replacement of coarse screening and grit removal systems and installation of new influent flow-monitoring equipment.

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Topics: Brown and Caldwell, Fixed-Price Design-Build, Wastewater Infrastructure/Treatment.

Is Hiring a CMAR at the 30% Design Milestone Really a Best Practice? The Impact Timing has on Project Success

Being on a CMAR project is like being part of an Olympic 4 x 100 relay team. Similar to the way the countries select the fastest runners for their Olympic relay teams; as an owner you select the best design and construction teams in the industry for your project. But having the fastest runners or the best CMAR and design teams isn’t enough. All the relay runners must come together as a cohesive team and the most critical aspect of any relay race is the transition between runners. Runners must be in lock step; they must be able to adapt to each other’s speed, excitement, and timing to move the relay baton through each leg of the relay and win the race. The same holds true for a CMAR project team. As a project moves from conceptual design, detail design, construction, and finally start-up and commissioning, each handoff of the project baton must be seamless. What would happen if you waited to find your third and fourth runners until after the race had started? Undoubtedly, that would put your relay team at a major disadvantage.

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Topics: CMAR, McCarthy, Water Design-Build Project.

Does Collaborative Delivery Cost More?

For owners considering collaborative-delivery approaches for water and wastewater projects, such as progressive design-build (PDB) or construction management at-risk (CMAR), one of the biggest impediments to acceptance is the perception that the final cost of the project would be larger than a traditional design-bid-build and cannot be controlled. Based on our research, there are two primary reasons this stumbling block exists. One relates to the owner’s belief that their initial cost estimates are correct and that the project can be designed and constructed within their budget. A second, and perhaps more important issue, is that many owners still do not understand how the collaborative process evolves and how to reach a final acceptable price on the project, primarily because they are only familiar with the design-bid-build pricing process that uses the low-bid approach.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Design-Build, WDBC Admin.

What Decisions are Needed to Prepare Your Organization to Use Design-Build Delivery?

The questions most often raised by utilities or agencies who want to pursue design-build delivery for their pending project range from “What are the decisions I need to make in the procurement process?” to “How do I prepare my organization to make the right decisions about the best collaborative delivery approach for my project?” Answers to these questions, which were addressed recently in an education session with a large metropolitan utility, also provide the opportunity for us to share the results of WDBC’s 2017 research on what public officials say they have learned from pursuing a design-build project.

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Topics: Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.

How Collaboration in a CMAR Project Successfully Delivered a Treatment Plant Expansion at UTRWD’s Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant

Upper Trinity Regional Water District’s (UTRWD) Riverbend Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), located in north central Texas near the city of Aubrey, needed to increase its capacity from 2 million gallons per day (mgd) annual average daily flow to 4 mgd with a peak flow rate of 16 mgd. This expansion was required to keep up with the economic growth occurring to the north of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In order to increase capacity, a new influent pump station, new screening and grit removal headworks, a new sludge pump station building, modification of sequential batch reactor basins to conventional aeration basins with ballasted activated sludge, and new secondary clarifiers were required.

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Topics: Carollo, CMAR, Wastewater Infrastructure/Treatment.

What’s Open-Book Pricing All About – How Does it Really Work?

(Excerpted from the Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook, 4th edition, and Education Program) Several of our industry’s best collaborative-delivery methods—particularly CMAR and progressive design-build—rely on an open-book process for developing cost and pricing during preconstruction. This process is used to achieve agreement on cost and then a price for the construction effort to proceed. In turn, the price is typically implemented either as a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) or a fixed-price contract provision.

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Topics: Brown and Caldwell, Collaborative Delivery, Open-Book Pricing, Progressive Design-Build.

How An Operations-Focused Collaborative-Delivery Method Leads To A Successful Project

The success of collaborative-delivery methods, especially progressive design-build, is due in large part to the immediate engagement of an owner’s operation and maintenance (O&M) teams— specifically during design development and preconstruction. While this approach may appear difficult to execute, it’s actually quite simple when completed systematically.

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Topics: CDM Smith, Collaborative Delivery, O&M.

Allowances Versus Contingencies: What’s the Difference?

Allowances and contingencies are often confused with one another, but understanding their differences is crucial to successfully executing project contracts.

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Topics: Allowances, Contingency, PCL.

How Treatability Testing and an Integrated Advanced Oxidation Treatment System Optimized Delivery Speed for a Water Treatment Plant Experiencing Harmful Algal Blooms

  In June of 2013, utility managers at the Anderson Regional Joint Water System (ARJWS) in Anderson, South Carolina, began experiencing intermittent taste and odor impacts to their finished potable water. This led to customer complaints and public relations challenges for the utility. The problems were due to the increasing occurrence of algal blooms in their source water body, Lake Hartwell.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Water Infrastructure/Treatment, Xylem.

Flexibility is the Name of the Game in Collaborative Delivery

One of the many overlooked benefits of collaborative delivery is the flexibility offered through the various approaches. In particular, utility and government agencies with limited resources for water infrastructure projects are finding that collaborative approaches such as progressive design-build delivery give them more flexibility to optimize not only the price, but also the overall result and experience for the owner agency and its ratepayers. 

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery.