Blog

Could You Pass a Quiz on Design-Build Terms?

  Last week I reviewed a presentation featuring design-build concepts and methodology. Actually, I had to read it twice, because most of the terms in the document are no longer being used – and I was stymied as to how to approach the author with constructive feedback. While startling coming from a government official, it is not an unfamiliar situation. I hear similar outdated language and address questions about the terms used for design-build delivery methods at WDBC’s education sessions all the time.  

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Topics: Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.

How a Hybrid Procurement Approach was Successfully Used for an $800 Million Regional Wastewater Treatment Program

The Capital Regional District (CRD), located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, is currently in the process of implementing a major wastewater treatment program that includes construction of a new 108-ML/d secondary wastewater treatment plant, two major pumping stations, two large diameter force mains, a 20-km residuals pipeline, a wet weather attenuation tank, and biosolids resource recovery facility. This program culminates a five-year effort in which technical planning was completed by Stantec and district representatives.

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Topics: Design-Build, Fixed-Price Design-Build, Stantec, Wastewater Treatment.

Who are the Champions for Design-Build and CMAR Projects – and What is Their Journey?

not only on the wider acceptance and use of collaborative project delivery methods for water and wastewater projects, but also that the driving growth in this market depends on a sustainable and concerted approach to education. It further reveals that successful design-build and construction management at-risk projects are structured to encourage improved government regulations, accessible funding, innovative solutions, and arguably the most valuable component — industry best practices. However, attaining real success necessitates deeper commitments from all stakeholders above the status quo of traditional delivery. These committed stakeholders – defined as project “champions” – are the various organization leaders who embrace collaborative methods and make it their mission to share and promote these practices with others and persevere to improve and drive industry best practices into every project.

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Topics: CMAR, Design-Build, HDR.

Utilizing CMAR to Create Efficiency Through the Value Engineering Process

One of the main benefits of construction management at-risk projects is that the contractor is involved – not only in the construction phase but also the design phase. This benefit is particularly advantageous when the project’s construction budget has limitations. In addition, with the early engagement of the CMAR firm during the design phase, a value engineering (VE) process can be employed to save valuable owner resources.

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Topics: CMAR, Haskell.

Are You Really Ready to Create and Maintain a Collaborative Working Environment?

Collaborative project delivery creates a terrific opportunity for all members of the project team to work together in a cooperative, trusting, and transparent environment. Unfortunately, this opportunity can be quickly squandered if project leadership loses sight of what it takes to create and maintain this collaborative environment. It is inevitable that something will go wrong at some point on the project. When that happens, the strength of the bonds among the team will be tested. Will project leadership ultimately resort to protecting their individual interests – e.g., “It’s not my fault and not my problem”? Or will project leadership find a way to rise above it, solve the issue cooperatively, and move forward?

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery.

Design-Bid-Build (DBB) vs. Construction Management at-Risk (CMAR): Does Construction Management at-Risk (CMAR) Cost More?

A common misconception is that DBB is the most cost-effective approach to designing and building a public works project. A majority of this misconception comes from a comparison at a point in time on the project that may not accurately capture all aspects of the total project cost.

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Topics: CMAR, McCarthy.

Latest Technology Plus Progressive Design-Build Equals Win for Colorado’s Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s Northern Treatment Plant

In May 2017, Colorado’s Metro Wastewater Reclamation District (Metro District) opened its Northern Treatment Plant (NTP), one of the most advanced treatment facilities in the western United States. The overall $475 million NTP program included a $302 million treatment facility that was delivered $35 million less than original budget estimate, and design and construction of the South Platte Interceptor, a nearly seven-mile gravity pipeline that conveys flow to the NTP. With capacity to treat 24 mgd, the NTP can serve 300,000 residents with room to expand to 750,000. Completion of the NTP ensures safe, reliable, and cost-effective water reclamation for the approximately 1.8 million Coloradans served by the Metro District. Meeting the very stringent effluent limits established to protect the water quality of the South Platte River, the facility includes biological nutrient removal and tertiary treatment, including granular media filtration to meet effluent limits of 10 mg/L for total nitrogen and 1 mg/L for total phosphorus.

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Topics: Jacobs, Progressive Design-Build.

Common Questions (and Simple Answers) About Design-Build Delivery

What IS the difference between design-build and collaborative delivery? They are essentially the same. Design-build (DB) is the term most are familiar with — an integrated approach for new construction, additions, or renovations, where an engineer, architect (or designer), and the contractor collaborate under a unified contract to design and build the project. The use of the term collaborative delivery reinforces the collaborative relationships among the various parties as shown below.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery, HDR.

Can Industry Partnerships and Private Financing Create Evolutionary Change in the Water Delivery Market?

During the past two decades, this industry has seen tremendous change in the way water infrastructure projects are delivered. Fifteen years ago, design-bid-build was by far the dominant delivery mechanism. Today, collaborative project delivery using fixed-price, progressive, and construction management at-risk methods has increased significantly and, for projects of any size, is becoming the delivery vehicle of choice.

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Topics: Design-Build, PLW Waterworks.

What is the Importance of Well-Defined Acceptance Standards on Treatment Plant Design-Build Projects?

Two of the most important elements of a treatment plant design-build project are the performance and acceptance standards associated with the start-up and commissioning of the treatment plant. Performance standards can be defined as the standards the plant needs to meet in order to operate in compliance with applicable permits over a range of typical operating conditions. Acceptance standards can be defined as the standards the design-builder must meet in order to satisfy the contractual requirements of the design-build agreement with the owner. Ideally, the performance and acceptance standards should be closely aligned. Problems can arise when contractual acceptance standards are overly conservative in relation to the normal performance standards of the facility.

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Topics: Acceptance Standards, AECOM, Performance Standards.