Blog

Attacking Workforce Depletion with Innovation

You can get your team to adopt new technologies and get the millennial workforce excited about craft labor. The key is in your approach to innovation.

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Topics: Craft Labor, Enerfab.

Value Engineering’s Role in Collaborative Delivery

What is Value Engineering? Value engineering (VE) is a creative, systematic approach to providing the essential functions of a project at the best value. Successful VE results are achieved through an open, collaborative review of the project that considers life cycle costs, performance, quality, reliability, and safety. VE is one of the many benefits that collaborative-delivery methods such as CMAR, design-build, and progressive design-build offer to project owners.

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Topics: Garney, Value Engineering.

The CMAR Delivery Process – Is It Right For You?

Are you a “hands-on” owner who prefers to work collaboratively through the design and construction of your project? Do you like to maintain control over all project phases? If so, construction management at-risk (CMAR) may be the best delivery method to achieve your project goals. As collaborative-delivery methods continue to gain owners’ understanding and respect for the benefits they can provide to achieve best project value, CMAR truly stands out in the crowd. It provides the flexibility to select both your design and construction partners while allowing collaboration to begin early in design and continue through preconstruction and construction. This is extremely beneficial, especially for projects with tight schedules or complex scopes.

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Topics: CMAR, PC Construction.

Achieving Triple Bottom Line (TBL) Success using Progressive Design-Build Delivery

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Triple Bottom Line (TBL) success involves a team commitment to balancing not only the economic (financial) components of a project, but also that of social responsibility and environmental stewardship. Projects that seek this achievement must focus equally on each of these goals. Using progressive design-build delivery, the Southwestern Parkway CSO Basin project in Louisville, KY, realized this success while supporting Louisville MSD’s mission to “provide exceptional wastewater, drainage, and flood protection services for our community.” This $78 million project included the design, construction, and commissioning of a large “capture and release” system that temporarily stores combined sewage during wet weather events. This temporary storage is facilitated by a 20-million-gallon concrete storage tank with associated wash-down systems, and a 30-mgd effluent pump station constructed below the Great Lawn of Shawnee Park which is part of Louisville’s Olmsted Park system. The project was led by Ulliman Schutte and their engineer of record, Burgess & Niple.

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Topics: Progressive Design-Build, TBL, Ulliman Schutte.

Construction Delivery Systems:

(This story was originally published in the Dallas Business Review – Volume VIII. It has been edited slightly for length.) We were doing great until we built our new headquarters building last year. The construction was a nightmare! Yeah, we doubled our manufacturing space, but spent about 30% more than we could afford – and we’ll probably end up in the courthouse with the contractor before it’s all said and done. Our competitor beat us to the market because our contractor let the project stall and we missed our target for move-in by three and a half months. Sound familiar? In each of these scenarios, the owners’ outcomes didn’t meet their expectations. More and more, construction project delivery systems are being designed to control outcomes and give owners more certainty as to cost (including life-cycle costs), quality, schedule, and even certainty in terms of the level of an owner’s risk and the involvement of the owner’s staff in the construction process.

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Topics: CMAR.

The Perks of Partnership

At the end of the day, a successful design-build project comes down to working alongside people you can trust as true partners. Whether considering technical innovations, nailing down costs, or exploring creative delivery solutions, it’s essential that all players work together to achieve the project’s end goal.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Equipment/Technology Suppliers, Xylem.

How Do You Achieve a High-Performing Team for Construction Management at-Risk (CMAR) Projects While Avoiding Off-Ramps?

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Every team that starts a CMAR project wants the end result to be successful. So, why are some projects successful and others end with owners choosing to enact the off-ramp clause and terminate the contract? When an owner decides to pursue the off-ramp clause, it often means that a major disagreement with some aspect of the project has occurred—either the projected costs to construct the project are over the budget or the approach is not in alignment with the owner’s goals. Off-ramp provisions in contracts are essential to protecting owners, but when the off-ramp is enacted, the result is a delay in the overall project schedule and perhaps increased project costs.

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Topics: CMAR, McCarthy, Off-Ramp.

Best Practices for Owners Making Collaborative-Delivery and Procurement Decisions

Last month in working with a client to prepare for a collaborative-delivery project, they asked some interesting questions about how they can achieve a successful project with more certainty and predictability. This was not the first time this topic has been raised. Others have also expressed a desire for guidance. The good news is that across the board we are definitely seeing a significant increase in successful client/contractor experiences that result from working in a collaborative and transparent environment. The guidance provided below is part of the discussion that occurred on actions needed to achieve a successful project.

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Topics: Best Practices, Collaborative Delivery, Kiewit.

A New Perspective: Meeting in the Middle Through Collaboration

After 18 years working as a design engineer for a nationally recognized water consulting firm, I switched career paths to the other end of the spectrum: construction. I was not actively seeking a new position but accepted an invitation from a colleague to consider an opportunity with one of the country’s largest builders, Walsh Construction. With more and more projects being procured using collaborative-delivery approaches, Walsh recognized the benefit of not just working closely with engineering firms but having in-house design expertise and experience to properly manage the work and relationships with the firm’s engineering partners. It was exciting to know that I would be the first person to fill a role of this type with Walsh in its California Water Group. Leaving the only firm I had ever worked for in my professional career, and the many associates whom I deeply respected, was a daunting prospect. Still, the opportunity intrigued me. Some of the most gratifying and challenging experiences of my career were those that kept me involved throughout the entire life of a project. I believed this new opportunity would afford me that same satisfaction but in a new and exciting way, and I accepted the offer.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, The Walsh Group.

Price and Schedule Aren’t the Owner’s Top Drivers Anymore When Choosing Collaborative Delivery

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The Water Design-Build Council is at it again…collecting data and doing research. The latest efforts are being finalized for public release shortly. In the meantime, I’d like to share some preliminary results that I find interesting. The Council interviewed dozens of owners across the country and asked a variety of questions. My favorite was, “What is driving or influencing project procurement decisions in the context of collaborative delivery?” It appears that price and schedule are not the owner’s most important concerns as they once were.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Research.