Blog

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 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, …

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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 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.

Hidden Risk Topics in Construction Contracts – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

As discussed in the previous blog, the underlying principle of allocating and managing risk in projects using CMAR or design-build delivery methods is to embark upon a collaborative process between the owner and construction professionals with initial discussions on how to allocate specific risks to the party best positioned to manage and assume the risk. These decisions ultimately end up in the contract between the owner and construction professional. As part of the initial discussions when formulating a contract, the following additional areas are highlighted for your attention. In addition, WDBC’s 2018 education program now includes a specific module on contracts which also addresses the elements of risk.

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Topics: Risk Allocation, WDBC Admin.

Construction Contract Risk Allocation – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

The underlying principle of allocating and managing risk in projects using CMAR or design-build delivery methods is to embark upon a collaborative process between the owner and construction professionals with initial discussions on how to allocate specific risks to the party best positioned to manage and assume the risk. Chapter 3 of the WDBC Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook is an excellent resource on the subject of risk in collaborative-delivery projects. However, the purpose of providing this more specific commentary is to share some of the risk allocating scenarios observed during the contractual process.

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Topics: Risk Allocation.

Utilizing Design-Build Delivery to Provide Water Treatment Solutions on a Deadline

Owners often look to design-build delivery as a means to accelerate the overall schedule for their water or wastewater project. In fact, schedule advantage was cited as the #1 reason for selecting design-build delivery in a recent survey of owners conducted by the UNLV and Water Design-Build Council.

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Topics: Design-Build, Haskell.

Insights Into the Use of “Earned Performance Fees” in Design-Build Projects

One of the questions frequently asked by owners is how and when to use “earned performance fees” in water and wastewater design-build projects. In this context, earned performance fees are defined as monetary benefits established to attain a specific achievement or goal. The use of earned performance fees with any delivery method can be a powerful tool that helps both the owner and design-builder to better align accomplishing the project objectives. However, in a design-bid-build project, the intent of earned performance fees is often to drive innovation, collaboration, schedule, and cost savings, which are all hallmarks of design-build delivery. This begs the question: Why use earned performance fees for design-build delivery projects? One of the answers is: When earned performance fees are used with a design-build delivery project, it further stimulates maximizing innovation, collaboration, schedule, and cost savings – well beyond what can occur in the limited design-bid-build process, since much of the contractual arrangements are already locked in once the project goes out to bid.

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Topics: Design-Build, Earned Performance Fees, Goodwin Brothers.