Blog

The Benefit of Innovation in Collaborative Project Delivery

Fostering Innovation Within Water Utilities As North American water utilities strive to deliver on-demand, high-quality, affordable water and sanitation services to the hundreds of millions of customers who depend on them, the need for approaching challenges in a different way is imperative. Through a global survey of 78 utilities in partnership with the Water Research Foundation (WRF), Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), and Arcadis, we discovered that 91% of respondents (400 participants) believe that innovation is critical to the future success of their utility. While 62% considered their utility “innovative,” less than 40% report having the key attributes of an innovative organization. The report, Empowering Water Utility Innovation, highlights the WRF/WE&RF research and innovation framework, which empowers utilities to build and foster environments of creativity, experimentation, and incubation to discover new approaches for serving customers, managing assets, financing investments, and realizing superior utility performance with the added dividend of enhancing sustainability.

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Topics: Arcadis, Collaborative Project Delivery.

Does an Owner’s Advisor Ever Assume the Role of a Construction Manager on a Design-Build Project?

It’s important to first define what we mean by “construction management (CM).” In the water industry, the term CM has become synonymous with what are truly construction administration (CA) services, where the owner employs the OA to be the quality assurance agent for the project. Construction management is the responsibility and the job of the design-build (DB) team. In essence, the DB team retains the responsibility for managing the construction phase of the project and has responsibility for the overall quality control (QC) of that work. An owner’s advisor (OA) working as a representative of the owner as a CA has the responsibility for quality assurance (QA). This includes traditional activities such as payment administration, critical contract submittal and shop drawing reviews for compliance to the contract documents, interpretation of the contract documents, inspection of the work, etc.

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Topics: Carollo, Design-Build, Owner's Advisor.

What are the Benefits of Collaborative Delivery for Capital Program Projects?

Most water and wastewater utilities around the U.S. develop and maintain long-term (typically five-year) Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs) to provide for needed system expansion or infrastructure renewal, repair, and replacement. The declining condition of America’s infrastructure is highlighted each year by numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card gave drinking water utilities a grade of D, and wastewater utilities a grade of D+. Rehabilitating these valuable assets, when combined with regulatory compliance needed to upgrade water and wastewater facilities to support new customer growth, can result in the requirement of large capital resources for utility systems.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery.

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration on Progressive Design-Build Projects

Due to the complex nature of water projects, it is important to develop a project framework that allows flexibility and close collaboration between the owner and the project team. Progressive design-build lends itself particularly well to collaboration. In particular, using early design workshops that involve the design-build team, the owner, plant operators, and other stakeholders is a best practice that can pay dividends to the overall project.

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Topics: AECOM, Collaborative Project Delivery, Progressive Design-Build.

Generating Team Collaboration in Construction Management at-Risk

The single most important factor for ensuring the success of the collaboration process is the careful selection of the individuals involved. This is perhaps even more critical in construction management-at-risk project delivery than in other design-build delivery methods due to the nature of the contracting arrangements.

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Topics: CMAR, Ulliman Schutte.

Contingency – What Is It? How Is It Set? And Who Owns It?

What is a contingency? The definition of contingency is one of the following: A future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty A provision for an unforeseen event or circumstance In the case of an owner’s budget for a collaborative delivery project, the purpose of a contingency is to incorporate an additional allotment of funds within the final approved budget that can be used when and if the scope of a project changes with an associated cost increase in the delivered project. If an owner’s team directs its project delivery firm to increase its scope of work, the contingency allows the owner’s team to proceed with the project and not have to receive additional internal authorizations for spending.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery, Contingency, WDBC Admin.

Where Do I Get a Contract to Use for my Design-Build Project – and What Does This “Off-Ramp” Mean?

If you’ve ever attended one of the WDBC education sessions, you’ll recall that instructor Mark Alpert likes to immediately inform you that there are some key terms he is going to be persistent in getting you to remember: GMP, RTFC, off-ramp, and a few others. The reason he is so persistent is that without a good contract in place, and understanding what the terms in the document mean, the project is definitely going to encounter unforeseen issues. But we also learn in these sessions that there are often numerous misunderstandings about how to approach the contracting process and the dynamics that occur, potentially leading to the “off-ramp.” When an organization attempts to “retrofit” their existing contracts or doesn’t know where to locate a good template or model, the problems begin.

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Topics: Contracts, Education, Off-Ramp, WDBC Admin.

How an Integrated Process System Optimized Delivery Speed and Value for a New Wastewater Treatment Plant

In 2014, the town of Berthoud, located on the Front Range of Colorado, north of Denver along the I-25 corridor, was faced with development requests from a combination of residential, commercial, and light industrial users. This request coincided with the implementation of stringent nutrient regulations by the State of Colorado for new wastewater treatment facilities. With the planned development of the eastern area of the community, particularly a major complex serving the trucking industry, a new east-side treatment facility would be necessary to sustain the planned growth of the city to the east of the existing service area. As a result, Berthoud officials made the decision to build a new wastewater treatment plant under an expedited schedule to accommodate the growth on the eastern part of the town.

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Topics: Wastewater Treatment, Xylem.

How Can Education Address Impediments in Using Design-Build/CMAR Delivery for Water and Wastewater Projects?

Primarily due to efficiencies with schedules and the overall work process for both utility owners and municipalities during the past five years, the use of design-build and CMAR delivery for water and wastewater projects has increased. As the WDBC’s recent research report revealed, the use of collaborative delivery methods is continuing to gain significant momentum in the water sector because of the education process. The other good news is that WDBC’s research data shows that external impediments – such as legislative and regulatory requirements – are decreasing and progress continues within the states on that specific challenge.

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Topics: CMAR, Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.

Understanding the Differences in Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) and Fixed-Price for Design-Build Delivery Projects

The intent of this article is to further an Owner’s understanding of the commonly used pricing approaches for either Design Build or CMAR delivery methods. For additional information on these topics, please review the appropriate sections in the Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook (4th Ed). When discussing Design-Build projects, there are potentially two forms of final project pricing and compensation: Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) or Fixed Price (FP). Owners and practitioners should be clear in their respective understanding of what each approach leads to in performance of services and responsibility for cost documentation.

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Topics: CH2M Hill, Design-Build, Fixed-Price Design-Build, Guaranteed Maximum Price.