WDBC Vice President Leofwin Clark conveyed to NACWA attendees at the 45th annual conference the message as to the role that design-build delivery has for achieving their vision of the Utility of the Future. Design-Build is a foundational approach to this topic – collaborative delivery is fundamental to the goals of the Water Resources Utility of the Future vision and to Innovative Financing.
Accommodate Best Value Solutions
The under-pinning of design-build as a delivery model is that it allows owners to accommodate best value solutions – to evaluate and select infrastructure providers based on more than their design fee or a bid cost for capital, but, instead, on “best value.” Best value selection enables utilities to focus on the entire life cycle. So, where the UOTF promotes a life-cycle business case, bets value procurements are the only mainstream way to achieve that goal.
Re-Allocation of Risk
Design-build contracts are based on delivery and performance – and risk is general allocated accordingly – with the ultimate goal of accountability and reduction (or outright elimination) of the “blame game” and change orders. This approach reflects and promotes an alignment of common interests that is fundamental to the UOTF vision.
It is in this context that risk can be effectively re-allocated and better managed – and this is fundamental to the UOTF vision and blueprint. If you can get risk and responsibility – and commitment for performance documented with credible backing from industry – you can now implement those previously risky technologies or ideas that there was no incentive to touch before or that took decades to prove out.
The third part of the foundation: lifecycle, innovation, and now a contract model that is accepted and proven to reduce finger-pointing and empower reasonable risk taking to move our industry forward….
Enabling the UOTF Vision
To enable the UOTF vision and to support any innovative financing or P3 model that is likely to get traction, Utilities need to start with understanding collaborative delivery and design-build best practices. We have a lot of resources on-line, training, and a continuous dialog to support that need and we invite you to leverage these tools in support of the UOTV blueprint.