It is well-documented through research data within the water industry, that design-build delivery methods for municipal water and wastewater projects are being used with increasing frequency across the United States. These predominant delivery methods include design/construction management-at-risk, fixed-price design-build and progressive design-build.
The projects benefiting from design-build delivery methods include newly proposed, existing upgrades and expansion of water and wastewater treatment facilities; as well as storage and supply reservoirs, conveyance and collection systems, residuals management and facility energy efficiency improvements.
The reason water industry municipal owners are employing these methods is due to the many collaborative and integrated benefits that occur in the process. Primary among the collaborative benefits is the greater control afforded to municipal owners over the project’s scope, schedule, budget and risk profile. Another benefit of integrated delivery is the significant reduction in the number and cost of change orders and claims when compared to conventional design-bid-build approach to projects.
Due to the increased use occurring throughout the North America, many municipalities have also found that promulgating state legislation and the municipality’s procurement rules offer the ability to procure their Design-Builder in a variety of ways, which include price-based, qualifications based or best value selections. The bottom line is that most of the design-build delivery methods afford a quicker and integrated procurement cycle and particularly support those projects requiring an accelerated schedule.
These delivery methods maximize the opportunity for the owner’s staff to be involved in the collaboration of the design, construction and commissioning processes. Working in a team environment, the collaborative efforts of the owner and design-builder maximize the opportunity to develop and integrate innovations, which minimize project costs and maximize operational flexibility of the completed project.