Water Design-Build Council Blog

Who are the Champions for Design-Build and CMAR Projects – and What is Their Journey?

WDBC’s 2017 research reports not only on the wider acceptance and use of collaborative project delivery methods for water and wastewater projects, but also that the driving growth in this market depends on a sustainable and concerted approach to education. It further reveals that successful design-build and construction management at-risk projects are structured to encourage improved government regulations, accessible funding, innovative solutions, and arguably the most valuable component -- industry best practices. However, attaining real success necessitates deeper commitments from all stakeholders above the status quo of traditional delivery. These committed stakeholders – defined as project “champions” – are the various organization leaders who embrace collaborative methods and make it their mission to share and promote these practices with others and persevere to improve and drive industry best practices into every project.

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Utilizing CMAR to Create Efficiency Through the Value Engineering Process

Posted by Joe Kantor, PE, DBIA, Senior Project Manager – Haskell on Mon, Apr 09, 2018 @ 09:29 AM

One of the main benefits of construction management at-risk projects is that the contractor is involved – not only in the construction phase but also the design phase. This benefit is particularly advantageous when the project’s construction budget has limitations. In addition, with the early engagement of the CMAR firm during the design phase, a value engineering (VE) process can be employed to save valuable owner resources.

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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 Project Delivery

Design-Bid-Build (DBB) vs. Construction Management at-Risk (CMAR): Does Construction Management at-Risk (CMAR) Cost More?

Posted by Chris Anvik, McCarthy Building Companies on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 @ 03:37 PM

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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Collaborative Delivery: Project Implementation Best Practices

Posted by John Giachino, Director of Client Services, PC Construction on Fri, Mar 16, 2018 @ 05:30 PM

Best practices for collaborative delivery project implementation are based upon relationships with a foundation of respect, openness and integration.

Team members working to implement collaborative delivery projects should understand that success relies on the ability of each team member to work cooperatively and to trust one another.

A collaborative approach focuses on defined project drivers, not individual accolades.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery

Latest Technology Plus Progressive Design-Build Equals Win for Colorado’s Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s Northern Treatment Plant

Posted by Steve Patterson, Design-Build Engineering Director, Jacobs on Fri, Mar 09, 2018 @ 01:00 PM

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, the NTP can serve 300,000 residents with room to expand to 750,000. Completion of the NTP ensures safe, reliable, and cost-effective water reclamation for the approximately 1.8 million Coloradans served by the Metro District.

Meeting the very stringent effluent limits established to protect the water quality of the South Platte River, the facility includes biological nutrient removal and tertiary treatment, including granular media filtration to meet effluent limits of 10 mg/L for total nitrogen and 1 mg/L for total phosphorus.

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Topics: progressive design-build

Common Questions (and Simple Answers) About Design-Build Delivery

Posted by Christy Wolfe, CPSM, HDR on Fri, Mar 02, 2018 @ 03:05 PM

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 Project Delivery

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: Collaborative Project Delivery

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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What is the Importance of Well-Defined Acceptance Standards on Treatment Plant Design-Build Projects?

Posted by Scott Thibault, PE, DBIA, Vice President - AECOM on Fri, Feb 09, 2018 @ 04:24 PM

shutterstock_566398444.jpgTwo 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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