Water Design-Build Council Blog

Linda Hanifin Bonner, Ph.D, Executive Operations Manager of Water Design-Build Council

Recent Posts

Could You Pass a Quiz on Design-Build Terms?

Last week I reviewed a presentation featuring design-build concepts and methodology. Actually, I had to read it twice, because most of the terms in the document are no longer being used – and I was stymied as to how to approach the author with constructive feedback. While startling coming from a government official, it is not an unfamiliar situation. I hear similar outdated language and address questions about the terms used for design-build delivery methods at WDBC’s education sessions all the time.  

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Topics: design-build

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

Stephen R. Gates, PE, BCEE, Elected 2018 President of Water Design-Build Council Board of Directors

The Water Design-Build Council (WDBC) announced that Stephen R. Gates, PE, BCEE, Brown and Caldwell Senior Vice President, has been elected as its 2018 President of the Board, receiving the gavel from 2017 President John Doller in Dallas, TX. Transitioning from the role of the First Vice President/Treasurer, Gates chaired the Budget/Finance and Research Committees, and is in a leadership role on the Technical Practices Committee. He is responsible for development of Brown and Caldwell’s collaborative project delivery business, focusing on design-build, CMAR, and remediation services related to the environmental, water, wastewater, and energy markets provided to municipal, federal, and private organizations throughout North America.

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WDBC Announces 2018 Officers

At its annual meeting in Dallas, TX, on December 7, 2017, the WDBC Board of Directors elected its officers for 2018.

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What are the Differences Between Collaborative and Design-Bid-Build Delivery?

The water design-build industry defines collaborative delivery methods as approaches to procuring and delivering a capital project that involve close collaboration among the owner, the designer, and the contractor—from design through completion. These include construction management at-risk(CMAR), both fixed-price and progressive design-build, design-build-operate (DBO), and public-private partnerships (P3).

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Topics: design-build, Collaborative Project Delivery

A Collaborative Delivery Method with 2 Variations

One of the frequent questions occurring in the Water Design-Build Council's education session is understanding how to apply the terms – prescriptive and performance – in a “fixed-price” design-build project. 

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Topics: design-build, water design-build project, Collaborative Project Delivery, Owners

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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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

What 5 Steps Should You Never Neglect in a Design-Build Delivery Project?

Achieving a successful design-build project requires a collaborative environment that begins with the owner’s commitment to be the leader of internal preparations. Before initiating the procurement process or identifying the delivery method to be used, key decisions need to be made by the owner.

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Topics: design-build, water design-build project

WDBC's Board of Directors welcomes Michael C. Loulakis, President of Captial Project Strategies, LLC, as an "At-Large Director"

A nationally-recognized expert on project delivery systems and author of several books on the subject, Michael has worked on some of the country’s most complex public sector design-build projects in the transportation and water/wastewater sectors. Some of his notable engagements include DC Water’s Clean River and Biosolids programs, the City of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant Expansion Project, and Metropolitan Wastewater District’s Northeast Treatment Plant.

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Topics: WDBC Admin