There are a lot of lessons to be learned from projects that go smoothly and according to plan and budget. But what about those projects that don’t go so well? The lessons gleaned from budget mishaps, contract issues, and first-time design-build experiences can be just as valuable. While not easily covered in 700 words or less, let’s look at a few of the reasons we have seen DB projects go wrong.
Rice Lake Construction Group, in conjunction with AE2S Engineering and the City of Watford City, successfully completed the first construction management at-risk delivery of a municipal wastewater treatment facility project in North Dakota. Below are a few items that made the project a success and a few that could have made the process better.
As we observe the growth of design-build as a project delivery method in the municipal water market, I am reminded that our industry was a late adopter of collaborative delivery. In those early days of delivery method evaluation, some of us would point to the success achieved in the industrial markets using design-build as a reason to consider “alternative project delivery” in the design-bid-build world of water. But what is the reality of the industrial design-build market?
Design-build-operate (DBO) offers an important expansion of the design-build (DB) project-delivery method for the water and waste-water industry. DBO comprises all of the components of DB -- including design, permitting, procurement, construction, and testing -- and also includes operation and maintenance (O&M) of the completed facility. Thus, the delivery of the project and services provided to the owner do not end at final acceptance; services continue through a defined operational term.
These “Recommended Guidelines for Best Practices,” Produced by the Water Design-Build Council, summarize the directions provided in the 3rd Edition of the Municipal Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook.