Water Design-Build Council Blog

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

Giving Collaborative Delivery Advice to First-Time Water/Wastewater Owners

Owners considering collaborative delivery frequently reach out to experienced owners and practitioners to gain information about best practices.

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Topics: design-build, Collaborative Project Delivery

Key Attributes of a Public-Private Partnership

Posted by David Kinchen, Associate VP and Director, Black & Veatch on Fri, Nov 03, 2017 @ 01:54 PM

Embracing collaboration, a key initiative promoted by the Water Design-Build Council, is much more than just a concept. Through the WDBC’s 12 years of existence, we have experienced a dramatic shift in delivery models. Whereas design-build and CMAR were considered “alternatives” just a few years ago, they are now the “go to” delivery tools for owners across the country. The reason? The benefits of true collaboration are showing how success can be achieved.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery

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

When A Collaborative Delivery Firm Establishes a Price, It Is a Binding Number

Posted by David Odell, Vice President, UCI Construction on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

A savvy design-builder once said you should avoid giving a price for a project with an undefined scope of work. The critical success factors that all design-builders consider are a well-defined scope of work, manageable schedule, fair allocation of risks, and strong collaborative relationship between the owners and the design-build team

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery

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

The Benefit of Innovation in Collaborative Project Delivery

Posted by William Hixon, P.E., BCEE, CCCA, Vice President, Arcadis on Fri, Oct 06, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Fostering Innovation Within Water Utilities

As North American water utilities strive to deliver on-demand, high-quality, affordable water and sanitation services to the hundreds of millions of customers who depend on them, the need for approaching challenges in a different way is imperative.

Through a global survey of 78 utilities in partnership with the Water Research Foundation (WRF), Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF), and Arcadis, we discovered that 91% of respondents (400 participants) believe that innovation is critical to the future success of their utility. While 62% considered their utility “innovative,” less than 40% report having the key attributes of an innovative organization.

The report, Empowering Water Utility Innovation, highlights the WRF/WE&RF research and innovation framework, which empowers utilities to build and foster environments of creativity, experimentation, and incubation to discover new approaches for serving customers, managing assets, financing investments, and realizing superior utility performance with the added dividend of enhancing sustainability.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery

What are the Benefits of Collaborative Delivery for Capital Program Projects?

Posted by Edward D. Wetzel, P.E., Ph.D., President, Wetzel Consulting on Fri, Sep 22, 2017 @ 09:22 AM

Most water and wastewater utilities around the U.S. develop and maintain long-term (typically five-year) Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs) to provide for needed system expansion or infrastructure renewal, repair, and replacement. The declining condition of America’s infrastructure is highlighted each year by numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The 2017 ASCE Infrastructure Report Card gave drinking water utilities a grade of D, and wastewater utilities a grade of D+. Rehabilitating these valuable assets, when combined with regulatory compliance needed to upgrade water and wastewater facilities to support new customer growth, can result in the requirement of large capital resources for utility systems.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery

Contingency – What is it? How is it set? And who owns it?

Posted by Mark E. Alpert, PE, DBIA, WDBC Executive Director on Fri, Sep 01, 2017 @ 09:19 AM

What is a contingency? The definition of contingency is one of the following:

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Topics: 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