Water Design-Build Council Blog

Addressing the Craft Labor Shortage

“Can we fix it? Yes, we can!”

If you raised a child in the early 2000s you may be hearing the enthusiastic proclamation from the popular animated children’s series Bob the Builder echoing in your ears at this very moment. The series featured Bob, the resident builder, his partners, and a fleet of talking yellow iron. Bob the Builder was my daughter’s favorite show – her favorite character was Scoop, a backhoe loader, or an “I-Dig-Dirt,” as she called it. As a descendant of a proud line of craft laborers including legacy carpenters, crane operators, and yes, even a large backhoe operator, I entertained the thought that maybe, just maybe, my daughter might land in the construction industry, spurred by her admiration of the determined and optimistic Bob and his talking fleet of yellow iron.

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Topics: design-build, Education, craft labor

Does Collaborative Delivery Cost More?

Posted by Mark E. Alpert, PE, DBIA, WDBC Executive Director on Fri, Aug 17, 2018 @ 01:00 PM

For owners considering collaborative delivery approaches for water and wastewater projects, such as progressive design-build (PDB) or construction management at-risk (CMAR), one of the biggest impediments to acceptance is the perception that the final cost of the project would be larger than a traditional design-bid-build and cannot be controlled. Based on our research, there are two primary reasons this stumbling block exists. One relates to the owner’s belief that their initial cost estimates are correct and that the project can be designed and constructed within their budget. A second, and perhaps more important issue, is that many owners still do not understand how the collaborative process evolves and how to reach a final acceptable price on the project, primarily because they are only familiar with the design-bid-build pricing process that uses the low-bid approach.

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery, design-build

What Decisions are Needed to Prepare Your Organization to Use Design-Build Delivery?

The questions most often raised by utilities or agencies who want to pursue design-build delivery for their pending project range from “What are the decisions I need to make in the procurement process?” to “How do I prepare my organization to make the right decisions about the best collaborative delivery approach for my project?” Answers to these questions, which were addressed recently in an education session with a large metropolitan utility, also provide the opportunity for us to share the results of WDBC’s 2017 research on what public officials say they have learned from pursuing a design-build project.

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Topics: design-build

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: Collaborative Project Delivery, design-build

Oh, the Benefits of Collaborative Startup and Commissioning

Posted by Bob Dudley, PE, Sr. Vice President, OBG and WDBC Board Member on Fri, Jul 06, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

The visible power of collaboration in a design-build delivery is never more evident than in the final phase of the project -- the startup and commissioning. Raise your hand if you can share a story about a startup that went wrong in a design-bid-build (DBB) contract—I bet most of you have your hands up!

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Topics: Collaborative Project Delivery, design-build

Early Supplier Involvement During The Development of the Response to a Design-Build RFP

In April 2016, the design-build team of Foley Company and Black & Veatch was awarded the Blue River WWTP Odor Control Phase 1 design-build contract for Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department. The proposal submitted contained two parts: 1) technical proposal and 2) lump sum fixed price with a 20-year life cycle cost analysis. The criteria for selecting the design-build team was a point system developed to evaluate the team’s technical background, experience, project approach, lump sum fixed-price construction and engineering work, and the life cycle operation and maintenance cost analysis.

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Topics: design-build

How An Integrated Design-Build Team Is Essential To Achieving Lowest Whole Of Life Cost In A P3 Project

There are varying definitions of a public-private partnership (P3) in the North American water sector, and each definition can impact the design-build contractor and their commercial relationships.

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Topics: design-build

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

Managing Risks in Design-Build Delivery

Posted by Mark E. Alpert, PE, DBIA, WDBC Executive Director on Fri, Feb 02, 2018 @ 04:12 PM

risk-management-design-build

Findings in the research study of "Lessons Learned from Owners Using Design-Build Project Delivery" emphasizes that the key to successful design-build projects is an active and continuous collaboration between an owner and the selected project team.

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Topics: design-build

Utilizing Design-Build Delivery to Provide Water Treatment Solutions on a Deadline

Posted by Bryan Bedell, DBIA, Haskell Water Division Leader on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

design-build-deliveryOwners often look to design-build delivery as a means to accelerate the overall schedule for their water or wastewater project. In fact, schedule advantage was cited as the #1 reason for selecting design-build delivery in a recent survey of owners conducted by the UNLV and Water Design-Build Council.

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Topics: design-build