Looking for something different to do this holiday season? Reach out to 100 of your favorite friends and family members, play a single-round game of Family Feud, and ask them to name a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Even if they have had more than their share of spiked eggnog, they will likely have the presence of mind to think about the Kavanaugh hearings and big constitutional and social issues. I suspect that the overwhelming number one answer will be Roe v. Wade. Maybe Bush v. Gore will show up on the list. But will anyone mention U.S. v. Spearin? Be honest. Did that decision ever cross your mind? Did you even know that the Spearin Doctrine – our country’s most important construction law doctrine – was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court?
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.
“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.
A featured topic of discussion at the recent August ACEC Environment & Energy Committee meeting was Identifying Financial Trends from Federal, State, and Private/Public Partnership (P3) sources. Committee members sought to gain insight and perspective from other groups and organizations also in attendance (Council of Mayors, WDBC, engineering and financial firms).
Our esteemed colleagues at the Value of Water Coalition just unveiled a new educational campaign and toolkit: What's the Value of Water? The campaign hopes to bring recognition to water, one of the world's most precious, yet often taken for granted, resources.
We at Water Design-Build Council also support these efforts to raise awareness of the importance of this valuable resource, by continuing to push for legislation and/or funding to replace and improve the infrastructure. Yet, still, water and its infrastructure are critically undervalued. Help the Value of Water Coalition accomplish this mission by sharing their new What's the Value of Water? toolkit, available for free to any organization that strives to raise awareness about the importance of investing in water, the water infrastructure, and its water resources.