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Water Design-Build Council
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WDBC E-NEWS – January 23, 2015

Water Design Build Council

Issue Highlights

  • A Decision-Making Process for Design-Build Projects – Understanding Risks

  • AECOM Project Spotlight

  • A Message from WDBC President David E. Kinchen

  • White House: New EPA Water Finance Center & Set of Financial Proposals

A Decision-Making Process for Design-Build Projects - Understanding Risk

Over the past decade, WDBC has been tracking the progress of the increased use of design-build delivery methods by public agencies and municipalities across the country for water infrastructure projects. The purpose of this process is to ensure an effective mechanism is in place for continuous improvement and knowledge of important factors needing addressed by industry practitioners. In addition to this purpose, this data-gathering process also enables WDBC to obtain information about the benefits achieved by municipal owners throughout the management of their projects as well as in the development process.

It is from this type of information and data-gathering that essential education tools such as the Procurement Guide for Progressive Design-Build Water Infrastructure Projects was produced. This project ranks as the second, most demanded document, after the WDBC Municipal Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook. In March, WDBC will release the findings of a new research study that reports on the experiences municipal owners and project managers have had in using design-build delivery methods with water and wastewater projects.

Similarly, WDBC’s current data reports that many of the benefits gained from design-build delivery methods are the result of being able to use innovative technology and achieving schedule efficiency, cost-effectiveness and other savings. This months featured project of WDBC member, AECOM is a solid example of these findings on schedule and cost efficiencies in the collaborative process, and the successes this owner has achieved.

The cumulative results of these successes is also evident in the states which now have legislation in place to use practices such as progressive design-build delivery. WDBC’s 2014 research study shows that of all the states examined in 2012, all but one now permit the use of PDB. In supporting Owners who are examining which collaborative project-delivery approach is the right choice for them, the WDBC provides the following guidance for their decision-making process.

One of WDBC’s guidance documents, addressing the Allocation and Management of Risk is an important consideration in achieving a successful collaborative approach design-build water infrastructure projects.

WDBC’s education and training program also features this important information for making decisions about design-build delivery.  

WDBC’s Education Session – Risk, Liability and Contracting for Design-Build Water Infrastructure Projects 

This educuation series provides valuable information on:

  • Understanding the basic risks between parties (owners-design-builders)
  • Avoiding undesirable events and issues
  • Reaching agreement to manage and/or mitigate risk
  • Defining which party is best able to mitigate or absorb each risk
  • The relationship of risk & liability in contracts
  • Proprietary Issues and performance guarantees

AECOM Project Spotlight: Design-Build Brings Safe Drinking Water to Newport, Rhode Island


AECOM, in joint venture with C.H. Nickerson, was awarded a design-build contract in Newport, Rhode Island, to rehabilitate the Station No. 1 Water Treatment Plant and build a new Water Treatment Plant at the Lawton Valley site.

AECOM's comprehensive design-build scope for the two water treatment plants included comprehensive design-build services for the two water treatment plants permitting, design, construction, start-up, training, O&M manual development and commissioning.

Download This Project Spotlight >>

A Message from WDBC President David E. Kinchen

Over the last 9 years, the contributions and the accomplishments of the Water Design Build Council have been astounding. The successful and positive experiences of Owner’s when using DB and CMAR is but one indicator of the WDBC’s influence on the industry in general. Moreover, the WDBC’s influence by helping to shape delivery of water and wastewater infrastructure projects as demonstrated in the most recent survey published by the WDBC. From Municipal Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook (now in its 3rd version),  the continued growth of its educational series, the WDBC has been instrumental in demonstrating to owners and practitioners the true collaborative nature of design-build delivery models when the appropriate planning and best practices are employed. 

As a member organization, Black & Veatch is greatly excited about the growth of these delivery models for our business. We are committed to the extremely vital mission of the WDBC going forward, which is to facilitate thought leadership with stakeholders through research, education, and communication.  The WDBC’s mission has evolved as the industry has grown.  The influence of the WDBC on the water and wastewater industry has never been more important than now if the nation and its communities are going to be successful in their respective missions of developing a reliable water and wastewater system.  As we embark on the year 2015 and beyond, a stronger focus on partnering and collaboration with other professional associations will create a more robust platform for our mission as the industry deals with the challenge of rebuilding America’s infrastructure

David Kinchen
Vice President
Black & Veatch Water


White House: New EPA Water Finance Center & Set of Financing Proposals

On January 16, the White House announced the launch of a new Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center within EPA targeted to maximize public and private investment in water and sewer infrastructure, including a focus on public-private partnerships. As part of this effort, the Administration also announced a new set of tax proposals that would allow local and state governments to more easily work with the private sector to pursue projects that combine public and private investment. This announcement was made at one of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project sites where Vice President Joe Biden, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and DC Water’s General Manager George Hawkins were on hand to underscore the importance of infrastructure funding to job creation and economic expansion. Vice President Biden noted that clean water infrastructure projects are vitally important both because they create jobs but also because upgraded infrastructure will help lure overseas businesses back to the U.S. The complete proposal outlining the components of the initiative as it relates to the water sector is provided. Industry organizations are preparing both an analysis and input to this document.

Longmont, CO Case Study
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The Water Design-Build Council is a not-for-profit association established in 2006 to promote best practices in design-build and construction management-at-risk procurement. Implementation of this mission occurs through education and outreach, serving in a leadership role as an industry advocate for the value of collaborative delivery for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.

Member Companies

The Water Design-Build Council stands ready to contribute its expertise, resources, innovation and enthusiasm to the challenge of strengthening our water and wastewater infrastructure.