This topic – perhaps the most crucial to any utility or agency desiring to pursue a design-build delivery for their project – is also one that is becoming more in demand. Capturing comments from one of Water Design-Build Council's recent discussions with a major utility, are passed on as "lessons learned" for others to consider.
This large metropolitan organization, with many projects on the horizon, has made the decision to educate its staff – before launching into this work. Some of the key points they want to address don’t always focus on the procurement process – but also how to help their internal team become effective in managing the design-build delivery process – and the different roles departments and managers bring to the table.
Looking at the differences in the delivery methods for various types of projects – such as rehabilitating facilities, pumping station consolidation, asset management in the transition process, and integrating local contractors into the project – are some of the other topics on the list.
Using the WDBC Municipal Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook as its core education source, WDBC’s training program concentrates on the nuances that occur in the everyday world of owners and managers. In addition, WDBC has produced a guidance list of best practices to guide owners and industry members with the steps needed to prepare for, procure and manage a collaborative delivery model for water and wastewater projects. While WDBC’s education sessions address these aspects in far greater detail, the following guidance is summarized.
Preparing to Use Water Design-Build Delivery
- Organize and conduct a project team meeting to discuss the project’s parameters and identify the critical factors (drivers) required to achieve a successful project.
- Initiate an internal education process about design-build delivery methods with the various stakeholders who will become the project team. Most important is including legal and procurement decision-makers, project managers, administration, operations, and maintenance staff.
- Ensure that key operations and maintenance staff are part of the project team from inception, so their input into the design process is collected to enhance the successful operability of the completed project and the transition process proceeds without impediments.
- Produce an initial project delivery and management plan during the planning phase, defining the scope of work, required treatment processes and performance capabilities, as well as the functional requirements of all facilities.
- As early as possible (preferably in the project’s initial planning phase), take any steps necessary to secure land-related transactions.
- Recognize that making changes to the site or facility layout later in the project plan could result in serious design and cost ramifications, particularly with respect to geotechnical and foundation design considerations.
- Care should be taken during the development of the RFP document to specifically identify those areas of the wastewater or water treatment project for which LEED certification may be desired.
- Due to the dynamic nature of the surety industry, the subject of sureties should be approached early in the RFP process through the selected short list of proposers.
- If considering "outside" support of an "Owners Advisor," use only firms or individuals with specific and previous experience in design-build projects and procurement and clearly define their role and responsibilities.
- CMAR delivery also requires more owner planning prior to selection of the designer and the CMAR firm.
These topic and more are integrated into WDBC’s education program. Are you ready?