As construction projects at wastewater treatment plants near completion, everyone involved usually has a bit of fatigue. The delivery team has been on-site for months, the facility staff are tired of configuration changes to their operation and a slew of additional people walking around their plant, and subcontractors want to close out their scopes. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to get to final completion as fast as possible. It’s not an overstatement to say this stage is the most critical of the entire project.
Collaboration, innovation, and inclusion are key to the success of big design-build projects. Implementing such measures in the early phases of a project helps ensure overall project success and should be a guiding principle on all large design-build projects.
Sustainability has become a word mentioned across our lives and the industry but isn’t as clearly defined as other terms like efficiency, safety factor, or effluent quality.
The design-build project delivery approach continues to deliver value to municipal water utilities. From a single point of responsibility and integration to cost certainty and timely delivery, design-build can help create a more streamlined and seamless project experience.
Projects delivered under construction management at-risk (CMAR) and progressive design-build (PDB) contracts are becoming more common in the US water sector. Each method offers opportunities for an owner to accelerate schedule, collaborate more effectively with a project team, facilitate early consideration of construction issues, and receive insight into project cost. There are many similarities between these two delivery methods, but PDB offers one major differentiator: an opportunity for the owner to transfer additional risk.
As the number and size of infrastructure projects continue to increase, while the qualified available workforce continues to decrease, contractors who traditionally identify as “self-performing” contractors find themselves having to make decisions on what scopes of work they ultimately need to self-perform for project success. This is especially true on the “mega-sized” projects.
There is a long and rich history of the development and use of standardized contract documents in the US construction industry. There are several off-the-shelf contract options that have been strategically developed specifically for our industry.
Do you have a one-time mega-project that you don’t have the capacity or capabilities to deliver? Is your capital improvement program growing quickly and you need to equip your staff with the right skills and relevant knowledge to keep up with the rising demand? Do you need to decrease your average project delivery time due to rate-payer or political pressure? All of the above?
One of my typical roles as an owner advisor is to review proposed construction management at-risk (CMAR) and design-build contracts from a commercial perspective—i.e., what’s the likely marketplace reaction to the contract and is the contract consistent with the philosophy behind collaborative delivery? I am continually amazed by what I see.
When we emerge from the extreme days of the COVID environment, there will be some lingering effects that become a permanent part of our way of doing business. Management of the supply chain is probably one of the most significant.