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.
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.
The beginning stages of the design-build process may seem premature to begin discussions on commissioning, but early planning improves the chance of project success. Collaborating on commissioning with the design-build team allows an owner to articulate their goals and expectations for the project, develop a commissioning plan that is built upon throughout the design process, and successfully execute the plan.
A critical element of success for progressive design-build projects is cost savings. It is the design-builder’s job to make every penny of the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) count.
As design-build (DB) becomes more common for the development and construction of long-term infrastructure, the engagement of the owner’s operations and maintenance (O&M) team becomes significantly more important to project success. For some projects, the traditional design-bid-build process may not have taken advantage of the institutional knowledge available from the owner’s O&M teams as facilities and systems were designed, constructed, and commissioned.
Pursuing, winning, and successfully executing design-build projects requires having the right team in place for the project. The “right” team has the experience and diversity to foster creativity and increase the quality of solutions for the owner while identifying and addressing the unique challenges associated with the project.
The major tenet of design-build is collaboration. Our clients require a solution to their project that is built by a group of highly qualified and experienced design and construction professionals. The collaboration required to meet that demand is not simply between the design-build team and the owner, but also between each of the professionals within the design-build team.
As water/wastewater projects continue to increase in complexity, collaborative delivery methods for project execution are becoming increasingly favored among clients. As this shift gains momentum, clients need to be able to trust that their design-build contractor will help them realize the benefits of the collaborative delivery approach throughout the life of the project. The list below outlines several key qualities a water/wastewater client should expect from their design-build contractor.
Design-build has become the fastest-growing delivery method in the water/wastewater industry across the nation. Cost certainty and accelerated schedules have encouraged most states to embrace the design-build model. In the current market, large-scale design-build projects receive most of the headlines, but design-build can be a perfect fit for your small-scale projects.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the continued development of critical infrastructure, creating growing uncertainty concerning financing opportunities and project delivery.