With an ever-growing list of urgent water and wastewater infrastructure projects, the industry’s demand for expedited project delivery has increased, and project procurement is often overlooked as a way to get your job started—and finished— faster. Early collaboration enables “quick start” procurement that contributes to achieving an owner’s schedule and cost commitment, with both the owner and design-builder reaping benefits.
The term BIM (Building Information Modeling) has the power to make a seasoned construction veteran cringe. I get it. BIM may sound scary to those who have not used its full advantages. A foreman once told me, “I’m not going to let a Nintendo tell me how to do my job!” Fair enough, but when applied appropriately, BIM can benefit building projects in a variety of ways by aiding design planning, coordination, construction, operations, and facilities management.
Digital tools are the bread and butter of construction management, used to track schedules, budgets, checklists, daily journals, RFIs, etc. About 25 years ago, design engineers began a wholesale conversion from 2D flat drawings to 3D digital design tools. The benefits of converting to 3D included clash detection, electronic tracking of bits and parts for an electronic equipment and materials inventory, and easier owner visualization.
Today’s global infrastructure investment, estimated to be $2.5 trillion per year, falls short of the $3.3 trillion annual investment needed to keep pace with expected growth, not to mention renewal of existing aging infrastructure.
As construction projects at wastewater treatment plants near completion, everyone involved usually has a bit of fatigue.
Do you have an upcoming project where cost and schedule certainty are critical? Are project costs increasing on your design-bid-build projects? Do you have the funding to build projects, but not enough in-house project management staff? Do you want to take your projects to the next level with total collaboration? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, progressive design-build might be the ideal collaborative-delivery method for your next water/wastewater project.
I have always been perplexed as to why dispute boards are so rarely used on water/wastewater projects. They enjoy a long history of successful use on transportation projects—particularly tunneling projects and big-dollar design-build projects. Most transportation owners find dispute boards helpful, and it is clear that they provide the parties with a vehicle to get real-time resolution of project challenges. But it seems that water/wastewater owners and owner advisors don’t even give a thought (let alone a second thought) to considering the use of a dispute board when they put together their contracting approach for a non-tunneling project.
When choosing a project delivery method for a water or wastewater project, it is imperative for the owner to understand the concept of the Spearin Doctrine and which party is accountable for the project design.