How do you keep complex projects on track and successfully moving forward? Collaborative project delivery (CPD) combined with the use of an owner advisor (OA) or program manager. While CPD fosters engagement of contractors earlier and promotes partnering with consultants to produce an efficient design, OAs provide resources to act as an extension of the owner’s staff—guarding the owner’s best interests, keeping design criteria in alignment with project goals, and streamlining critical decisions to foster accelerated schedules.
In Wichita, Kansas, and neighboring communities, more than half a million people turn their taps each day and expect clean water. It’s not by the virtue of magic that such a feat is accomplished, but by the sheer power of engineering that makes this possible. And now, Wichita’s new water treatment plant—the state’s largest and one of the largest WIFIA-funded programs in the United States today—will replace an aging 80-year-old plant, providing the growing community with a source of safe, reliable water for decades to come.
Scheduled for completion in January 2024, the Enid Kaw Lake Water Supply Program includes a new intake at Kaw Lake and a 70-mile pipeline spanning from Kaw Lake to the city’s new treatment facility. Currently in the construction phase, the program has now reached another significant stage of its development with four miles of pipe in the ground and 12 more ready to be installed.
Each of these complex projects is combining CPD with the services of an effective OA, which can sometimes be the difference between a successful program and one failing to meet the goals and schedule of the owner.
As the OA for Wichita’s new WTP, Garver helped identify risk elements and mitigation strategies to effectively meet project goals. Working together with Wichita Water Partners (WWP) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), we developed design packages to break the project into manageable review packages—prioritizing early work and elements with long lead times.
The OA provided the owner with resources to keep up with the pace and provide objective expertise for areas outside the staff’s comfort. All six design packages were reviewed with only a few elements to get through KDHE. OA support is ongoing with processing and review of hundreds of submittals for each design package and clear lines of communication with WWP to promote seamless implementation of the work.
By utilizing OA services early in a program, like Wichita and Enid, details can be fleshed out to maintain program integrity. And because schedule is an integral part of any program, OA services help keep program schedules on course by identifying potential impacts and mitigating their effect.