Blog

The Perks of Partnership

At the end of the day, a successful design-build project comes down to working alongside people you can trust as true partners. Whether considering technical innovations, nailing down costs, or exploring creative delivery solutions, it’s essential that all players work together to achieve the project’s end goal.

Read More →
Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Equipment/Technology Suppliers, Xylem.

How Do You Achieve a High-Performing Team for Construction Management at-Risk (CMAR) Projects while Avoiding Off-Ramps?

Every team that starts a CMAR project wants the end result to be successful. So, why are some projects successful and others end with owners choosing to enact the off-ramp clause and terminate the contract? When an owner decides to pursue the off-ramp clause, it often means that a major disagreement with some aspect of the project has occurred—either the projected costs to construct the project are over the budget or the approach is not in alignment with the owner’s goals. Off-ramp provisions in contracts are essential to protecting owners, but when the off-ramp is enacted, the result is a delay in the overall project schedule and perhaps increased project costs.

Read More →
Topics: CMAR, McCarthy, Off-Ramp.

Best Practices for Owners Making Collaborative-Delivery and Procurement Decisions

Last month in working with a client to prepare for a collaborative-delivery project, they asked some interesting questions about how they can achieve a successful project with more certainty and predictability. This was not the first time this topic has been raised. Others have also expressed a desire for guidance. The good news is that across the board we are definitely seeing a significant increase in successful client/contractor experiences that result from working in a collaborative and transparent environment. The guidance provided below is part of the discussion that occurred on actions needed to achieve a successful project.

Read More →
Topics: Best Practices, Collaborative Delivery, Kiewit.

A New Perspective: Meeting in the Middle Through Collaboration

After 18 years working as a design engineer for a nationally recognized water consulting firm, I switched career paths to the other end of the spectrum: construction. I was not actively seeking a new position but accepted an invitation from a colleague to consider an opportunity with one of the country’s largest builders, Walsh Construction. With more and more projects being procured using collaborative-delivery approaches, Walsh recognized the benefit of not just working closely with engineering firms but having in-house design expertise and experience to properly manage the work and relationships with the firm’s engineering partners. It was exciting to know that I would be the first person to fill a role of this type with Walsh in its California Water Group. Leaving the only firm I had ever worked for in my professional career, and the many associates whom I deeply respected, was a daunting prospect. Still, the opportunity intrigued me. Some of the most gratifying and challenging experiences of my career were those that kept me involved throughout the entire life of a project. I believed this new opportunity would afford me that same satisfaction but in a new and exciting way, and I accepted the offer.

Read More →
Topics: Collaborative Delivery, The Walsh Group.

Price and Schedule Aren’t the Owner’s Top Drivers Anymore When Choosing Collaborative Delivery

The Water Design-Build Council is at it again…collecting data and doing research. The latest efforts are being finalized for public release shortly. In the meantime, I’d like to share some preliminary results that I find interesting. The Council interviewed dozens of owners across the country and asked a variety of questions. My favorite was, “What is driving or influencing project procurement decisions in the context of collaborative delivery?” It appears that price and schedule are not the owner’s most important concerns as they once were.

Read More →
Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Research.

Closing the Gap with Design-Build for Water Infrastructure

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. With funding flat or declining, new ways of increasing productivity by streamlining project delivery are needed, according to a 2016 report from McKinsey & Company, “Bridging Global Infrastructure Gaps.” The report also states that improving project selection and maximizing existing assets could result in cost savings as high as 40 percent, which would help close the gap. But just how can streamlining project delivery lead to increased productivity — particularly in the case of complex water and wastewater projects?

Read More →
Topics: Burns & McDonnell, Collaborative Delivery.

Progressive Design-Build Delivery Provides Design and Construction Flexibility for the Clifton Water District

The Clifton Water District (District) was formed as a Special District within the state of Colorado in 1951, and provides water service to more than 13,700 residential and commercial users. When the District’s conventional water treatment system was no longer able to cost effectively treat their source water, it became necessary to purchase more expensive potable water from an outside supplier. To minimize the impact of the higher water cost to their ratepayers, the District determined an upgrade of their existing treatment system was necessary. When it was time to implement this upgrade, the District knew they needed to balance a number of key objectives, primary among these was to continue to supply their customers with a reliable source of potable water during construction of the project.

Read More →
Topics: Carollo, Progressive Design-Build, Water Design-Build Project.

Happy Birthday, Spearin!

Looking for something different to do this holiday season? Reach out to 100 of your favorite friends and family members, play a single-round game of Family Feud, and ask them to name a U.S. Supreme Court decision. Even if they have had more than their share of spiked eggnog, they will likely have the presence of mind to think about the Kavanaugh hearings and big constitutional and social issues. I suspect that the overwhelming number one answer will be Roe v. Wade. Maybe Bush v. Gore will show up on the list. But will anyone mention U.S. v. Spearin? Be honest. Did that decision ever cross your mind? Did you even know that the Spearin Doctrine – our country’s most important construction law doctrine – was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court?

Read More →
Topics: Construction Law, Education.

How Progressive Design-Build (PDB) Offered New Solutions To A Global Manufacturer And Saved Millions

When a global manufacturer of carbon fiber products announced plans to invest $1 billion in building a manufacturing plant on a 400-acre greenfield site in Moore, South Carolina, it quickly became apparent that PDB was the best model to achieve the “must haves” for project delivery.

Read More →
Topics: Haskell, Progressive Design-Build, Wastewater Infrastructure/Treatment.

Why Do Design-Build Projects Go Wrong?

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from projects that go smoothly and according to plan and budget. But what about those projects that don’t go so well? The lessons gleaned from budget mishaps, contract issues, and first-time design-build experiences can be just as valuable. While not easily covered in 700 words or less, let’s look at a few of the reasons we have seen DB projects go wrong.

Read More →
Topics: Best Practices, Design-Build, Education.