Category Archives: WDBC Admin

Does Collaborative Delivery Cost More?

For owners considering collaborative-delivery approaches for water and wastewater projects, such as progressive design-build (PDB) or construction management at-risk (CMAR), one of the biggest impediments to acceptance is the perception that the final cost of the project would be larger than a traditional design-bid-build and cannot be controlled. Based on our research, there are two primary reasons this stumbling block exists. One relates to the owner’s belief that their initial cost estimates are correct and that the project can be designed and constructed within their budget. A second, and perhaps more important issue, is that many owners still do not understand how the collaborative process evolves and how to reach a final acceptable price on the project, primarily because they are only familiar with the design-bid-build pricing process that uses the low-bid approach.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Design-Build, WDBC Admin.

What Decisions are Needed to Prepare Your Organization to Use Design-Build Delivery?

The questions most often raised by utilities or agencies who want to pursue design-build delivery for their pending project range from “What are the decisions I need to make in the procurement process?” to “How do I prepare my organization to make the right decisions about the best collaborative delivery approach for my project?” Answers to these questions, which were addressed recently in an education session with a large metropolitan utility, also provide the opportunity for us to share the results of WDBC’s 2017 research on what public officials say they have learned from pursuing a design-build project.

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Topics: Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.

Could You Pass a Quiz on Design-Build Terms?

  Last week I reviewed a presentation featuring design-build concepts and methodology. Actually, I had to read it twice, because most of the terms in the document are no longer being used – and I was stymied as to how to approach the author with constructive feedback. While startling coming from a government official, it is not an unfamiliar situation. I hear similar outdated language and address questions about the terms used for design-build delivery methods at WDBC’s education sessions all the time.  

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Topics: Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.

Hidden Risk Topics in Construction Contracts – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

As discussed in the previous blog, the underlying principle of allocating and managing risk in projects using CMAR or design-build delivery methods is to embark upon a collaborative process between the owner and construction professionals with initial discussions on how to allocate specific risks to the party best positioned to manage and assume the risk. These decisions ultimately end up in the contract between the owner and construction professional. As part of the initial discussions when formulating a contract, the following additional areas are highlighted for your attention. In addition, WDBC’s 2018 education program now includes a specific module on contracts which also addresses the elements of risk.

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Topics: Risk Allocation, WDBC Admin.

Stephen R. Gates, PE, BCEE, Elected 2018 President of Water Design-Build Council Board of Directors

The Water Design-Build Council (WDBC) announced that Stephen R. Gates, PE, BCEE, Brown and Caldwell Senior Vice President, has been elected as its 2018 President of the Board, receiving the gavel from 2017 President John Doller in Dallas, TX. Transitioning from the role of the First Vice President/Treasurer, Gates chaired the Budget/Finance and Research Committees, and is in a leadership role on the Technical Practices Committee. He is responsible for development of Brown and Caldwell’s collaborative project delivery business, focusing on design-build, CMAR, and remediation services related to the environmental, water, wastewater, and energy markets provided to municipal, federal, and private organizations throughout North America.

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Topics: Uncategorized, WDBC Admin.

WDBC Announces 2018 Officers

At its annual meeting in Dallas, TX, on December 7, 2017, the WDBC Board of Directors elected its officers for 2018.

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Topics: WDBC Admin.

What are the Differences Between Collaborative and Design-Bid-Build Delivery?

The water design-build industry defines collaborative-delivery methods as approaches to procuring and delivering a capital project that involve close collaboration among the owner, the designer, and the contractor—from design through completion. These include construction management at-risk(CMAR), both fixed-price and progressive design-build, design-build-operate (DBO), and public-private partnerships (P3).

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.

Contingency – What Is It? How Is It Set? And Who Owns It?

What is a contingency? The definition of contingency is one of the following: A future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty A provision for an unforeseen event or circumstance In the case of an owner’s budget for a collaborative-delivery project, the purpose of a contingency is to incorporate an additional allotment of funds within the final approved budget that can be used when and if the scope of a project changes with an associated cost increase in the delivered project. If an owner’s team directs its project delivery firm to increase its scope of work, the contingency allows the owner’s team to proceed with the project and not have to receive additional internal authorizations for spending.

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Topics: Collaborative Delivery, Contingency, WDBC Admin.

Where Do I Get a Contract to Use for my Design-Build Project – and What Does This “Off-Ramp” Mean?

If you’ve ever attended one of the WDBC education sessions, you’ll recall that instructor Mark Alpert likes to immediately inform you that there are some key terms he is going to be persistent in getting you to remember: GMP, RTFC, off-ramp, and a few others. The reason he is so persistent is that without a good contract in place, and understanding what the terms in the document mean, the project is definitely going to encounter unforeseen issues. But we also learn in these sessions that there are often numerous misunderstandings about how to approach the contracting process and the dynamics that occur, potentially leading to the “off-ramp.” When an organization attempts to “retrofit” their existing contracts or doesn’t know where to locate a good template or model, the problems begin.

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Topics: Contracts, Education, Off-Ramp, WDBC Admin.

How Can Education Address Impediments in Using Design-Build/CMAR Delivery for Water and Wastewater Projects?

Primarily due to efficiencies with schedules and the overall work process for both utility owners and municipalities during the past five years, the use of design-build and CMAR delivery for water and wastewater projects has increased. As the WDBC’s recent research report revealed, the use of collaborative delivery methods is continuing to gain significant momentum in the water sector because of the education process. The other good news is that WDBC’s research data shows that external impediments – such as legislative and regulatory requirements – are decreasing and progress continues within the states on that specific challenge.

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Topics: CMAR, Design-Build, Education, WDBC Admin.