Project Delivery Options: Infrastructure Alternatives to More Easily Meet Your Goals

Authors:

  • Alan Stone, Jared Hartwig, Alana Loughlin - Hazen and Sawyer

Design-Bid-Build, or DBB, is a traditional method that involves separate contracts for design and construction of the project.

Design-Build, or DB, consolidates the design and construction functions into one contract, which can either be fi xed-price or progressive.

Construction Manager At Risk, or CMAR, is a method in which the Construction Manager acts as a consultant to the owner in the design phase, but assumes the risk for construction performance as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase.

Located on a 22-acre island in Charleston Harbor, the 36-mgd Plum Island WPCP required improvements after 50 years of operation. For Phase 3 of the Capital Improvements Project at the facility, we helped Charleston Water Systems evaluate several potential delivery methods. They selected the CMAR approach based on the opportunities it offered to optimize the design related to construction sequencing, stay on schedule, and secure available funding.

With an extremely tight schedule to meet, Indiana-American Water (IAW) chose design-build delivery of its 6-mgd Hidden Lake WTF. Throughout the design-build process, River City Construction and Hazen and Sawyer value engineered many different aspects to minimize construction cost while maintaining the highest performance standards.

Owners approach every major infrastructure project with specific goals regarding quality, schedule, and budget. Most owners, over time, have become familiar with the challenges of consistently achieving those goals within the traditional Design-Bid-Build project delivery structure.

Recent years have given rise to a set of alternative project delivery processes, each intended to address those challenges. The two most popular in the water industry – Design-Build and Construction Manager at Risk – can provide beneficial structures that influence the ability to meet certain goals, largely by distributing risks in different ways. Having worked successfully within each of these project delivery structures, as well as others, Hazen and Sawyer advises owners to discard generalities and analyze the pros and cons of each delivery method for each specific project. Performing that detailed analysis will pay for itself many times over.

CMAR at Plum Island
Work at the Plum Island WPCP comes with a unique set of challenges. Located on a 22-acre island in Charleston Harbor, the 36-mgd facility required improvements after 50 years of operation. For Phase 3 of the Capital Improvements Project at the facility, we helped Charleston Water Systems evaluate several potential delivery methods. They selected the CMAR approach based on the opportunities it offered to optimize the design related to construction sequencing, stay on schedule, and secure available funding.

The CMAR approach enabled CWS to choose both a design engineer and a contractor who were each familiar with the site, streamlining the design process and construction. This allowed CWS, Hazen, and the contractor to collaboratively schedule work around another large capital project going on at the same site, keeping the Phase 3 project on schedule and on budget despite significant constraints.

We worked directly with the selected CMAR contractor and CWS to complete the preconstruction phase of the project and develop an intermediate design package based upon value engineering, sequencing coordination, and progress of design of the original package. Because of this approach, CWS knew the true project cost throughout the design process. Final negotiations resulted in a $60M project that maximized facility improvements within the available budget.

Design-Build at Hidden Lake
With an extremely tight schedule to meet, Indiana-American Water (IAW) chose design-build delivery of its 6-mgd Hidden Lake WTF. Throughout the design-build process, River City Construction and Hazen and Sawyer value engineered many different aspects to minimize construction cost while maintaining the highest performance standards.

The total time for design, permitting, construction, and startup for this project was just 17 months. The project was broken into early bid packages to meet the project completion date, which allowed IAW more time to make decisions and the design team more time to work while construction activities began.
For certain procurement packages, the shop drawing was received and reviewed prior to the 60 percent milestone of the project. This allowed the design to be structured around the equipment, eliminating potential field changes stemming from differences between manufacturers’ equipment, and contributed significantly to the project remaining on schedule and budget.

Throughout the design and construction of the facility, the DB team conducted thorough cost evaluations and vendor selections before and after setting a target cost. The DB team also helped IAW enlist in the local electric utility’s incentive rebate program, resulting in a $10,000 refund to IAW.

The Hidden Lake water treatment facility is part of a $25 million project that enhanced water quality, improved system reliability, and increased capacity over the previously used treatment facility. The project included construction of a 6-mgd water treatment plant, including two aerators, a 1-million gallon finished water reservoir, four pressure filters, four distribution pumps, two backwash pumps and all related appurtenances. The project also included the construction of a 12,000-square-foot administrative and laboratory area and separate maintenance facility. The facility was awarded LEED certification in May 2014.

For more information, please contact the author at astone@hazenandsawyer.com.

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Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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