The Design-Build project delivery method was found to provide cost savings of up to 43% and reduced project schedules by as much as 33% when compared to the conventional Design-Bid-Build approach for water and wastewater treatment projects.
Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) June 13, 2011
The Design-Build (DB) project delivery method was found to provide cost savings of up to 43% and reduced project schedules by as much as 33% when compared to the conventional Design-Bid-Build (DBB) approach for water and wastewater treatment projects. The results are described in a peer-reviewed paper authored by Smith Culp Consulting that will be published in July by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Alternative project delivery methods such as DB, Design-Build-Operate (DBO) and Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO) are increasingly being considered as options to DBB. In DBB, one party designs the facility, it goes out to bid and the low-bid contractor builds it. In DB, one company both designs and builds the facility. In DBO, the same company also operates the facility and in DBFO, also finances it. For public agencies, these alternative methods allow the owner to use qualifications and the quality of proposal as predominant selection criteria for the contractor rather than being forced to accept the low bidder. Project quality is improved as confirmed by an analysis of over 300 DBB and DB projects. The owners of these projects felt DB provided significantly better finished project quality than DBB.
DB provides the owner with one source of responsibility for both design and construction (and operation when using DBO). This eliminates disputes about whether the responsibility to solve a project problem rests with the designer, constructor or operator.
Smith Culp Consulting of Las Vegas, NV (http://www.smithculp.com) has recently guided several communities such as Spokane County, WA; Phoenix, AZ and Pima County (Tucson), AZ through the process of procuring and negotiating DBO contracts for major water and wastewater projects. Smith Culp Consulting also has assisted several other cities and utility districts in determining the best delivery method for their projects. In the Pima County project awarded earlier this year, the cost of a new 32 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant was reduced from an estimated $240 million to $170 million using DBO. Construction was underway within five months of execution of the DBO contract.
The paper concludes that these alternative project delivery methods have the greatest value when applied to projects involving new facilities or discrete additions to existing facilities, projects that are schedule driven, or projects that offer the potential for innovative solutions.
# # #