Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011 - (Page 16)

DESIGN-BUILD BY SCOTT HOOBER, ELLEN MILLER GROUP is New and Different, but it Works IF YOU’RE A large corporation, even if you’re not an Enron or a WorldCom, you can spend money pretty much any way you want to. But if you’re a public water system, or any other kind of public body, you’d better watch every penny. None of this picking up office supplies from your next-door neighbor’s store, or getting trucks repaired at your brother-in-law’s garage. And if you’re contemplating a construction job of any sort, you’d better get bids and then go with the low bidder. Yet Kansas and other parts of the Midwest are seeing more and more munis and RWDs trying something called designbuild, where they hire the entire team at once, up front: the engineers to design and manage the project, plus the contractors 16 • First Quarter 2011 who will do the work. Since the specifications haven’t been drawn up yet, you can’t bid the job on the basis of construction specs — and you might not even have a clear view of the total cost. Whoa! Isn’t that illegal? Or at the very least, immoral? Time versus money It may seem that way. But in reality, if it’s managed properly, design-build can be a really good deal for the city or RWD — and for its customers. It’s a little more work at times, but it can save time, and it may even be able to save money. To those accustomed to low bid, low bid, low bid, it sure looks wrong. But design-build — as opposed to design-bidbuild, as the traditional setup is called — is used quite often in other parts of the U.S. and is getting more commonplace. (It’s still more common in commercial jobs than in utilities, and it probably came to wastewater a little earlier than water.) Most important, though, it works. Jobs get done more quickly. Managers have more flexibility, and hence, more control. And best of all, no one’s gone to jail over it yet. “The traditional design-bid-build is pretty much centered on cost,” said David F. Waldo, P.E., chief of KDHE’s Public Water Supply Section. “Design-build kind of gets the owner and the contractor involved more in negotiating the project.”

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011
From the President
Engineering Contracts 101
Design-Build is New and Different, But it Works
A New Angle: Environmentally Friendy Angle Well Construction
This Ain't Business...It's Just Personal
Fill Up Your CUPSS Today!
Regulatory Update
A Joint Letter to NRWA and AWWA Memberships
Throwing My Loop
Index to Advertisers/
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 1, 2011