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For decades wastewater agencies have used the traditional Design-Bid-Build project delivery method to deliver most conveyance and treatment plant improvement projects. This was mainly due to a general belief that competitive bidding was the only way to assure the lowest project delivery costs. However, legal battles that often result from conflicts between parties have tainted this delivery method to the point where some agencies now believe this delivery method should be called Design-Bid-Build-Sue. As such, many agencies are now moving to alternative project delivery methods, such as Design-Build and Construction Manager-at-Risk (CM-at-Risk).

In this paper, four different delivery methods are described and compared. Design-Bid-Build, Construction Manager at Risk, Program Manager at Risk, and Design-Build project delivery methods are discussed and evaluated. In general, each of these methods generally establishes a functional working relationship between the Owner, Designer, and Contractor. These relationships are identified and the pros, cons, and issues associated with each delivery method are developed. In addition, the authors have been party to several recent projects in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The projects involved Design-Bid-Build, Design Build, and Construction Manager at Risk delivery methods. Lessons learned from these projects are discussed.

The results of these evaluations and experiences have led the authors to believe that the Construction Manager at Risk delivery method is becoming the preferred method for delivering complex water and wastewater projects. The reasons for their beliefs will be identified in the paper.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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