The ever-increasing demands of water and wastewater as a must-have infrastructure require continuous improvement and innovation of not only what we build but how we deliver what we build.”

— David Hill, DBIA

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, July 1, 2024 / — The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) has released its updated Water and Wastewater Best Practices document. This essential guide expands on DBIA’s Universal Best Practices, offering tailored support to professionals in the water and wastewater sector to enhance project efficiency and success.

By addressing the unique challenges of this vital industry, these targeted Best Practices aim to ensure high-quality design-build projects that prioritize public health and safety.

A subgroup of DBIA’s Water/Wastewater Markets Committee, led by Chair David Hill, DBIA, and Co-Chair Drew Zirkle, PE, DBIA, collaborated with a diverse team of experienced experts and partner organizations to update these best practices.

“The ever-increasing demands of water and wastewater as a must-have infrastructure require continuous improvement and innovation of not only what we build but how we deliver what we build,” said Hill. “The DBIA Water/Wastewater Best Practices provide a continuous strong foundation to tackle these demands and deliver the highest certainty of outcome.”

Why Water and Wastewater Best Practices Are Necessary

The Water and Wastewater Best Practices Primer is essential for several reasons. It offers a structured approach to managing the unique challenges of water and wastewater projects, ensuring public health and safety are prioritized.

The guidance on procurement and contracting helps streamline processes and mitigate risks, leading to more successful project outcomes. By fostering collaboration among stakeholders and promoting ethical conduct and competence, the document supports the development of high-performing teams that can deliver exceptional results.

DBIA is dedicated to continuous improvement and the dissemination of leading-edge information. The Water and Wastewater Best Practices Primer aligns with DBIA’s Universal Best Practices, with an emphasis on the specific needs of the water and wastewater sector.

Key Highlights of the Water and Wastewater Best Practices

– Navigating Local Governance: The sector’s local implementation, often managed by cities, counties or quasi-governmental utilities, requires intricate procurement processes influenced by state statutes, local ordinances and utility board regulations. The Best Practices document provides guidance to navigate these challenges effectively.

– Addressing Technical and Logistical Challenges: These projects are inherently demanding due to their impact on public health and safety, the need for public stakeholder engagement and stringent regulatory approvals. The primer outlines strategies for addressing these demands, including integrating operations and maintenance staff early to enhance collaboration and project success.

– Choosing the Right Delivery Models: The document emphasizes selecting the appropriate organizational structure and project delivery model, such as Progressive Design-Build (PDB), Design-Build-Operate (DBO) and Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM). These models offer flexibility and expanded scope, including financing and maintenance services.

– Upholding Ethical and Professional Standards: The Best Practices are anchored by ethical conduct, demonstrated competence, sustainable professional development and support for diversity, equity and inclusion. These principles ensure projects are executed with integrity and excellence.

– Comprehensive Sector-Specific Guidance: Organized into three primary sections — Procuring Design-Build Services, Contracting for Design-Build Services and Executing Design-Build Projects — the primer provides detailed best practices and implementation techniques tailored to the water/wastewater sector.

Backed by Industry Data and Trends

DBIA has released the updated Water and Wastewater Best Practices Primer at a time when design-build is increasingly recognized as the fastest-growing and most efficient project delivery method. According to the 2023 FMI Mid-Cycle Update Report, design-build construction spending is anticipated to reach over $405 billion by 2026, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% from 2022 to 2026. This growth is driven by the advantages of design-build, including faster project delivery, reduced costs and improved collaboration among project stakeholders. Specifically, the water and wastewater segment is expected to see significant investment, accounting for 7% of the total design-build construction spending during this period.

For more information and to download the Water and Wastewater Best Practices Primer for free, visit DBIA’s Online Bookstore.

Erin C Looney
Design-Build Institute of America
+1 8504430455
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