Through research, case studies and extensive industry input, the Design-Build Institute of America in Washington, D.C., has identified design-build best practices and implementing techniques that directly impact project performance. Its new “10 Design-Build Done Right Best Practices” report serves “as a single source that clearly defines fundamentals to significantly enhance superior project outcomes,” says DBIA Executive Director Lisa Washington, CAE. “With design-build currently at 40 percent of all non-residential design and construction, the impetus for owners to engage ‘Design-Build Done Right’ is at an all-time high. By applying DBIA Best Practices, owners and practitioners will unlock the inherent value of design-build project delivery.”
Best practices supporting effective design-build start during the owner’s procurement decision-making process and span through project execution, she adds, noting that Design-Build Done Right requires more than a good contract and appropriate risk allocation. Everyone from the owner to the subcontractors must understand the process and fully engage in the collaboration. DBIA categorizes the 10 best practices (and nearly 50 supporting implementing techniques) into three areas:
Procuring Design-Build Services. Three best practices address an owner’s project delivery system and procurement approach choices. An owner should conduct a proactive and objective assessment of the unique characteristics of its program/project and organization before deciding to use design-build. A procurement plan should then be implemented that enhances collaboration and other benefits of design-build and is in harmony with the reasons that the owner chose the delivery method.
Contracting for Design-Build Services. Three best practices expound upon the use of fair and clear contracts as fundamental to any delivery process. Contracts should be balanced and promote the collaborative aspects inherent in the design-build process. The owner and contractor should address the unique aspects of the design-build process, including expected standards of care for design services.
Executing the Delivery of Design-Build Projects. Four best practices highlight the need for all team members to be specifically educated and trained in the design-build process, and knowledgeable of the differences between it and other delivery systems. At project outset, the team should establish processes to facilitate timely and effective communication, collaboration, and issue resolution. Focus on the design management and commissioning/turnover processes and alignment among the design-build team as to how to execute these processes is also critical.
DBIA recognizes the real-world differences among design-build market sectors (e.g., water/wastewater, transportation, federal projects), and that implementation techniques might differ slightly from one market sector to another; consequently, the organization is in the process of working with market experts on sector-specific documents to supplement the overall best practices. The Institute intends to continually update its portfolio of publications, tools and other resources so that design-build stakeholders will have access to leading-edge information that will allow them to achieve Design-Build Done Right in accordance with the concepts expressed in the new document.
DBIA addresses conditions unique to building and infrastructure sectors in three titles within the new series. A comprehensive overview of the 10 Design-Build Practices is posted at www.dbia.org.
APP DETAILS UNDERWRITER-BACKED FORTIFIED HOME BUILDING PRACTICE
The Institute for Business & Home Safety and Munich Reinsurance America Inc. have teamed to develop FORTIFIED Home On the Go, a free interactive tablet app from the iTunes Store. Using videos, animation, and technical specifications, it walks owners, contractors and architects through the home-strengthening process.
Content is based on IBHS’ FORTIFIED Home program, which is recognized as the national standard in resilient construction. “The FORTIFIED Home On the Go app is an educational tool designed to help individuals and communities build more resilient structures. This is something everyone can learn from and use to help make their homes more resistant to the effects of the dramatic weather events,” says Munich Re, US Head of Risk Accumulation and past IBHS Chairman Carl Hedde.
“The public is seeing first-hand what staggering losses can be wreaked by severe weather,” Hedde notes, citing as examples the $60 billion-plus in insured losses due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and nearly $30 billion in insured losses in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“The FORTIFIED Home program provides a uniform, voluntary, superior set of construction and retrofitting standards to help improve a home’s resilience by adding system-specific upgrades to minimum code requirements,” affirms IBHS President Julie Rochman. “People often ask why [our] programs are necessary when many jurisdictions have building codes in place. The answer is codes appropriately provide minimum life safety protection designed to ensure people can get out of a building safely. However, codes are not intended to ensure homes are habitable after a catastrophic weather event or to protect the contents inside.”
IBHS and Munich Re, US share a commitment to conduct scientific research and promote ways to strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters, she adds. — IBHS, www.ibhs.org; Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., www.munichreamerica.com/fortified