Water Online

MAR 2017

Water Innovations gives Water and Wastewater Engineers and end-users a venue to find project solutions and source valuable product information. We aim to educate the engineering and operations community on important issues and trends.

Issue link: https://wateronline.epubxp.com/i/795216

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Page 12 of 34

Fremont's project success was largely due to a willingness among local officials to engage in the design and planning of the project and the development of a close working relationship with the design firm and MWHC. A few examples of how this was accomplished, including best practices and key learnings from the WPCC project, include the following: "Open Book" Collaboration The CMAR method fosters transparency with the procurement process and with cost expenditures. Communication is facilitated by the "open book" nature of the parties' relationship, whereby information concerning the costs, risks, and available design and material alternatives associated with the project are jointly known and managed by the parties throughout the project. Because the agency/owner, design firm, and CMAR contractor work in informed collaboration, the costs of project components are clearly determined and known by all parties. If the cost of a project component seems likely to increase, the CMAR contractor is in a better position to explain the reasons for the expenditure and offer alternatives that will meet the wants or needs of the agency/owner while minimizing a charge to the contingency built into the guaranteed maximum price (GMP). Contract Cost CMAR contractor proposals should include firm costs for preconstruction services and the administration of the construction phase of the project under a CMAR contract form that is being used for the project. There will also be a contingency amount and a contractor's fee typically expressed in percentages of the final construction costs. From this, the proposals will then include a projected overall project cost. Several states have forms that are required to be used so the information is presented in a uniform manner for the objective evaluation and ranking of proposals. Procurement Planning The procurement plan is an essential tool in the preconstruction phase, serving as a central source for managing project costs and reducing uncertainty in eventual negotiation of the GMP amendment(s). A well-developed plan will have a number of bid packages for the procurement of labor and materials. These packages are provided to subcontractor firms that have been prequalified by the CMAR contractor. It is a best practice, required under the law in several states, that if the CMAR contractor wishes to self-perform any work it must compete in the bidding process. Cost Savings Significant savings can be met when the CMAR firm participates in value engineering workshops, creates updated schedules and cost estimates, conducts constructability reviews, prepares all front-end bidding documents, and maintains regular communication with the entire project team. In the case of Fremont's WPCC project, this type of collaboration led to savings of $5.5 million during the design phase and more than $500,000 in the construction phase. For example, one of the initial tasks for MWHC leaders was to use 30 percent of the design documents and create a projection of additional necessary work and project components to provide a construction cost estimate. From this work, it was determined that the project was going to be substantially more expensive than the $57 million project cost estimate. In response, further value engineering sessions with the agency/owner and design firm were conducted to adjust the design to lower the cost incurred at 60 percent and 90 percent of project design. This process yielded the cost savings noted above. Another cost savings opportunity is the agency/owner's insistence that the CMAR contractor employ a quality control/quality assurance program (QC/QA) that requires input from the complete project team throughout the project. This allows a reduction in the scope of the design firm's construction phase services. Rather than the normal construction phase services, Fremont and the design firm developed a scope of work that supplemented the MWHC QC/QA program, while allowing the design firm to meet its legal responsibilities. Also, once construction commences, the CMAR contractor is constantly involved in the oversight of the subcontract companies, helping to manage costs and solve problems as they arise. For the city of Fremont, this collaborative approach produced a further savings of $1 million. Conclusion As with any project, a variety of factors influences the effectiveness of the CMAR method, including size, scope, timeliness, and the number of phases in a given project. As municipalities and utilities continue to face increasing pressure to address large- scale infrastructure projects, including upgrades, new builds, and renovations, CMAR has the potential to provide major benefits to budgets, schedules, and the local economy. n wateronline.com n Water Innovations Blair M. Lavoie is president of MWH Constructors, a subsidiary of MWH Global, now part of Stantec. With full responsibility for global operations, he is currently the principal-in-charge on more than $2 billion (USD) of construction management at risk (CMAR), design- build, and CM-as-agent projects in the U.S. Lavoie brings nearly 30 years of engineering and construction experience on a broad range of municipal, industrial, and federal projects. Prior to becoming president, he led the municipal division of MWH Constructors as the director of U.S. operations. About The Author PROJECTDELIVERY 10 Clarifier at Fremont's Water Pollution Control Center

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