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Cincinnati Sewer District Earns its First DBIA Award

Brown and Caldwell LogoThe Brown and Caldwell design-build team has helped the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC) earn its first award from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).

The district’s Oakley Separation Sewer Project is being recognized in the Water/Wastewater category for exemplary collaboration and integration in the design-build project delivery method. It’s also a nominee for DBIA’s National Award of Excellence.

The Oakley project design team relied on expertise from MSDGC, Brown and Caldwell, Ulliman Schutte Construction LLC, IBI Group, and Midwest Mole.

“To win a National Design-Build Project/Team Award, projects must not only achieve budget and schedule goals, but also demonstrate advanced and innovative application of design-build best practices,” said Lisa Washington, CAE, executive director and CEO of DBIA. “Your winning project showcased how the project team went above and beyond achieving cost, schedule and quality goals, demonstrating unique applications of design-build best practices to raise the industry’s bar even higher.”

The $12.2 million project, which included a half-mile of 60- and 72-in. storm and near-surface sewer pipes, not only came in ahead of schedule and under budget, but well ahead of the district’s consent decree compliance deadline. Construction wrapped up just 15 months after the notice to proceed; the district saved more than $3.3 million, or about 25 percent.

Opening the door to a design-build approach expedited the Oakley project’s completion, eliminated two CSO’s quickly and reduced the cost of the district’s capital projects.

“This prestigious award is high praise for the excellent collaboration of the project team,” said Stephen Gates, Brown and Caldwell project director. “The district is being recognized for its leadership in completing the first infrastructure project in the state using design-build contracting under Ohio Construction Reform — significantly reducing project costs and helping to expedite completion of a critical economic development project.”

Ulliman Schutte Construction President Matthew Ulliman agreed. “The collaboration, dedication and professionalism among the project team’s participants make us extremely proud of this national award and what it represents for MSDGC,” he said.

Weekly meetings, close coordination and flexibility allowed the design team to wrap up the project without affecting the city’s critical economic development. This project’s success surpassed all expectations in terms of solution optimization, collaboration, flexibility, risk allocation/sharing, quality, delivery time, cost savings, impact to stakeholders, partnering and teamwork.

“Community relations remained very strong throughout the project, resulting in extraordinarily positive feedback,” said Ali Bahar, principal engineer with MSDGC. “The project was revolutionary for us, because it proved that the proper application of collaborative delivery systems can yield tremendous benefits. This project’s success has proven the benefits of a design-build approach.”

The Oakley station is being viewed as a prototype, where lessons learned will help to guide future projects.

The Brown and Caldwell team provided services that included procurement assistance through development of the design-build RFQ and RFP; technical assistance during contractor selection and negotiation; design oversight and contractor oversight during construction. Before the project, Brown and Caldwell also provided a series of training sessions to district staff aimed at providing insight and examples of various types of integrated delivery approaches.

The National Award of Excellence winners will be named at an awards ceremony Nov. 3 during the Design Build Conference and Expo in Denver. In addition, four National Awards of Excellence will be handed out for Design (one for architecture and one for engineering), Process and Teaming. One project will be honored as Project of the Year.
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