Launch Slideshow

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Rapid Deployment

Rapid Deployment

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    October 2008: Work begins on isolating and relocating conflicting utilities.

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    February 2009: Widening, sidewalk installation, and drainage improvements are aggressively under way without hampering public access to local businesses.At press time, the first and largest project to be delivered using construction-management-at-risk was 90% complete without a single change order. The project was divided into three segments that were designed and built simultaneously. Photos: Balfour Beatty Construction

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    Public-sector contracting methods

Even so, Boulnois warns that the biggest obstacle is resistance to change.

“Get the local contracting community involved as early as possible,” he advises. “Local contractors thought this process was going to cut them out, but they're learning that it does the opposite.”

SAVINGS VS. DESIGN-BID-BUILD

Balfour Beatty estimates that change orders add 15% to 16% to the total cost of a design-bid-build project. The Florida DOT expects overruns to equal 10% of construction costs on a typical design-bid-build project.

For Osceola County, Balfour Beatty's fee is 6% of construction costs. Of that, 1% is for handling all the preconstruction activities that enable the project to begin construction when plans are only 30% to 60% complete.

Because the program is new, no one was quite sure what to expect in terms of return on investment. Each of the 11 projects has a separate budget that includes the 6% management fee. So far, virtually all project phases have come in under budget even with the 6% factored in.

— Johnston is editor in chief of PUBLIC WORKS; Vargas (gvargas@balfourbeattyus.com) is a certified construction manager and senior project manager for Bal-four Beatty Construction (www.balfourbeattyus.com).

Source: Construction Management Association of America, 2008