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DBIA Milestone: ENR's 2013 Awards and Gala

Design-Build Institute of America’s Lisa Washington and four others, including 2013 Award of Excellence Winner, Wayne E. Jones, recognized for design-build success.


When the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Jeffrey M. Baker received the Award of Excellence in 2011 for the nation’s first net-zero office building and the design-build best practices that facilitated the project, it was clearly a portent of things to come. Since 1964, Engineering News-Record (ENR) has selected yearly newsmakers for their innovations and achievements, for giving back to the industry and the public. Often referred to as the “Oscars” of the A/E/C community, ENR’s Awards program features a luncheon and annual black tie gala in New York City.

This year, the growing market share of design-build project delivery was reflected throughout the entire awards program. Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility. With 40 percent of market share, design-build is also the fastest growing project delivery method today.

On April 18, 2013, the Design-Build Institute of America’s Executive Director and CEO, Lisa Washington, CAE, was recognized for her success leading a coalition of industry group that worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to issue new procurement directives limiting the use of single-step (turnkey) design-build. The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build.

Accepting her award during the luncheon program, Washington placed that charge within the context of today’s economic climate. “Finding ways to help the public sector use limited funds efficiently and effectively is paramount to the mission of the Design-Build Institute of America,” Washington explained. “At the same time, acknowledging and protecting the interests of business owners, including the many small businesses that are the backbone of this industry, cannot be forgotten.”

Acknowledging the role that coalition members, including the American Institute of Architects, the Associated General Contractors and the American Council of Engineering Companies, played in outreach to the Corps, Washington said, ”Balancing owner and practitioner needs to help public agencies like the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers achieve best value, while meeting cost, schedule and quality goals, requires a collaborative effort among industry and government.”

Another highlight of the day for design-build proponents was the recognition of 2013 Award of Excellence Winner, Wayne E. Jones of Traylor Bros. Inc. His work on the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) was tested when Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans last year leaving the city unscathed. A seldom mentioned fact: Achieving a 100-year level of defense at the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier Project was USACE’s largest-ever design-build civil works construction contract. Jones met the intense schedule constraints imposed to protect the city from future hurricane damage on this $14.5-billion project aimed at replacing a patchwork of uncoordinated elements with a comprehensive system, of which the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier Project is a key element.

Accepting the award, Jones attributed the project’s success to several factors, including full funding provided by the U.S. Congress at project start and the Corps' willingness to deploy design-build on such a large scale. Speaking in front of 900 industry professionals he said, “The Corps went outside its normal procurement system and used alternative procurement methods, such as design-build, which was used for the inner harbor surge barrier and protection system.” He went on to say, “It is worth noting that the surge barrier was finished in 18 month and ahead of schedule – expending over one million man hours without a single lost-time accident.”

Other exceptional newsmakers included Skanska's Jakob Carnemark, the mastermind behind an exceptional design-build data center package, and Don Hillis, assistant chief engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, who oversaw KTU, a joint venture of Kiewit Infrastructure Group, Traylor Bros. and United Contractors, including HNTB and the LPA Group as designers, as they completed an ambitious $487-million design-build project that included replacement or repair of 544 bridges in less than four years. SHoP Architects' Jonathan L. Mallie was also acknowledged for using advanced virtual design and construction (VDC) technology to improve the aesthetic on the design-build of Barclay’s Center Arena in Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

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