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DBIA Milestone: The First Design-Build Specialty Conferences

In 1999, DBIA hosted its very first specialty conferences. In April, DBIA, with the Federal Highway Administration and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Transportation and Development Institute, as co-sponsors, held the inaugural Design-Build in Transportation Conference. Approximately 380 design-build practitioners and owners from the transportation sector met at the Hilton in Salt Lake City, Utah. Later that year, the first Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference was held December 1-2 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Themed “Aqua-Economics: Design-Build for Water and Wastewater Facilities,” the conference attracted 270 attendees and was co-sponsored by the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation.

Each year, the specialty conferences experienced growth. By 2005, Water Committee Chair Stephen E. Cordes, P.E., DBIA, of Black & Veatch was able to report to attendees, “Since 1999, over 100 public water agencies have attended our water conferences and over 170 different owners have completed design-build projects.” Recognizing the level of overlap between companies exhibiting and attending the two conferences, DBIA decided to hold both conferences back-to-back at the same location. Since 2010 each audience has continued to enjoy education and networking opportunities specific to their sector, while sharing an overlap session that addresses issues of common concern to practitioners and owners working in the infrastructure realm. Last year, each of DBIA’s specialty conferences attracted nearly 800 attendees, demonstrating the advance of design-build within the heavy civil construction market.

 

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