By: Leofwin Clark, CH2M Vice President and Sales Director and Water Design Build Council President

Leofwin Clark is attending the 2016 Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference, being held in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 20-22. Join him for an interactive discussion on “Design-Build, What Do You Really Want?” on Friday, April 22, at 8 a.m. See which other CH2Mers are presenting and follow the conversations on Twitter, using the hashtag #DBWater16.

It’s political season, and the news is filled with commentary on liberals and conservatives and…progressives, which got me thinking, what exactly is so progressive about Progressive Design-Build? Well, no surprise, but the label for this really valuable delivery method doesn’t have any political meaning! Instead, it’s all about evolving the design-build process to meet the needs of owners that could not use – or did not prefer to use – fixed price design-build. Instead, the term “progressive” specifically refers to the iterative approach to concurrent progress on the design detail and the construction cost estimate of a project.

Typically, the progressive design and estimate development process starts with a baseline project definition and relatively high-level basis of construction estimate – and the earlier the better in the development cycle (the consensus seems to be for having this baseline established by at least the 30% design milestone).

From that baseline forward, every iteration of the design scope is mirrored in the construction estimate, often with some pre-established milestones to do an even deeper dive into the numbers. The best practice for this progressive iteration of scope and cost development is to never, ever progress to the next phase of design until there is agreement on the current scope and budget – that way, you’ll never get to the end of the process with a budget surprise!

Leofwin Clark is a Vice President and Sales Director at CH2M, serving as a Business Development Lead for the firm’s water and wastewater-related design-build market. In his role, Leofwin supports clients with project delivery, in an owner advisory role, providing valuable education and workshop programs for water and wastewater clients. Leofwin is also the 2016 President of the Water Design-Build Council and a member of the DBIA Water/Wastewater Committee. He brings more than 25 years of experience, focusing on integrated, collaborative delivery for major infrastructure projects, including design-build, design-build-operate, P3 and contract treatment plant operations.