Publication Abstract




Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2017, New Orleans, LA, USA, (DFI)

Managing SOE Construction Risk through Design-Build Systems
Rob Jameson, VP Construction Engineering

The demand for commercial and residential construction has continued to evolve across the United States over the last decade. Our markets demand larger, deeper and inherently more complex structures, located within increasingly constrained urban locations and with challenging geotechnical conditions. As project demands incrementally escalate, specialty contractors are continuously challenged to extend their state of practice. Development in the size and capabilities of construction equipment, tooling, techniques, monitoring and verification systems over the last decade has consistently allowed contractors to build larger and deeper. For support of excavation (SOE), in addition to scale, selection of the most appropriate system has been a key to success in the most challenging ground conditions. This selection process is based on sound engineering and construction practice, and also prior experience, both positive and negative. Ultimately many Owners have chosen to manage their risk of SOE construction through design-build contracts, which allows specialty constructors to optimize the balance of cost, schedule, scope and associated risk based on their local expertise. Successful implementation of a design-build methodology begins long before a contractor is selected, with identification of key project requirements and risk factors during the feasibility studies and design development phases. In these early stages of the project development, advice and budgets are frequently solicited from Specialty Contractors. The Owner, Construction Manager and Consulting Team will filter this input from multiple sources to provide their specific recommendations, develop construction documents and select the appropriate form of contracting. Only in the final stages, after award of a Design-Build Subcontract, can the successful specialty contractor directly influence risk management approach on the project. A case study is presented from Block 9 in San Francisco's Transbay District. This project demonstrates the incremental identification, assignment and mitigation of construction risk through the planning and design build process for SOE on the deepest planned excavation in San Francisco.


 article #2765; publication #1037 (AM-2017)