Synthesis Topics

Airport Best Practices for Progressive Design-Build Project Delivery

Progressive design-build (PDB) has proven to generate both time and cost savings on a number of major airport projects because its qualifications-based selection of the DB team, combined with a negotiated construction price reduces the time it takes airports to procure the DB contractor and reduces the contingencies buried in a typical DB lump sum price. An assembly of PDB best practices would provide the foundation for its application to a wider range of project types and sizes across the nation.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

Progressive design-build (PDB) has been successfully used successfully by a number of airports, such as SAN, SEA, SFO and TPA. PDB's qualifications-based selection of the DB team, combined with a negotiated construction price reduces the time it takes airports to procure the DB contractor and reduces the contingencies buried in a typical DB lump sum price, resulting in both time and cost savings. To date, most PDB projects have been delivered at major airports who have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and lessons learned that could be captured in a manner where any airport with the statutory ability to use design-build could leverage this variation to enhance the potential savings in time and cost for its capital projects.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The objectives of this synthesis are: (1) to identify and document the use of progressive design-build in the airport industry; (2) to compile, categorize and synthesize the experiences and lessons learned associated with progressive design-build in other market sectors that could be applied to airport projects; (3) to categorize, evaluate and document the lessons learned in a manner that will provide a useful resource for airport capital project managers; (4) to produce a central repository of experience and implementation information that may serve as a basis for changing contracting policy; and (5) to evaluate pros and cons as well as barriers to introducing progressive design-build in airport capital projects..

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

The synthesis would consist of (1) a comprehensive literature review of PDB usage in aviation as well as other sectors, such as water/waste water and building with extensive PDB experience; (2) a short survey of airports to identify PDB use and interest; (3) from the survey and literature, a number of case studies of airport PDB programs and projects. The project case studies wold consist of interviews with both airport project personnel and members of the PDB team.

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S01-18 identified a lack of information of PDB effective practices as a significant gap in the body of knowledge. ACRP Report 21 published in 2009 provided limited information on PDB; however, it is a decade out of date and missing the advancements made by airports in the past 10 years. The proposed synthesis would benchmark the state-of-the-practice in PDB and serve as a foundation for further detailed research in developing guidelines for PDB implementation at all sizes and types of airports.

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Idea No. 228