Research Projects

Updated Guidebook for Airport Project Delivery Systems In Reserve

Develop a guidebook for use by airport owners, airlines, third party developers, consultants, and contractors regarding the current landscape of airport project delivery systems and their suitability for various types of projects and airport ownership models.

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

Airport project delivery systems have undergone significant evolution over the past 5-7 years. Once "alternative" delivery methods such as construction management@risk and design-build have become conventional airport delivery methods, while new "hybrid" methods such as integrated project delivery and progressive design-build have generated considerable interest within the airport community given successes at SFO, LAX, SEA, and SAN, among other airports.

The changing landscape of delivery options and the intersection of these methods with an evolving group of project "owners" (e.g., airports, airlines, other third parties, public-private partnerships) has created a need for updated guidance on how airports, key stakeholders, their consultants, and their contractors can assess the suitability of various delivery methods for their capital projects.

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

The project will entail taking ACRP Report 21: A Guidebook for the Selecting Airport Capital Project Delivery Methods and bringing it up to date to include guidance for project delivery methods that have emerged since it was published in 2009. As a minimum, the following project delivery systems (PDS) will be addressed in addition to the four already covered in Report 21 (DBB, CMR, DB, and DBOM).
• Design-bid-build (DBB) low bid
• Design-bid-build (DBB) best value
• Construction Manager-at-Risk (CMR)
• Design-build (DB) low bid
• Design-build (DB) lump sum/closed books
• Progressive design-build (PDB) open books
• Design-build (DB) variations with post construction operations and/or maintenance (OM) – DBOM, DBO-Transfer (DBOT), others as may be discovered
• Public-private partnerships (P3), including DB-Finance (DBF), DBO-Own (DBOO, also called lease-back or turnkey), others as may be discovered
• Indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ also called job order or on-call contacts) including IDIQ-DBB, IDIQ-CMR, IDIQ-DB, Master construction service agreements (MCSA), others as may be discovered.
The research will also include explorations of the various procurement methods used to award projects delivered using the above PDSs, including low bid, best value, qualifications-based selection, competitive negotiation, others as may be discovered.
The research will build on the recently completed ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S01-18 Value, Benefits, and Limitations of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) for Airport Project Delivery which identified the gap in the body of knowledge regarding the above PDSs and the need to update ACRP Report 21. The primary deliverables for the project will the update guide and a data-driven risk-based project delivery system selection tool available in a commercial spreadsheet.
Major tasks are as follows:

  1. Benchmark the state-of-the practice is PDS selection based on a comprehensive review of the literature, a survey of a representative sample of both commercial and general aviation airports, and targeted interviews with airports that have mature alternative PDS programs. The interviews will include enough airports to ensure that experience with all the above PDSs are covered.
  2. Synthesize the results of Task 1 and update the framework of the PDS selection tool contained in ACRP Report 21. Present the draft updated framework to the panel for feedback and guidance for moving onto the next task.
  3. Collect actual project performance data from at least one commercial and one GA airport to develop the architecture for the risk-based PDS selection tool and its accompanying database. A data collection plan will be developed and included in the interim report that promulgates the proposed updated framework.
  4. Develop data-driven risk-based PDS selection tool and database for the two pilot airports. Test it with members of each airport and revise as required. Generalize the tool for use at any airport and produce a template for the spreadsheet, database, and implementation guide.
  5. Recruit two additional airports as implementation pilot programs. Provide training, implementation, and technical support to the pilot airports. After implementation, the results of the work completed in Tasks 4 and 5 will be consolidated into a short report and presented along with the final drafts of the guide, tool, and implementation plan to the panel for review, comment, and revision as required.
  6. Upon panel approval, finalize the guide, tool, and implementation plan for submission to ACRP and publication.
  7. Prepare and deliver a final research report that documents the work completed on the project for publication as a web-only document.
Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

Cost Estimate of $450,000 and a schedule of 36 months.

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 has several prior research projects that provide a foundation for this research including:

ACRP 01-05: Guidebook for Airport Capital Project Delivery Systems
ACRP 01-22: Guidebook for Successfully Assessing and Managing Risks for Airport Capital and Maintenance Projects
ACRP 08-02: Integrating Collaborative Partnering for Airport Projects

ACRP 01-05 is particularly relevant, but dated, having been completed in 2009, before broad adoption of then "alternative" delivery methods such as design-build and construction management@risk. The 2009 document also doesn't address numerous recent and successful uses of "hybrid" delivery systems such as integrated project delivery and progressive design build.

Airport and construction industry associations including ACI-NA, ACC, AGC, and DBIA have also developed helpful foundational resources including the 2012 joint ACI-NA, ACC, and AGC publication, "Airport Owners' Guide to Project Delivery Systems". Similar to ACRP Project 01-05, this guide is now out of date and doesn't reflect the rapid evolution of delivery systems that's taken place over the past 7 years.

ACRP 11-03/Topic S01-80 Value, Benefits, and Limitations of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) for Airport Project Delivery, identifies the proposed research as a knowledge gap; the expert panel for the synthesis endorses the research and submitted this problem statement.

Larry C. Bowron
Jon Faucher
Michael Kenig
Tamera L. McCuen
Susan Winslow
Michael R. Witiw
Susan J.H. Zellers
Mike Rottinghaus
T.J. Schulz
Doug Gransberg
Ali Touran

Idea No. 159