Integrated Design-Build Project Delivery Gains Momentum

Many states and municipalities are adopting new rules for commissioning construction projects.

The construction industry is re-evaluating the traditional design-bid-build method of project delivery and exploring alternatives. Rather than architects designing a project and then, after the fact, involving a contractor to bid and build, the new trend is for “integrated project delivery” with designers and builders working together from the start of a project with a single contract for both design and construction services. In fact, half of all U.S. states now favor an integrated design-build approach, which reduces the likelihood of schedule-stops and delays, budget over-runs, change orders and other conflicts.

Studies have found that a design-build delivery system can cost 6% less and result in 34% faster project completion compared to the traditional design-bid-build format. New York requires design-build on some state contracts, claiming that infrastructure projects in particular lend themselves to this integrated approach and could save New York City alone $2 billion over the next decade.

There continues to be ongoing dialogue over this practice and trend.

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Can Green Buildings Make Us Smarter?

Green is good -- outside or inside an occupied building.

A recent study published by Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) suggests that Green Buildings create optimized conditions for health and productivity. In a series of experiments, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors for both “green” and “conventional” buildings were simulated in a controlled environment that included office workers, and the researchers measured variables such as carbon dioxide variation, ventilation and exposure to volatile organic compounds in the building atmosphere.

The results? On average, cognitive scores for the two groups of workers were 61% higher for those working in a building with green features than with conventional construction.  In other words, green building can potentially deliver a smarter workforce.

Energy Efficient Buildings Key to Combating Climate Change

energy efficient building

Renovating the Federal Building in Portland, Oregon cut energy usage by 45% and water consumption by 60%.

A new report from the U.S. Green Building Council and the American Sustainable Business Council concludes that energy-efficient buildings are one of the most effective and economical ways to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint in response to global warming. That’s because buildings account for more greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. than any other source, including transportation and industry. The report probes the economics of green buildings and their value in mitigating greenhouse gas production, suggesting that brick and mortar solutions to the climate challenge make for good economics in the long run.

10 Construction Industry Trends to Watch in 2016

One industry trend: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are increasingly being used for surveying, mapping and marketing.

Design-build powerhouse Korte Company monitors the latest building methods, tools and technologies. The company’s list of construction industry trends to watch this year ranges from cutting-edge building technologies to innovative construction methods and improved decision-making systems. In other words, projects are getting smarter.

Korte’s Top Ten starts with detailed 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) providing better visualizations for both projects and systems. Other trends on their list: Increased use of pre-fab, smart buildings that provide data monitoring, integrated mobile technology and information on job sites, robotic automation for specialized work, drones for project monitoring, 3D printing for construction, and enhanced job-site safety — as technology moves workers further from the most dangerous tasks.