Bryan Bedell, Division Leader of Haskell's Water Division, takes a moment to answer five questions about key issues for utility owners and how the right approach can relieve their challenges. Enjoy this conversation with Bryan.
1. What do you see as the biggest challenge for water/wastewater utilities in today’s environment?
Regardless of what sector of the industry you work in, finding qualified people is generally the biggest challenge. The down turn in the economy drove people from the industry and the return of a talented workforce is moving slowly.
Many utilities are struggling to find balance of charging the true cost for water services while not over burdening their rate payers. An appropriate investment in infrastructure remains a challenge for many utilities.
2. What makes Haskell unique in how we deliver solutions for our clients' most challenging problems?
At Haskell, we approach the market as Specialized Design-Builders focused on design-build, not the hard bid market. This specialization allows us to more freely deal with owners without the baggage of non-collaborative projects.
We have developed a very detailed guaranteed maximum price (GMP)/pricing development process that involves the owner at every turn. This process ensures that owners are part of each decision being made on their project - from equipment selection to subcontractors. No other system allows owners this level of input and power.
3. How does Haskell plan to evolve with the industry? What can your clients expect from the Water division?
Quickly embracing applicable, new technology, allows us to continually improve project quality while lowering costs and decreasing schedules. As the leader of Haskell's Water Division, I will continue to expand our service offering to meet our clients' increasing needs.
One technology in particular we are utilizing is called the Total Robotic Station. We use it on every job possible to eliminate the potential of errors and to build with exactness. To completely leverage this technology requires pairing it with a fully built out model, which can be accomplished as a standalone process or after the design is complete. Our Virtual Construction team can take traditional two-dimensional drawings and convert them to a full functioning model for use by the team.
4.Why has the use of collaborative delivery like design-build (DB) and construction management at risk (CMAR) for public water and wastewater projects grown so quickly?
I believe owners are realizing the benefits of working collaboratively as a team and not combatively with parties who have competing priorities. Collaborative delivery projects, for both DB & CMAR, allow for team members to fully align on their project goals.
Success for one should mean success for all. This is unlike design-bid-build projects, which foster different goals and drivers for each party.
5. What circumstances would make it advantageous for a utility to consider collaborative delivery over design-bid-build?
Key drivers for utilizing collaborative project delivery include benefits such as schedule, quality, and cost, but the biggest benefit is collaboration between all stakeholders. As a firm with more than 50 years of collaborative project delivery experience, our mindset is different than a traditional general contractor.
Our teams seek out solutions to every problem before it rises to the level of concern on a project. We believe even the most complex issues can be resolved at the project level within the project team.