Alternative Project Delivery Methods

A court of appeal case published on September 18, 2014, Los Alamitos Unified School District v. Howard Contracting, Inc., confirmed the existence of an exception to competitive bidding for “lease-leaseback” agreements awarded by school districts pursuant to Education Code section 17406. Many involved in school district construction have held the view that “lease-leaseback” agreements were exempt from competitive bidding, despite the fact that these agreements result in new construction projects which are ultimately owned by a school district. This case confirms that view by applying a plain meaning interpretation of section 17406.
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This New York Times article describes a relatively new "accelerated bridge construction" technique using a self-propelled modular transport to lift a bridge into place.  The article focuses on the River Street Bridge in Boston, but the technique is being used increasingly around the country.  When done correctly, the bridge is lowered in place "like a

The use of design-build in the public sector appears to be growing.  As more public agencies achieve positive results with this project delivery method, the legislature appears to be more comfortable with expanding the statutory authority.  My colleague, Lisa Dal Gallo, and I recently co-authored an article about this trend as well as the many benefits of design-build.  Click here for a copy of

On October 11, 2009, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 729 (Evans), revising the design-build statute applicable to transit operators.  AB 729 extends the authority of public transit operators to use design-build contracting from January 1, 2011 to January 1, 2015.  We interpret this to mean that transit operators must award, but not complete, a design-build contract prior to this date.  

 


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A controversial new state law introduced by Sen. Elaine Alquist and approved by the Governor in October 2009 will make it easier for the City of Santa Clara to facilitate construction of a new football stadium for the 49ers.  Senate Bill 43 creates a new joint powers authority, the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, which will be exempt from the City’s competitive bidding rules and is authorized to award a design-build contract for the new stadium.   


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On October 22 and 23, 2009, the Harvard Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Design jointly sponsored a symposium on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD is a project delivery method where all of the key participants (owner, contractor, designer and key subcontractors) are engaged at project commencement to collaboratively design, develop and execute the project. Participants’ compensation is based on overall project outcome, measured against an agreed target cost, and liability within the IPD group is waived or greatly reduced. IPD has produced exceptional results in healthcare, and more recently, in a range of commercial and institutional projects.


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In a word, yes.  Most public agencies are required to award their public works construction projects to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder.  Failure to comply with public bidding requirements can result in a legal ruling which can void the contract.  However, there are also a variety of alternative project delivery methods (design-build, construction manager at-risk,