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Home » Services » Facilities & Leasing » Public Works Design & Construction » Design-Build & GC/CM Alternative Public Works Projects

Design-Build & GC/CM Alternative Public Works Projects

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What is Alternative Public Works?

Alternative Public Works Contracting Procedures  RCW 39.10

Purpose (RCW 39.10.200):

The legislature finds that the traditional process of awarding public works contracts in lump sum to the lowest responsible bidder is a fair and objective method of selecting a contractor. However, under certain circumstances, alternative public works contracting procedures may best serve the public interest if such procedures are implemented in an open and fair process based on objective and equitable criteria. The purpose of this chapter is to authorize the use of certain supplemental alternative public works contracting procedures, to prescribe appropriate requirements to ensure that such contracting procedures serve the public interest, and to establish a process for evaluation of such contracting procedures. It is the intent of the legislature to establish that, unless otherwise specifically provided for in law, public bodies may use only those alternative public works contracting procedures specifically authorized in this chapter, subject to the requirements of this chapter.

[ 2010 1st sp.s. c 21 § 2; 2007 c 494 § 1; 1994 c 132 § 1. Formerly RCW 39.10.010.]

Intent—2010 1st sp.s. c 21: "The establishment of alternative public works contracting procedures authorized for use by public bodies has been a complex, controversial, and challenging undertaking, but it has been successful. The key to the successful adoption and consideration of these procedures has depended, in great part, on the review and oversight mechanisms put in place by the legislature in chapter 39.10 RCW, as well as the countless hours of dedicated work by numerous stakeholders over many years. It is the intent of the legislature to clarify that, unless otherwise specifically provided for in law, public bodies that want to use an alternative public works contracting procedure may use only those procedures specifically authorized in chapter 39.10 RCW." [ 2010 1st sp.s. c 21 § 1.]

Design-Build (DB)

Design-Build is an Alternative Public Works Delivery method that is available to Public Owners and Agencies.  DB is a project delivery system used in the construction industry in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the Design-Builder (or Contractor). Design-Build is used to minimize risks for the project owner and reduce the delivery schedule by overlapping the design phase and construction phase of a project.

The DB procedure is a multi-step competitive process to award a contract to a single firm that agrees to both design and build a public facility that meets specific criteria. Subject to PRC review, DB may be used on projects valued over $2 million or for parking garages, regardless of cost. DB may also be used for portable facilities, pre-engineered metal buildings or not more than ten prefabricated modular buildings per installation site, regardless of cost, without PRC approval. Contracts for design-build services are awarded through a competitive process using public solicitations of proposals. Finalists' proposals are evaluated solely on factors identified in the request for proposals.

In order to utilize the DB contracting method, Public Owners must be approved by CPARB's Project Review Committee (Capital Project Advisory Review Board). DES is Certified by the PRC per RCW 39.10.270 to utilize Design-Build Contracting for our client agencies when deemed appropriate.

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General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM)

GC/CM Contracting is an Alternative Public Works Delivery method that is available to Public Owners and Agencies through RCW39.10. Unlike traditional Design-Bid-Build contracts, GC/CM Contracts select the contractor at a time in the project when the general contractor/construction manager’s participation provides value, preferably as early in the design process as possible. The agency engages for GC/CM services during the design phase which include life-cycle cost design considerations, value engineering, scheduling, cost estimating, constructability, alternative construction options for cost savings, and sequencing of work, and to act as the construction manager and general contractor during the construction phase. GC/CM Contracting is a process of collaborative management and construction process between the owner, architect, and contractor.

Collaborative input from the GC/CM is an effective means to identify and control risks and costs early in the project. GC/CM Contracts may feature early construction, allowing portions of the work to be constructed before the final design is completed. This makes GC/CM an effective delivery method for complex projects that may have multiple delivery dates or compressed schedules. Also, unlike Design-Build contracts, a GC/CM contract gives the Architect a direct agreement with the Public Owner/Agency that is separate from the General Contractor.

*Under the GC/CM delivery method, the Department of Enterprise Services contracts with an architectural and engineering firm to design the facility and, early in the project, also contracts with a GC/CM firm to assist in the design of the facility, manage the construction of the facility, act as the general contractor, and guarantee that the facility will be built within budget. GC/CM may be used where:

  • Implementation of the project involves complex scheduling, phasing, or coordination;
  • The project involves construction at an occupied facility which must continue to operate during construction;
  • The involvement of the general contractor/construction manager during the design stage is critical to the success of the project;
  • The project encompasses a complex or technical work environment;
  • The project requires specialized work on a building that has historic significance; or

Selection of a GC/CM is based on the evaluation factors of a GC/CM which must include, but is not limited to:

  • The proposer’s experience and technical competence of key personnel
  • The proposer’s past performance with negotiated and similarly complex projects
  • The proposer’s capacity to perform the work
  • The scope of work the firm's proposes to self-perform and its past performance of that scope of work
  • The firm's approach to executing the project, including ability to meet the project time and budget requirements
  • The proposer's past performance in utilization of disadvantaged business enterprises and small business entities and the inclusion plan for small business entities and disadvantaged business enterprises as subconsultants, subcontractors, and suppliers for the project, to the extent permitted by law.

*After the public body selects the most qualified finalists, these finalists submit final proposals which must include sealed bids for the percent fee based on an estimated maximum allowable construction cost (MACC) which can include other price related factors identified in the request for proposal as required. When the design is at least 90% complete, the public body and the GC/CM negotiate a final maximum allowable construction cost based on design documents, that the GC/CM guarantees for the construction of the project. The GC/CM will develop a bid strategy during preconstruction services and manage the bidding of the project to trade partners for the construction of the project.

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