Coal Age

MAY 2018

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24 May 2018 prep plant maintenance Design Build Contracts Consolidate Efforts, Tap Optimum Expertise Single-source mine infrastructure construction project management solution nixes the need for negotiating multiple contracts and juggling independent contractors by jesse morton, technical writer Going with a Design Build Contract (DBC) not only streamlines the process between envisioning a mine construction project deliverable and commissioning it, but helps ensure quality by eliminating the disconnect between the multiple contrac- tors that one would otherwise have to em- ploy, said Raymond Perr, director of busi- ness development, Industrial Resources. The benefits of going with a DBC are many, he said, but typically go back to simplifying the complexity of the overall project by working with one contractor responsible for both the engineering and construction pieces and directly account- able for any requisite support or rework. "Rather than buying the engineering from one firm and the construction and installation from a second firm, both items are purchased from one firm that provides both the design and construc- tion," Perr said. The primary advantage, he said, is that by buying the engineering and construction together, performance can be more effectively purchased. "And if the process or system doesn't work, or if there are any other problems with a DBC, there is only one firm responsible rather than two that are blaming each oth- er," Perr said. Engineering and construction con- tractors can be skilled at the blame game, so a major selling point of a DBC is kill - ing that game before it starts. Perr gave the example of a situation where, during commissioning, a motor or reducer starts to overheat. "If the engineering was done by one company and the construction was done by a second company, there is the possibility that the engineering company evaluates the problem and finds that the equipment was installed incorrectly caus- ing the problem," he said. "The construc- tion company's evaluation indicates the equipment was not undersized." Other possibilities include the equipment not being manufactured correctly, Perr said. "In this situation, the owner now is faced with the problem of sorting out who is a fault," he said. "With a DBC, it really doesn't matter why there is a problem be- cause it is the design builder's responsibil- ity to make it correct." Another example is when a deliverable that does not achieve the specified design capacity. "This can be a very difficult item to resolve if the project is divided into several contracts for separate design, pro- curement and construction," Perr said. Another key advantage is a DBC usu - ally deploys teams that have previous ex- perience working together. "Teams that have prior experience working together typically function more efficiently," Perr said. "For example, many of our engineer- ing and field professionals have worked together for years." Contrarily, teams that have never worked together often go through a learning curve that can prove expensive, he said. With a DBC, both groups, engineering and construction, work toward a common goal, and they are not influenced by sep- arate motives that arise in separate com- panies. This is to say that the final DBC project team will include the "key man- agement, engineering staff and construc- tion personnel that will be assigned to the An Industrial Resources DBC team installs trusses for a conveyor spanning the Allegheny River. (Photo: Industrial Resources)

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