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Contractor Alternate Design. Serving the Public’s Best Interest. Development / Building Phases. Project Planning. Development / Building Phases. Project Planning Prioritizing / Programming. Development / Building Phases. Project Planning Prioritizing / Programming Preliminary Design

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Contractor Alternate Design

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contractor alternate design

Contractor Alternate Design

Serving the Public’s Best Interest

development building phases1
Development / Building Phases
  • Project Planning
  • Prioritizing / Programming
development building phases2
Development / Building Phases
  • Project Planning
  • Prioritizing / Programming
  • Preliminary Design
    • Needs Analysis
      • Engineering Scope Activity
      • Environmental Scope Activity
      • Environmental Class of Action Identification
    • Preliminary Alternatives Development
    • Detailed Alternative Review
    • Environmental Impact
    • Engineering Evaluation
development building phases3
Development / Building Phases
  • Project Planning
  • Prioritizing / Programming
  • Preliminary Design
  • Pre-Final Design
    • Right of Way Acquisition
    • Utility Relocation
development building phases4
Development / Building Phases
  • Project Planning
  • Prioritizing / Programming
  • Preliminary Design
  • Pre-Final Design
  • Final Design
    • TS&L Study
    • Contracted Design
      • Single Option
      • Multiple Options
development building phases5
Development / Building Phases
  • Project Planning
  • Prioritizing / Programming
  • Preliminary Design
  • Pre-Final Design
  • Final Design
  • Contracting
    • Contractor Alternate Design
    • Shop Drawing Reviews
    • QA Inspections
development building phases6
Development / Building Phases
  • Project Planning
  • Prioritizing / Programming
  • Preliminary Design
  • Pre-Final Design
  • Final Design
  • Contracting
  • Open Structure to Public Use
why contractor alternate design
Why Contractor Alternate Design
  • It is simply not practical to pursue all design options to their conclusion
  • The optimum solution may have been overlooked
  • It creates a desirable environment where people with specific skills, equipment and facilities, are assembled to offer solutions to the owner.

A contractor bidding a design, essentially meeting the requirements as defined by the owner’s TS&L study, based on the owner’s standards, prepared by the contractor’s team, including a contractor selected design engineer.

essential requirements
Essential Requirements
  • Having the same:
    • Load carrying capacity
    • Number and size of traffic lanes, shoulders, curbs, sidewalks, etc.
  • Meeting the requirements for:
    • Vertical and horizontal clearances
    • Roadway geometry requirements
    • Clearance to underlying roads, utilities, railroads, streams, structures, or wetlands
    • Other project specific considerations that might be discovered during exploratory drilling
benefits for the owner
Benefits for the Owner
  • Lowers bids without a reduction in quality
  • Improves customer service by reducing construction time
  • Prevents “crippled” designs from being executed
benefits for the owner 2
Benefits for the Owner (2)
  • Taps industry design methodology and technology
  • Considers changes in capabilities and technology
  • Fits the best team approach and the best all the participants have to offer
  • Rewards contractor’s agility and ability to solve problems
  • Takes advantage of the latest materials available
benefits for the contractor
Benefits for the Contractor
  • Creates a basis for competition on the basis of the best solution rather than the cheapest price
  • Rewards innovation, agility, and originality
  • Rewards ability to match conforming solutions with the problem at hand
  • Fosters a sense of partnering with owners and his suppliers
benefits for the contractor 2
Benefits for the Contractor (2)
  • Considers workload, efficiency and best fit in fabricating plants and at suppliers
  • Considers latest improvements in safety procedures
  • Moves competition further back in supply channel
  • Considers availability of suitable equipment
  • Accommodates contractor’s best construction operations
how it works
How it Works
  • The Owner
    • Provides common design criteria
    • Establishes policy that lowest bid will take contract
    • Allows Contractor Alternate Designs
    • Provides rules for Contractor Alternate Designs
    • Provides development information for use by bidders
how it works1
How it Works
  • The Contractor
    • If his Contractor Alternate Design bid is successful
      • Submits conceptual plans and schedule of proposed design for approval
  • The Owner
    • Reviews for essential functional equivalency, based on specifications and approves or rejects
  • The Contractor
    • Prepares final plans
    • Provides design calculations
    • Establishes a required items schedule
rules to make it work
Rules to Make it Work
  • Anything additional falls on the shoulders of the contractor
  • Delays in submission or approvals are at the contractor’s risk
  • A Registered Professional Engineer, familiar with standards and criteria must prepare the design – the owner reserves the right to approve or reject the designer
  • Contractor may have to pay a review fee
rules to make it work 2
Rules to Make it Work (2)
  • If the Contractor Alternate Design solution fails to meet the owner specified design criteria and is rejected for that reason, the contractor is required to build the as-designed version for the amount bid
why not the best design in the first place
Why Not the Best Design in the First Place?
  • Standards and specifications are at best a compromise between the minimums acceptable while allowing for sufficient competition
  • As-designed solutions are aimed at the lowest common denominator
  • Significant new methods can become available between design and bidding
  • Designers tend to think there is only one solution
  • “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”
why not value engineering after the bid
Why not Value Engineering After the Bid?
  • A contractors competitive creativity peaks at bid time when the team to support the project is assembled
  • After the bid the contractor is in a “build it as you see it” mode unless there is a major blunder
  • Can the contractor keep the job stay in limbo for the time needed to negotiate the division of savings, get approvals, and reviews for the proposal ???
public policy
Public Policy
  • Chapter 2 of the PENNDOT Design Manual states:

“Unless approved by the Chief Bridge Engineer, alternate designs by contractors are permitted in all cases. Justification must be provided whenever alternate designs are not allowed.”