Capital Project Strategies, LLC
11710 Plaza America Drive
Suite 2000
Reston, Virginia 20190
t: 703.871.5079
f: 703.433.9313
 

Design-Build, EPC and Public-Private Partnerships

Design-build, engineer-procure-construct (EPC) and public-private partnerships (P3) have become part of the fabric of today’s capital project markets.  Public and private sector owners find that these integrated project delivery systems afford major benefits over conventionally-delivered projects, where the design and construction teams operate separately.  Contractors, designers and others see great opportunity in the move to these delivery systems.  All but the most experienced of organizations are finding that they need help in developing best practices and a program for doing this work right and profitably.

The business model for Capital Project Strategies is largely built around providing assistance to clients on these alternative project delivery systems.  Mike Loulakis, the founder of Capital Project Strategies, is nationally recognized throughout the construction industry for his expertise in these alternative delivery processes.  This recognition comes from having had the good fortune of working on some of the most visible and complicated design-build, EPC and P3 programs in the country, with projects spanning virtually every aspect of the construction industry.  It also comes from Mr. Loulakis having taken a lead role in a wide-range of initiatives that helped formulate best design-build practices and standards for the industry. 

Mr. Loulakis has played a major role in the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) since it was founded in 1993, and was on its Board of Directors from 1996-2004.  He drafted the DBIA Design-Build Contracting Guide, a Manual of Practice document which established DBIA’s contracting principles.  Mr. Loulakis was also one of the primary authors of DBIA’s family of design-build contracts and has been writing and speaking for DBIA consistently since its formation.  He is also well-recognized through his “Design-Build Lessons Learned” series of books, which he has written annually since 1995.  This treatise examines all of the reported design-build litigation during a given year and is considered a highly valuable contribution to the design-build industry.  

The value proposition in using Capital Project Strategies on design-build, EPC and P3 projects is fairly straightforward.  Based on years of experience, we have an in-depth understanding of how these processes work, and we apply our knowledge in a practical way – consistent with industry norms and what will enable the goals of the participants to be met.  We do not believe that these alternative delivery systems are appropriate for every project.  We also do not believe that every owner, contractor or designer can be successful in implementing or participating in a project using these systems.   

Many of our design-build, EPC and P3 experiences are listed in our other Industry Sector groupings.  This page of our website will focus on the broad categories of services and experience we have across industry sectors in these areas.

Front-End Experience: Owners

Both public and private sector owners have used our consultants to help them advance their programmatic and project-specific objectives on procurement and contracting strategies.  We have experience helping owners determine which projects are most suitable for design-build or EPC rather than another delivery system.  We also have a long history of helping both public and private sector owners strategize over procurement approaches, risk allocation, and evaluation criteria.  

On the public sector side, our experience includes working with the agency directly, or through its program management consultant, to drafted or critique RFQs, RFPs and contracting documents.  We are particularly proud of how we have helped some public owners, like the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), develop their protocol and standard practices for using design-build and (in the case of VDOT) P3.  We are also proud of being part of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project team (the largest, and one of the most complicated, design-build and P3 projects in the country), where we have taken a lead in drafting and negotiating the project documents.

On the private sector side, we have broad experience representing owners in drafting and negotiating EPC contracts in the power, petrochemical and process sectors.  We have negotiated with some of the world’s largest E&C firms, and have a keen understanding of the commercial issues and concerns that confront that sector.  Our experience on front-end EPC work has taken us to projects across the world, to Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Central America.

Front-End Experience: Contractors, Designers and Others

As might be expected, our front-end work for those serving owners is different than what we do for owners.  Contractors, designers and other entities have asked us to help them better understand whether design-build and P3 makes sense for them and how to respond to an owner’s RFP.  We also provide them with advice on strategic partnerships and relationships, often drafting teaming agreements and joint venture agreements.  One of our biggest areas of experience to this segment of our client base is in the actual drafting and negotiation of design-build contracts.  We have a substantial amount of experience in creating standard form, in-house contracts for contractors and design-builders, as well as helping them with project-specific contracts.  

Project Administration and Conflict Resolution Experience

Because our consultants have an intimate understanding of the design-build and EPC processes, they have frequently been asked to provide assistance once the project is started and issues or questions start arising.  This often entails working side-by-side with the project management team and giving perspectives on how to best approach a particular problem. In this area, we have worked for owners as well as contractors, designers and design-builders, with issues ranging from “garden variety” construction issues (e.g., delay, differing site conditions, terminations) to “unique” design-build or EPC issues (e.g., failure to meet performance specifications, ownership of design documents after a termination, baseline conditions for the design template).

Training

Our expertise in design-build, EPC, and P3 has resulted in our being retained to conduct a number of training sessions for owners, contractors, and designers around the country.  Most training programs are customized based on the industry and unique issues associated with the client.  Programs have been developed for transit and transportation agencies, the Army National Guard, design-builders in the water sector, consulting engineers, and a variety of other organizations.

Update:  A new report published by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program ("NCHRP") highlights the issue of liability in design-build projects and was in-part authored by two of DBIA’s most influential members and thought-leaders. The report titled, Liability of Design-Builders for Design, Construction and Acquisition Claims, outlines case law and legal precedent that underlie the transfer of liability in design-build projects. Contributors to the report include Michael C. Loulakis, Esq., DBIA and Nancy C. Smith, Esq., DBIA who have contributed to DBIA and its vision as dedicated DBIA members.  Read more from DBIA's newsletter, Design-Build Done Right.

 

 

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