Highlights from the DBIA Western Pacific Region Conference

  • June 13, 2019
  • Author: Brandon Dekker

One of the highlights of Spring this year was the Design-Build Institute of America’s (DBIA) Western Pacific Region (WPR) conference that was held this May in Napa Valley. As leaders in progressive design-build, CannonDesign was proud to sponsor, speak and help organize the event that united leaders focused on advancing single source project delivery within the design and construction industry for important discussion and idea sharing.

I’ve actually been fortunate to serve as the conference chair for the annual conference since the inception of the DBIA WPR conference three years ago. In that time, the event has grown from 250 people to a two-day, sold-out event with more than 400 people. It’s thrilling to see that growth.

Reflecting on this year’s event, I connected with my colleague Praful Kulkarni to talk through some of the highlights, including:

  • Speakers – This year’s event featured dynamic speakers that raised the bar for future events. Chad Hymas’ inspired attendees with a look at how he overcame a tragic injury in his 20s to become a world-class wheelchair athlete, author and president of his own communications company. Randall Miller also did a wonderful job motivating attendees and leading the event as our general speaker. Our own James Halwey also presented at the conference.
  • Roundtables and Workshops: Every panel discussion and workshop included in the conference agenda seemed a perfect fit. Numerous attendees shared feedback that they learned about new ideas, opportunities and tactics they could implement. This was exciting to hear and great feedback to inform next year’s agenda. One that especially stood out was a discussion on LEAN Progressive Design-Build best practices with Geoff Neumayr and Tania Gharechadaghi from San Francisco International Airport and our project manager at the airport James Hawley.
  • Growth: As I mentioned, we’ve increased attendance at the DBIA regional event eightfold since it began. That growth was on display the entire conference including a fun wine blending event hosted by DPR the first night of the conference. There were more than 120 people networking at the event – that’s nearly three times the total attendees of the inaugural regional conference years back.

I am truly grateful to everyone who helped make this year’s conference a success. I am proud to chair the event and wanted to share exciting feedback from Gloria Moore, the DBIA Western Pacific Region Executive Director. She sent a note shortly after the event to say, “This year’s DBIA WPR conference was hugely successful! (Over) the last three years the event has become larger and larger. The team went above and beyond to make sure all attendees went home inspired and refreshed. It is always a pleasure to work with such great people. This year’s event was very special, and the best yet! Much appreciation to all those who supported the event for their dedication to Design-Build.”

This was inspiring feedback that has our team already looking forward to next year’s event.

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CannonDesign Serves as Lead Design Partner for ModularDesign+

  • May 22, 2019
  • Author: CannonDesign

We are proud to announce CannonDesign will serve as the lead design firm for ModularDesign+, an alliance of leading-edge design, fabrication, product engineering, construction and development partners from across North America. This alliance is focused on creating fully customizable, prefabricated, modular building solutions to clients. Modular solutions are particularly valuable to clients because of their substantial cost savings, accelerated speed-to-market and revenue capture, reduced risk, and more predictable final outcomes.

Already, ModularDesign+ has launched products spanning modular inpatient, ambulatory and emergency care rooms along with bathroom pods, student residences, sleeping pods and reception and intake spaces. The company is focused on advancing cross-market customizable solutions clients can use for a variety of building needs.

“Building owners are craving new, innovative approaches to real estate delivery, and ModularDesign+ is a bold vision for a better process,” said Keith Swenson, President of ModularDesign+. “The results of our existing partnerships have helped organizations achieve better design and construction outcomes that enhance cost savings and expedite timelines and revenue capture, among other benefits.”

Click here to learn more about ModularDesign+ >

LAX Pedestrian Bridge Successfully Removed From Central Terminal Area

  • May 21, 2019

Praful Kulkarni to Present at Design-Build for Transportation / Aviation

  • 04/09/2019 - 04/09/2019
  • Presenter(s): Praful Kulkarni

Praful Kulkarni Talks Progressive Design-Build at Healthcare Project Delivery Conference

  • 01/24/2019 - 01/24/2019
  • Presenter(s): Praful Kulkarni

David Hunt Named Health Practice Leader

  • January 15, 2019

Knowledge Experts Weigh In At Advancing Prefabrication 2019

  • 01/28/2019 - 01/31/2019

Three Important Developments at DBIA Expo 2018

  • December 10, 2018
  • Author: Praful M. Kulkarni

The Design-Build Institute of America’s (DBIA) annual conference and expo is one of the most educational and dynamic events to attend each year. I had the great fortune of joining contacts and colleagues at this year’s event in New Orleans. Making this year’s DBIA Expo especially exciting, the event marked the 25th anniversary of the DBIA’s founding – a moment when select AEC industry leaders came together to advance design-build as a successful project delivery platform.

The team at the DBIA Conference 2018.

For those unfamiliar, the DBIA conference is an event that unites AEC professionals, building owners, leaders in design-build delivery, and relative newcomers to share the latest trends, ideas and best practices that can fuel both progressive project delivery models for the future. There are scores of educational sessions, countless novel ideas shared, and incredible energy around the built environment’s future at these events. The DBIA also announces awards and its new Board of Directors, which was an exciting moment as my colleague Deb Sheehan was selected to serve on the DBIA BOD for the year ahead.

Reflecting on this year’s conference, I wanted to share three key takeaways that will influence the year ahead:

Chart courtesy of DBIA

Further Evidence: Design-Build is Faster, More Reliable and Cost Effective
As design-build continues to gain momentum each year as an effective project delivery platform, new data and evidence to serve as proof is key. There was excitement at the DBIA conference around the organization’s new research report, “Revisiting Project Delivery Performance” that shows America’s design-build projects continue to deliver faster, and with greater reliability in cost and schedule performance, than other methods. Here are some highlights from the data:

  • On average, projects using design-build cost 1.9% less per square foot when compared to construction manager-at-risk (CMR), and 0.3% less when compared to design-bid-build (DBB).
  • Design-build projects also average 2.4% less cost growth than a comparably scoped project using CMR and 3.8 less cost growth than a project using DBB.
  • Design-build projects see 3.9% less schedule growth than CMR and 1.7% less than DBB. They’re also 13% faster than CMR during the construction phase and 36% faster than DBB.

Design-build can continue to drive value on a project level and for our larger built environment. As Lisa Washington CAE, CEO/executive director of DBIA has said, “As our nation continues to struggle with the unmet needs of crumbling infrastructure and budgets stretched thin, it’s no surprise that most states have embraced design-build as a better way to deliver projects vital to our economic growth. Whether it’s a billion-dollar airport or small community library, this research confirms design-build continues to deliver innovative projects that save time and money.”

The report has been covered in the media and it can be read in entirety online.

Design-Build for Transportation & Aviation in 2019
During this year’s conference, I co-chaired a Market Sector Roundtable with Geoff Neumayr, chief development officer for San Francisco International Airport, Aviation which proved remarkably enlightening. Those involved shared their thoughts on design-build’s growing impact and potential in the aviation industry. It became that the potential for design-build in aviation required more than just a singular discussion at the national conference.

A chart representing how design-build functions differently than other project delivery platforms. Chart courtesy of the DBIA.

So, in 2019, DBIA will take a deep-dive focus on aviation at the first-ever Design-Build for Transportation & Aviation Conference this April in Cincinnati. The DBIA has held an event focused on transportation in the past, but it’s exciting to see the aviation industry elevated in this manner.

The Aviation Market Sector Roundtable I co-chaired with Geoff Neumayr of SFO.

Several of our most exciting current design-build projects sit in the aviation industry. We’re currently helping Los Angeles International Airport construct its new Midfield Satellite Concourse and a Terminal Cores and Automated People Mover Interface and doing work with San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Being connected to these projects day in and day has shown our team the remarkable success and potential for design-build in aviation and it’s great to see a dedicated event on the topic for 2019.

Deep Interest in Virtual Design and Construction
Our gkkworks/CannonDesign team brought more people than ever to this year’s conference, including Brian Skripac, our director of virtual design + construction (VDC). In talking with him, he was thrilled with the excitement and energy around VDC. He moderated a technology form titled, “Exploring the Value of BIM on Projects,” and told me this afterward: “One of the important takeaways from the session which really summarized things well was, ‘as BIM adoption goes up, so does group cohesion, facility quality and project delivery speed.’ – all important benefits and outcomes.

Brian also shared that “other presentations on a schedule-driven BIM approach highlighted the value of integrating trade contractors and their models early in the project delivery process while also being able to use big data from the QA/QC process,” and VDC came up when SFO’s Geoff Neumayr talked about the importance of achieving the benefits listed above (group cohesion, facility quality, etc.) which will continue to be value-adds for clients embarking on projects via the progressive design-build model.

I can’t state enough how much I look forward to the DBIA conference each year. The 2018 event in New Orleans did anything but disappoint, and I look forward to advancing design-build in new ways between now and next year’s event in Las Vegas.

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