Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Roch Player, PE, DGE, PMP.:
- Can you tell us more about what goes into the planning process for laying the groundwork to ensure the safety of the public and to help minimize the impact on the environment?
- What is the design-build delivery process you use?
- What are the sole-source responsibilities of the owner, as well as the contractor during projects?
- Talk to us about the architect-engineer liability gap, what is each one’s role, and what do you do to avoid gaps in coverage?
- For those of our listeners that are not too familiar with constructability, can you please explain what it is and how you use it for risk management?
- How do you implement a standard of care for engineers into your projects?
- What are some of the processes and challenges faced when determining construction estimation?
- How does your company ensure they follow and maintain professional responsibilities?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About the Role of Geotechnical Engineer in Design-Build:
- There are two large uncertainties in every project. Firstly, where you are, and secondly, what are you building on top of? Without a thorough understanding of either of these problems, the project will not be successful, and the goal of the project will not be accomplished.
- The core of design-build is considering in the design of how it will be constructed. In design-build, you can consider not only what needs to be built, but who is going to be building it. In the planning process, you, the engineer, can discuss all construction aspects of the project with the people who will be constructing it. It is a great way to make the design eliminate most of the problems that the construction teams might have. The planning process in conjunction with healthy coordination between the design and construction has a better solution than either one can make on their own.
- The term, design-build, means that the people designing the project and the people building the project fall under the same contract. It provides a great tool to accelerate the decision-making process and the return on the owner’s investment more quickly.
- Sole-source projects boil down to who can manage the risk more effectively. If the owner gives a sole-source contract to an individual, it does not mean the owner is giving up control or responsibilities. It means that the owner has decided that someone can better manage and control the risk that they experience.
- The architect-engineer liability gap comes down to who is responsible for what. There needs to be good line communication, and everyone needs to understand upfront who is responsible for what, and when. The standard needs to be set early in the project so that nothing can fall into the gap. The gaps form when you take what you are doing out of context. To overcome this, you need to look at what the goal is, what the definitions of success are, and what the constraints are before you dive into solving a problem. By using design-build contracts, you eliminate the possibility of these gaps forming, because everyone falls under one contract.
- To find the constructability of a design, you need to find out if it can be built using the means, methods, and materials, which are readily available for that project. You must look at the context of what you are building and how you are going to build it. The best solution is the best value that hits all the success metrics for the owner.
- For a standard of care for engineers to work, you must not take on something that you are not confident to take on. You must understand your limitations and be humble. Ensure you have a narrative behind every decision that you make explaining why you made that decision.
- Estimating is an art, as well as a science. You need to understand what the goal is, what the success metrics are for the project, and what is it going to take to accomplish the goal. An estimate is the first building on paper that is needed to accomplish the goal. If you make the estimate correctly, then what you do in the field should come close to your estimate. Use an experienced to figure out hurdles that you might come across, and then start adding to that. Be sure to account for everything that will be needed to complete the project.
- As a design-build company, you are responsible for a project from conception to ribbon cutting. As engineers, you are involved every step of the way. A healthy line of communication is needed to keep the goals accurately updated. As a professional engineer, you are obligated to meet the codes and protect the public and the environment, and there is nothing and no one that can supersede that.
More Details in This Episode…
About Roch Player, PE, DGE, PMP.
After earning his BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Iowa State University, Roch began a 20-year career in the geotechnical consulting industry with projects throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to his professional consulting experience, for two years he taught geotechnical and foundation engineering as an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Texas – Tyler.
A licensed PE in Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas, and Washington, Roch has experience in both traditional and alternative project delivery, specializing for over 15 years in Design-Build delivery of major infrastructure projects, including major bridges, highways, airfields, and Department of Defense facilities.
Roch has authored several papers on the geotechnical use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remains active in civic, professional, and religious organizations. He is a member of the Lions Club, serves on his local Board of Adjustment, and is a lay minister in his church. Roch has been married for over twenty years to Sherene Hansen Player and is the father of four daughters, Laura, Clarissa, Sadie, and Margaret.
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on the role of geotechnical engineers in design-build projects.
To your success,
Jared M. Green, PE, D. GE, NOMA
Host of The Geotechnical Engineering Podcast