Synopsis & Condensed Summary of 14 May 2000

(Notes initially prepared by Norma Barr, PhD, Barr & Barr Consultants, Austin, Tx.)

Construction Partnering Summary - NATIONAL WATER QUALITY LAB –         Denver Federal Center

ABIDE – GSA - BLACKINGTON & DECKER - HENSEL PHELPS                          February 1999                         

PROJECT PARTNERSHIP:         Partners took time during the closing days of the project to assess their experience & explore Lessons Learned, putting them into better position to reinvest in construction industry partnership. They affirmed true benefits to both government & business.

PARTNERSHIP SUCCESS:        Partners were asked to rate Project Partnership by rating 20 items.

Rating scale was:                      4 = Very Effective           3 = Effective 2 = Ineffective          1 = Real Failure

The ratings were as follows:

            3.83      Problem-solving

            3.81      No litigation

            3.79      Rafting team building session

            3.78      Quality Job

            3.76      Safe Job

            3.76      Non-adversarial work environment

            3.67      Snow mobiling team building session

            3.65      Teamwork

            3.61      Open communication

            3.57      Payment Process

            3.56      Fun on the Job

            3.53      Direct and candid instead of posturing and hidden agendas

            3.50      Trust

            3.40      Schedule Management

            3.33      Submittal Process (during 2nd half of the project) (1.23 score during 1st half of the project)

            3.29      Less sending and resending paperwork

            3.29      Time and cost control over the project

            3.27      As Builts

            3.12      Reduced paperwork

            3.00      Profitable

**On the evaluation of the submittal process, partners were asked to evaluate the submittal process on the first half of the job and on the last half. The 1st half Submittal score was 1.23. The 2nd half Submittal score was 3.33, showing an enormous gain in mid-project with project partners picking up revised duties.

The evaluations were the highest ratings the Partnering Consultant has ever seen on a construction job.

Good News --- Successes and Contributions

Volunteers presented personal observations {names available by request}

01.        The National Water Quality Lab, a state-of-the-art laboratory, is positioned to truly support the national resource of clean water. It's a science lab to provide scientific information about ground water and irrigation as well as water quality and quantity. This lab is a "fee-for-service facility" & is part of a larger program that works with water as a vital national resource.

02.        This successful project demonstrates GSA's commitment to small and minority business utilization

03.        NWQL represents long-term government payback with a government owned facility.

04.        Technological improvements allow reduced lab space, with increased capability.

05.        Government took a front role in integrated sustainable, affordable design which began in the project planning stage. The project includes energy saving designs as well as utilizing some recycling building materials

06.        Partners achieved $1,200,000 Value Engineering solutions which began with early input into the project & continued throughout the project.

07.        Prototype Project Process – Casework Concept / layout is now being requested round the world

08.        Project is the first in the nation to partner with Public Utilities - - Outcome: Huge energy savings - compared to what the energy bill would have been.

09.        Early inclusion of Commissioning provides a true warranty period for the contractors

10.        RK Mechanical brought in their Service & Start-up Company early to check out equipment before start up. They took a pro-active approach & presented a partnered, professional outcome. At move-in, the govern-ment agency did not get ambushed on equipment, since the early check out of equipment prior to lab start up helps to avoid later potential damage to pumps & motors when they are started to do lab service. Early check out helps to avoid potential limit to long-term performance of the integrated systems.

11.        Leader synergy occurred on the project throughout the different parts of the job such as the leadership provided by Howard, Carl, Brent, Steve, Taryn, and Tim.

12.        Procurement Officer took a risk on the innovative approach of going 8-A; BDI & HP put together a team with outstanding individuals

13.        The leaders were visionary and thought outside the box

14.        They were innovative in building partnership rapport by turning to experiential learning rather than meeting/ classroom approach Partners brought expertise to the table

15.        Leaders looked for the design intent to support the project, rather than taking the business-as-usual approach of rigidly considering contract content only.

16.        Leaders encouraged partners to look for better ways with minimal cost, minimal time investment & a workable solution. Obstacles were over-come through communication & cooperation.

17.        Initially the Project Manager (Taryn Edwards) initiated the attitude of recommending a solution when bringing a problem. This provided a transition for workman experience to be included in solution finding.

18.        Problem-solving responsibility was distributed throughout the project, where Partners at critical project levels took responsibility for project focus

19.        The Construction Manager, Abide International, offered to invest time & money into partnering & asked for decision authority & responsibility to plan ways to make the partnering process real. Carl found creative ways to help the team build strong relationships. Howard & Steve (GSA) supported the innovative approaches.

20.        GSA relinquished some decision-making authority and invested in trust and good will to allow Abide International to find innovative, experiential team building activities.

21.        Partnering organizations shared the costs to build a real Partnership work environment {Abide International, GSA, BDI, Hensel Phelps, RKMI},as well as other subcontractors} provided money, time, and participation.

22.        Partners were able to include values, emotional intelligence, good will investment and commitment to keep the partnership alive and functioning.

23.        Champions of partnering behavior led the process throughout the project

24.        Workers bragged about this project being the best one they had ever worked on - - they demonstrated ownership of the project at the working level also, which was an outcome of partnership and leadership.

25.        Many partners stated that this was the best partnering experience they had ever had. They credited visionary leadership, experiential team-building, and real human connection and communication.

26.        Rafting experience offered a real opportunity to connect and build a team in a short amount of time. The raft trip was followed by debriefing the experience and deepening understanding through communication styles and recognizing project application.

27.        Leaders kept the partnering process energized during the intermediate parts of the project - - which kept partnership focused.

28.        The project was a pleasure to work on. We actually achieved the goal of having fun while we built a top quality project

29.        Subcontractors and the General Contractor brought in innovative people to meet the challenge, particularly in the mechanical and electrical areas.

30.        Successful job challenged the popular perception of GSA's reputation in the contractor community of being difficult. GSA’s leaders on this project used brilliant approaches combined with common sense to continually serve project execution and project quality.

31.        GSA’s Contracting Officer & Project Manager demonstrated intelligent, interpretation of intent and were equally committed to legality and contract integrity.

32.        Companies put together a truly safety-minded work force

33.        No lost time injuries occurred on the project

34.        Project news was available on internet website allowing interested stakeholders - families of workers, workers, agencies, consultants, universities, and perspective clients – to stay informed.

35.        Project partners were sensitive to neighbor impact of the building process (i.e,utilization of manifold instead of numerous stacks for chemical exhaust.