Monday, June 14, 2010

Design-Destruct: A Unique Variation of Design-Build

In a unique twist, the University of Washington plans to use the alternative contracting procedure of Design-Build for the demolition of an eleven-story brick veneer, concrete building constructed in 1931.  Located at Harborview Medical Center, which is owned by King County but operated by the University of Washington, Harborview Hall has reached its full life expectancy.

Approval by Project Review Committee:  On May 27, 2010, the State of Washington's Project Review Committee (PRC) gave approval for the University to use Design-Build for the demolition of Harborview Hall.  

Construction costs are estimated at $3.8 million.  The Project Review Committee's approval of the use of Design-Build comes under the authority of the PRC to approve up to ten demonstration Design-Build projects that are more than $2 million and less than $10 million.  Legislation authorizing these smaller Design-Build projects was approved in 2009 and is described in RCW 39.10.250 (4).

Why Design-Build is Appropriate for a Design-Demo Project:  The University argued that Design-Build offers the best contracting tool to ensure the success of this sensitive project in a highly congested urban area just east of downtown Seattle.  The selected contractor will be required to develop plans to protect pedestrian and utility tunnels beneath Harborview Hall, and protect oxygen tanks immediately behind the building that are necessary for life support systems for the hospital.

It is the first use of Design-Build to support the demolition of a facility for a public agency in Washington State.

Application of UW:  To read the University of Washington's application to the Project Review Committee describing the project, click here.

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