Design-Build & Co.: A Brave New World

by Kris R. Nielsen, (M.ASCE), President and Chief Executive Officer; Nielsen-Wurster Group, Inc., Princeton, NJ,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 6, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


There are many inherent risks in overseas work. These are made greater by current project delivery methods, such as design/build operate transfer, and build own operate transfer. The author discusses risks such as cultural differences, schedules, and differing goals for the project. Wage systems, measures of business achievement, competition, employment attitudes and many other matters can differ on overseas projects and all parties need to understand how to deal with them. Access to knowledge, both technical and organizational can differ. Contract documents need to be carefully crafted. The author also points out risks related to the world wide web, suggesting that technology can be misinterpreted and this can result in significant safety risks. He believes that for many projects, standard contract forms are inadequate and that parties need to start legally and contractually from scratch each time.

Subject Headings: Risk management | Design/Build | Build/Operate/Transfer | Contracts | Project delivery | Cultural diversity | Scheduling | Employee compensation and benefits

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