Answering the $64,000 Question: Geotechnical Risk in Design-Build Projects

by Douglas D. Gransberg, P.E., Ph.D., (M.ASCE), Professor of Construction Engineering; Ames, IA,,
Kevin W. McLain, P.E., (M.ASCE), Director of Geotechnical Engineering; Jefferson City, MO,,
Michael C. Loulakis, (A.M.ASCE), President, CEO; Reston, VA,,

Serial Information: Geo-Strata —Geo Institute of ASCE, 2016, Vol. 20, Issue 4, Pg. 32-36

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Subsurface risk may well be the aspect of most construction projects that has the greatest potential impact on a project's success or failure. Even when a thorough geotechnical investigation is conducted as part of the design process, the owner may still be liable for differing site conditions found after construction has commenced. Thus, if managing geotechnical risk is difficult in projects delivered using the traditional design-bid-build (DBB) method, the stakes go way up when the owner decides to complete a project using design-build (DB) project delivery.

Subject Headings: Design/Build | Risk management | Site investigation | Owners | Construction sites | Failure analysis | Geohazards | Design/Bid/Build


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