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The Alternative Delivery Syllabus

To make your venture into the world of alternative delivery successful, it is vital that you and your team do the homework up front. The good news is, there are many phenomenal resources out there to help you cram for the big test.

Begin the development of your first alternative delivery project by building a strong foundation of knowledge. Identify the specific benefits that alternative delivery can offer you, consider all the angles, and unlock the value of engineer and contractor collaboration. Go to the head of the class with these 7 resources.

Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook, 4th Edition from the Water Design-B4th edition db handbookuild Council. An update to the 3rd edition, this new handbook includes additional sections, guiding owners to procure and manage an alternative delivery project. Also featured are principles and best practices for alternative delivery, a breakdown of responsibilities for an Owner's Advisor, and a dedicated chapter on Public-Private Partnerships or P3s. Over 30 case studies are also included and provide a glimpse into the innovations implemented on various alternative delivery projects. The handbook is available as a PDF or in hard copy form for purchase.


ad101cThe Municipal Water and Wastewater Design-Build Handbook, 3rd Edition from the Water Design-Build Council. This guide has been developed for owners of water and wastewater projects by a consortium of industry experts, with a focus on clear and digestible analysis of the options available to municipal owners. Prominent forms of alternative delivery, from construction manager at risk (CMAR) to lump-sum and progressive design-build (DB) and design-build-operate (DBO) are all included and discussed in detail. The handbook provides detailed guides to procurement, risk management, and project management. It’s a must-read for any student of alternative delivery.  

ad101cFive Common Project Challenges Solved by Design-Build. Looking for a short explainer that quickly breaks down some of the ways that DB can help you avoid the Design-Bid-Build pitfalls you are all too familiar with? Download this free eBook and share it with your team. By combining a concise look at the advantages of DB with owner survey information and case studies, this 8-page PDF gives you the bottom line in a short amount of time.  

ad101cDesign-Build Done Right: Best Practices from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). DBIA is the premier organization facilitating communication between owners and design-builders, and their best practices are an invaluable read if you’re starting your DB education. In addition to their overview document, they also offer best practices by sector: water/wastewater, transportation, and federal. The best practices documents focus on approaches that are both universal enough to be broadly applicable and important enough to directly affect project performance. 

ad101cDesign-Build Essentials by Barbara Jackson. Professor Jackson is a leading authority on engineer and constructor collaboration in the academic world. Her wide array of experience working with hundreds of owners and firms is reflected in her work. Design-Build Essentials is her magnum opus, and a bible for many DB professionals. DB offers owners a great deal of value, but implementing a substantially different approach from traditional DBB brings challenges, too. Professor Jackson has your back. Packed with insight from design-builders and owners, and enhanced by case studies, her book lays out the fundamentals you need to know in order to mitigate risks and maximize results. 

ad101cProgressive Design-Build Procurement Guide from the Water Design-Build Council. We highly recommend progressive DB to owners trying design-build for the first time. But the paradigm shift from traditional design-bid-build to progressive DB can be complex, and it’s important to ace the procurement process. This five-volume guide walks you through the procurement process and provides model RFPs and RFQs. Don’t leave home without it.     


ad101cResource Revolution by Stefan Heck, Matt Rogers and Paul Carroll. While you’re filling up your reading list with informative tomes, don’t forget to add a little inspiration, too. This little wonder is a 282-page motivational speech about turning the challenges that owners and operators wrestle with – soaring demand, price pressures and resource scarcity – into big opportunities. Assign this as required reading for all of your team members to make sure they are thinking creatively by utilizing collaborative project delivery to make your game-changing project successful.


Would you and your team like to learn more about the keys to successful progressive design-build implementation? Don’t hesitate to reach out for more information.