Louisville wastewater project earns B&V venture major design-build award

Nov. 18, 2004
Morris Forman WWTP Alternative Solids Project wins top National Design-Build Award in the large water project category. Black & Veatch-Alberici Constructors joint venture recognized by the Design-Build Institute of America as year's best for projects over $15 million...

LOUISVILLE, KY, Nov. 17, 2004 -- Black & Veatch announced that the Morris Forman Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Alternative Solids Project, completed by the Black & Veatch/Alberici Constructors Joint Venture design-build team for the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD), earned a 2004 National Design-Build Award in the category of water over $15 million. The award is the most prestigious project award conferred by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). Projects that win the National Design-Build Award frequently break new ground in their approaches and accomplishments.

The DBIA competition recognizes the most outstanding design-build projects in the United States and around the world, promoting and documenting the use and effectiveness of design-build delivery. Nearly 100 projects representing more than $4 billion in new construction were nominated for awards consideration this year.

"This project deserved national award recognition because it far exceeded our expectations and exemplified the principles of interdisciplinary teamwork, innovation and problem solving in reaching a unified design-build solution that benefits everyone," said MSD Executive Director H.J. Schardein, Jr.

When the MSD hired the Black & Veatch/Alberici team to eliminate offensive odors and reduce the volume of dewatered sludge at its 105-million-gallon-per-day Morris Forman Wastewater Treatment Plant, the utility had tried for more than 15 years to correct the odor problem that brought daily protests from area residents. The design-build team proposed an alternative solution to the one originally envisioned. The synergistic combination of anaerobic digestion and heat drying has cost-effectively reduced the volume of wastewater solids and produced a marketable Class A "Louisville Green" biosolids product¿reducing the utility's operating costs and reliance on landfill disposal. Converting waste biomass into methane gas and using that gas as well as waste heat recovered from drying operations to fuel plant operations also provides tremendous environmental as well as financial benefits. In total, the improvements are expected to save the MSD as much as $4 million in annual operations and maintenance costs.

The design-build team removed abandoned multiple-hearth incinerators and replaced them with four heat-drying trains, replaced existing centrifuges and vacuum filters with high-solids centrifuges, and rehabilitated and converted equalization/storage tanks to anaerobic digesters. Designing and constructing the largest heat-drying trains in the United States required special measures. The team was also challenged to implement these improvements while the Morris Forman WWTP, which also processes solids from other MSD wastewater facilities, remained operational at all times.

According to the MSD, site information that became available during the course of the project likely would have derailed the project under other contracting approaches, including the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method. Working with the Black &Veatch/Alberici team in the design-build environment, however, proved to be a rewarding experience and a judicious use of public funds.

"The innovative efforts of the project team to develop a best-practice delivery process and green solution resulted in exceptional community acceptance, highly successful MBE/WBE/DBE involvement and, most importantly, the only process and contracting solutions that would have worked for this project," said Schardein. "This project cost nearly $32 million less than we at MSD had initially estimated, dramatically reduced odors for the neighboring community, and developed a marketable fertilizer product that will save our customers money."

The Morris Forman project epitomizes the beneficial application of design-build delivery for water, wastewater and biosolids projects. The integrated design-build approach facilitated the reuse and repurposing of existing structures and resulted in the completion of a complex project ahead of schedule and with substantial cost savings. The DBIA award serves as tangible recognition that the MSD and the Black & Veatch/Alberici design-build team together created value for the people of Louisville.

About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch Corp. (www.bv.com) is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in the fields of energy, water and information. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch serves its clients with conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, information technology, environmental, security design and consulting, and management consulting services. The employee-owned company has more than 90 offices worldwide. Black & Veatch is ranked on the Forbes "500 Largest Private Companies in the United States" listing for 2003.

The Water Sector provides innovative, technology-based solutions to utilities, governments and industries worldwide. Local project managers work with a global team of water and wastewater treatment process experts to address site-specific challenges through a broad range of consulting, study, planning, design, design-build and construction management services.

About Alberici Constructors
Founded in 1918, Alberici Constructors Inc. (www.alberci.com) continues to lead the industry as one of the most innovative companies in construction services. Alberici Constructors provides general contracting, construction management, specialty contracting and design-build services to companies worldwide. In May 2004, Alberici Constructors was ranked 57th largest contractor in the United States by Engineering News-Record, with annual revenue of $600 million. Based in St. Louis, Mo., Alberici Constructors also has corporate offices in Detroit, Atlanta, Nitro, W.Va., and Hamilton, Ontario.

About DBIA
The Design-Build Institute of America (www.dbia.org) is a membership organization founded in 1993 to advocate and advance single source project delivery within the design and construction community. The design-build method of project delivery embraces architecture/engineering and construction services under a single contract, thereby re-integrating the roles of designer and constructor. DBIA members include practitioners from all project phases, plus public- and private-sector project owners.
DBIA focuses on increasing the successful use of innovative design-build teams on non-residential building, civil infrastructure and process industry projects. Best practices are disseminated through educational programs and conferences, publications such as the monthly Design-Build DATELINE journal and the Design-Build Manual of Practice, the Designated Design-Build ProfessionalTM program and legislative efforts at the federal and state level. The prestigious annual National Design-Build Awards competition highlights successful design-build projects across all sectors. DBIA's 16 chapters provide membership benefits at the local level, while also reaching out to owners to promote the use of design-build.


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