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Across the world, governments are struggling with how best to deliver and finance badly needed public infrastructure facilities. Experiments continue for procuring and delivering roads, transportation, water supply, wastewater treatment, schools, hospitals, and other public facilities. Lessons learned from these efforts – both good and bad – are not being properly collected and shared in practical or helpful ways.
One of the primary missions of the Barchan Foundation is to address this issue – to build a community in which project delivery and finance experience and strategies are collected and shared – with a view toward improving the long term performance of not only individual public projects, but entire collections of infrastructure networks.
Barchan’s internal web application allows all members of the Barchan community to “post” non-controversial information about infrastructure projects using an easy-to-use common template.Key delivery and finance characteristics of each project are recorded, along with procurement strategy. This information is collected and shared in a common format within the Barchan community.
Over the past two hundred years (since the establishment of professional design as an independent discipline), six (6) key project delivery methods have been in use by governments across the world.These six (6) key delivery methods are described elsewhere on the Barchan Foundation website.Numerous minor variants of these six methods have been used on projects.
Barchan’s internal web application allows all members of the Barchan community to exchange information, in a common format, as to how these six basic project delivery methods are being applied.
Three (3) of these Six Key Delivery Methods involve Life-Cycle Delivery of public infrastructure, that is, the combined delivery of design, construction, and operations by a single vendor over a period of between 20 and 35 years.These three methods differ only in how they are financed: (i)all public finance;(ii) all private (at risk), and (iii) a mixture of the two.
After an auspicious beginning in the late 1980’s, when Build Operate Transfer (BOT) and Design Build Operate (DBO) delivery methods were competitively applied to projects in Asia – the use of Life Cycle Delivery strategies (or PPPs) continues to be anecdotal, rather than systemic – caused in part by the 2008 financial economic troubles and in part by widely different use of the term “Public Private Partnerships” across the world.The term “PPP” has become virtually meaningless as a world-wide descriptor of how a project is to be delivered and financed.
Research by academic, industry, and government organizations continues to conclude that comprehensive integration of construction and operations considerations into the design process BEFORE long term contracts are awarded typically produces 40-45% savings in the life-cycle costs.
Yet, procurement practices in the use of the Life-Cycle Delivery methods vary widely across the world, and in many cases, do not produce the kind of integration that yield such 40-45% savings in life cycle costs.
Barchan’s internal web application allows all members of the Barchan community to exchange information about how life-cycle delivery methods are being applied to projects across the world, in a common format.
Barchan Foundation will continue to publish a series of short, practical articles by notable participants from the public infrastructure community, relating to current issues, events, challenges, and opportunities in the delivery and finance of public infrastructure facilities and networks.These articles will permit and promote the exchange of views within the Barchan Community.
Barchan Foundation will be producing periodic reports within the Barchan community, summarizing:
We hope you will join the Barchan Foundation’s community of professionals interested in the sound development of delivery and finance models for public infrastructure.Please send us your thoughts and comments as this community continues to evolve.