Silicon Valley Program to Power Design Build in U.S.

March 29, 2019

Silicon Valley Clean Water selects tools to help power first tunneling progressive design build in the U.S., paving the way for the future of wastewater infrastructure

Silicon Valley Clean Water’s (SVCW) Regional Environmental Sewer Conveyance Upgrade (RESCU) program is paving the way for the future of wastewater management and capital improvement upgrades using Microsoft’s collaborative tools and other technology for its innovative approach to project delivery.  

According to a Nexinite release, the RESCU program, is a $495 million capital improvement upgrade that incorporates in excess of 50 construction and consulting companies, five methods of funding and includes eleven projects that constitute full replacement and rehabilitation of SVCW’s conveyance system originally built 45 years ago. It represents the first progressive design-build (PDB) tunneling project in the U.S. spanning inland 3.3 miles from the San Francisco Bay.

This approach is necessary to ensure that “the project is executed in the most cost effective and time efficient way, with the least amount of impact on this community,” said Teresa Herrera, Manager of the Silicon Valley Clean Water RESCU Program, according to Nexinite.

The benefits of selecting PDB include owner input on important decisions with key design engineers and contractors co-located at the site, a tightly managed project schedule and better price certainty. According to Kim Hackett, Authority Engineer for SVCW, “the biggest value PDB has provided is the selection of great minds working together around the table, on site, contributing daily to this program.”  

According to Nexinite, an aspect of RESCU is the co-location of various team members from a myriad of companies. This poses a challenge in how to enable necessary collaboration.

The communication between the teams for the construction program is made possible with the utilization of Microsoft Teams collaborative technology implemented by Microsoft Partner, Nexinite. According to the release, Nexinite enables SVCW to manage costs, improve collaboration, increase transparency and provide a secure document control system by allowing all team members to access all program communications from one central cloud location.

“Microsoft Teams has proven to be a valuable resource for SVCW because it allows all parties involved to collaborate in the most efficient, effective and smartest way possible,” Herrera said.

According to the release, RESCU will establish a new standard for the future of wastewater infrastructure and create a new imperative role for IT solutions within construction projects of this magnitude throughout all industries. Other technology, such as virtual reality, for design reviews will be used over the life of the program. With the addition of Augmented Reality, the futuristic tools will allow the team of builders to not only see what has been constructed, but also what will be added in the future, giving the team the foresight to anticipate challenges and solutions.

“VR is a great way to get Operations and Maintenance input without having to wade through 700 sheets of drawings to get perspective on visual and spatial review. It helps everyone understand the environment as the project is being built,” said Aren Hansen, Supervising Engineer with Brown & Caldwell.