International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

The influence of public-private partnerships on design flexibility and downstream design feedback in the Presidio Parkway Antillón, Eric I.; Javernick-Will, Amy; Molenaar, Keith R.


Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) offer the opportunity to improve integration among project stakeholders throughout a project’s life cycle. Stakeholder integration, in turn, can enhance design decision-making process by focusing on the project’s life cycle cost. The objective of this paper is to compare and contrast design decision-making in a P3 and design-bid-build (DBB) process to explore if life cycle considerations are better optimized under a P3 delivery method. To do this, we analyzed a project that included both P3 and DBB project delivery strategies—the Presidio Parkway. We collected data through 16 open-ended, semi-structured interviews with key project participants. We analyzed the data for design decision-making processes and found mixed evidence supporting the proposition that life cycle considerations can be better optimized under a P3 delivery method. Specifically, we found that the ability of the P3 contractor to influence project outcomes depends on the timing of the integration of the designer in a P3 and the degree of design criteria and flexibility allowed. In the case study analyzed, the P3 designer was able to influence downstream life cycle considerations, such as the operations and maintenance of the project; however, given the degree of definition of the design and the timing of integration of the P3 designer, it was not possible to influence the upstream design decisions. These findings allow researchers to better understand how P3s are being integrated from a design perspective and allow the public sector to realize how the timing and degree of definition of the design in P3s influences a concessionaire’s ability to make life cycle design choices.

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