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The AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community (PD) promotes the architect’s leadership role in all project delivery methods by assembling and distributing knowledge and best practices for a variety of project delivery methods, e.g. design-build (DB), integrated project deliveries (IPD), and public-private partnerships (P3).

2023 Events

- PD Symposium 2023 - now available on-demand!
PD Forum at A'23 - plus other A'23 sessions on PD

  • 1.  How to Get Infrastructure Done on Time and on Budget

    Posted 12-09-2021 04:25 PM

    How to Get Infrastructure Done on Time and on Budget 

    Too slow, too expensive and defective

    If we had to build the pyramids today we couldn't get it done. At least not in the US, or Germany, two countries that once were proud of their infrastructure, ingenuity and engineering prowess  The Hoover Dam, the autobahn, the transcontinental railroad, the ICE trains and the man on the moon: All engineering marvels admired around the world. 

    World Trade Center transit hub by Calatrava: $4bn
    (Photo: Philipsen)

    And today: The San Francisco TransBay transit center required temporary support beams right after it opened. The Calatrava World Trade Center hub opened 10 years late and at double the cost, with $4bn it is said to be the world's most expensive subway station. The Berlin airport opened nine(!) years after it was technically finished for massive problems in the fire and safety systems (How the Berlin airport became one of the biggest engineering failures).  Thus it became the laughingstock of the world. 

    My personal experience is a different type of failure in which infrastructure becomes a political football. The $2.9bn light rail transit project was planned for 13 years at the tune of some $230 million for studies and design alone, only to be abandoned when Maryland elected a Republican Governor, putting nearly $1bn federal funds back on the table. Two decades earlier I had worked on a  smaller rail transit project in the same jurisdictions which was built on schedule and in record time and largely within the budget. What happened since then? My participation in both projects provided me with some insights about the contributing factors of failure and success.

    Today pretty much every large infrastructure project here (US) or there (Germany) is way over budget and behind schedule, from California's high speed rail to Germany's train station Stuttgart 21. (Germany's 27 year struggle to complete a rail project)....READ FULL ARTICLE

    [Klaus] Philipsen FAIA
    Archplan Inc. Philipsen Architects
    Baltimore MD
    2023 RUDC Symposium

  • 2.  RE: How to Get Infrastructure Done on Time and on Budget

    Posted 12-11-2021 11:00 AM
    Wow... didn't know Germany is plagued by same  infrastructure project delay and cost overrun issues that we now have in the United States.  Seems like the root cause is similar- too many politicians are involved.   

    We should follow China's lead... politicians let the engineers figure out how to best plan , design and build the projects and the politicians stay out of the nitty gritty, and only make decisions, as needed based, on engineer's recommendations.   

    China  built the state of the art 800 mi  Beijing to Shanghai HSR in 3 years and $35b....while the 500 mi California HSR has been going for over 30 years,  is only just started construction,  with right of ways still being debated,  and cost ballooning from $15b to $150b...

    Also we should stop naming projects after politicians and instead name rhe projects after the engineers and builders who worked so hard to bring the projects to fruition.

    Remi Tan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
    Lead Architect, Zenith Engineers
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA

    2023 RUDC Symposium

  • 3.  RE: How to Get Infrastructure Done on Time and on Budget

    Posted 12-13-2021 05:26 PM

    A command economy (state run) makes that sort of thing easier. A dictatorship is more efficient than a democracy.


    --Bill Wheatley



    William A. Wheatley, AIA

    Wheatley US Limited


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    2023 RUDC Symposium