Each year, the International Partnering Institute (IPI) recognizes projects and individuals best exemplifying the principals of Partnering and promoting the organizations mission—to transform the construction industry to achieve exceptional results through a culture of collaboration. Ventura Consulting Group and its clients are proud to be among the recipients of various IPI awards over the years.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary, IPI’s Collaboration 2019 Conference, Expo and Awards held this past May included field leaders to C-Level Executives who gathered to network, learn best practices and share their knowledge and experience dedicated to furthering the Partnering movement. From its original seven founding firms, IPI has grown into an association of more than 150 member-organizations consisting of facility owners, contractors, CM firms, A&E firms, designers, professional Partnering facilitators and associates.

This year, our congratulations go out to the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project team for winning a Sapphire-Level John L. Martin Partnered Project of the Year Award in the Buildings/Public Infrastructure Mega Project – $250M-Plus award category. The award was presented to the project team, including San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Dragados / Flatiron / Sukut Joint Venture, AECOM, and Black & Veatch, along with VCG Master Facilitator, Large Program Director Paul Crotty during the IPI event.

As the largest project in the San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) Water System Improvement Program (WSIP), the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project (CDRP) is a critical element of local storage and water supply for the Bay Area. The Calaveras Reservoir, impounded by Calaveras Dam, is the system’s largest drinking water reservoir. When full, it provides more than half of the system’s local storage capacity for 2.6 million customers.

The original Calaveras Dam was a 220-foot-high hydraulic fill embankment completed in 1925. Due to seismic concerns, the reservoir level behind the dam was restricted in 2001 to approximately 39% of its total storage capacity of 96,850 acre-feet. The CDRP construction started in 2011 and the storage capacity was restored upon completion in 2018.

Major features of the project included a new 220-foot zoned earth and rock fill embankment dam located immediately downstream of the existing dam, a 1,550-foot-long reinforced concrete spillway, an Intake Tower, and a 78-inch diameter outlet conduit extending beneath the new dam. The $823-million project allows for continued operation following a seismic event up to 7.25 in magnitude.

The project team encountered several challenges during the CDRP. Proactive partnering sessions, including common goal setting, communication strategies, and issue resolution procedures, as well as detailed risk-mitigation tracking allowed the team to overcome these challenges and remain focused.

“All projects have challenges, and the more complex the project, the more obstacles a team will face,” said Paul Crotty. “The CDRP had challenges that would have broken most teams. Upon hitting multiple, major differing site conditions, this team could have easily retreated into their contracts, postured and fortified their positions to get ready for the inevitable legal battle. Instead, they utilized the Partnering process to find ways to collectively resolve the major issues and built trust, teamwork and project results that highlight the success of this team.  This is a project that all of its stakeholders will look back on for the rest of their careers as the gold standard in collaboration and overcoming monumental challenges, together.”

To see all of the individuals and teams recognized at IPI’s Collaboration 2019 Awards, as well as highlights from the conference sessions, including the audio of Paul Crotty’s presentation on Partnering Any Construction Type, click HERE.