Miami-Dade Wastewater Plant Gets Design-Build Award

The Brown and Caldwell/Poole & Kent design-build team joined Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to celebrate the department?s first award from the Design-Build Institute of America, Florida Region. Miami-Dade?s innovative cogeneration facility improvements project at the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant is being recognized in DBIA?s Water/Wastewater category for exemplary collaboration and integration in the design-build project delivery method.

Brown and Caldwell, along with its design-build partner Poole & Kent, replaced the department?s existing cogeneration system with state-of-the-art equipment that generates almost three times the amount of electrical capacity without discharging additional air pollutants. This is one of the first cogeneration systems of this size (8Mw) that is capable of using three different types of fuel feedstocks (digester, landfill and natural gas) in an infinitely variable mix. The project was completed on schedule and within budget, providing about $965,000 in electrical cost savings to the district.

In 2011, Miami-Dade discovered that methane gas produced at the landfill adjacent to its South District facility, coupled with digester gas produced within the plant (and natural gas when required), could significantly cut back the amount of electric power imported from the grid, reducing the facility’s reliance on fossil fuel-produced electricity.?

?Using biogas provides a cost savings of approximately $650,000 per year per 2MW cogen unit operating on biogas and/or natural gas,? said Thomas Potok, Miami-Dade?s project construction manager.

The department opted for the design-build delivery method to tap into the expected economic benefits quickly, while avoiding its continued use of imported electrical power, and to meet the requirements of an imminent consent decree.

?This is a prestigious award for a landmark project in Miami-Dade County,? Brown and Caldwell Project Manager Bobby Strickland said. ?The department is being recognized for its leadership in completing an innovative, fast-track capacity upgrade using design-build contracting.?

The Brown and Caldwell team collaborated to design and build this complex and ambitious project without interrupting service. Keeping the facility online was imperative because the plant used its existing cogeneration units to maintain heat in the digesters.

A leader in cogeneration facilities nationwide, Brown and Caldwell was ideally suited to partner with Poole & Kent because of its design-build experience and long-standing ties. This relationship fostered an effective partnership and collaborative mindset to execute a project with significant scheduling, technical and safety challenges.

Brown and Caldwell reviewed the design criteria, provided innovative Value Engineering ideas, and developed a Preliminary Design Development Report, which became the basis of design throughout the construction period.

?This recognition reflects the tireless work by so many on this team,? Brown and Caldwell Design Manager Eli Tilen said. ?The sheer commitment by the group at all stages of the project ensured this alternative approach was successful, despite the inherent complexity of this project.?

Poole & Kent Project Manager Kevin Smith agreed. ?The dedication and professionalism among the project team?s participants make us extremely proud of this award and what it represents for Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department,? he said.

Awards were presented Oct. 8?9 during the 2015 DBIA Florida Region Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla.

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