Two CH2M HILL projects recognized by Design-Build Institute of America

Nov. 13, 2012
CH2M HILL announces that two of the firm’s design-build projects have been recognized by the Design-Build Institute of America.

DENVER, CO, Nov. 13, 2012 -- CH2M HILL, a global full-service consulting, design, construction and operations firm, announces that two of the firm’s design-build projects have been recognized by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). The Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility in Washington has won a Design-Build National Award and the Buckman Direct Diversion Project in New Mexico has won a Design-Build Honor Award. The projects are being recognized for their excellent integrated approach to deliver design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility in the water and wastewater category. The projects and teams were highlighted and recognized during the annual Design-Build Conference and Expo Awards Dinner on Nov. 8 in New Orleans, La.

“Receiving two DBIA Design-Build Awards really demonstrates CH2M HILL’s expertise and proven success in the growing design-build industry. The Buckman and Spokane project teams went above and beyond to ensure the project surpassed clients’ expectations with regards to budget, time, innovation, safety, and sustainability,” comments Dan Reynolds, CH2M HILL Design-Build Director. “It’s a privilege to work with these cities and counties that recognize the benefits of this delivery model and trust CH2M HILL to provide engineering, construction and operations for successful water and wastewater projects.”

David Moss, Spokane County Water Reclamation Section Manager, said, “This was a once in a lifetime project which I’m honored to have been a part of; a true collaborative team effort from start to finish.”

Spokane County Regional Water Reclamation Facility

Twelve years ago, Spokane County and CH2M HILL began planning a new water reclamation facility when the City of Spokane decided that its existing facility would not have adequate capacity to serve the long-term regional wastewater treatment needs. Excessive phosphorus in the Spokane River has caused severe dissolved oxygen depletion in the Spokane River and Lake Spokane.

The new facility uses state-of-the-art membrane filtration technology, and will achieve treatment levels for nutrients that are some of the most stringent in the nation. It also has the initial capacity to treat up to eight-million gallons of wastewater daily, and the facility’s capacity can be expanded to 24-million gallons a day to accommodate increasing demand over the next 20-50 years. The plant’s sustainable design allows energy recovered through digester gas production and co-generation systems to produce electricity to help run the facility. All non-process buildings are designed to meet LEED™ Silver criteria.

Because people are at the heart of every design-build project, their safety is paramount and CH2M HILL implemented a rigorous safety program. Due to the project’s consistency in reducing both the Total Recordable Rate (TRR) to 1.83 and the Days Away Restricted Time (DART) rates to 0.00 points, well below the industry average, the project was also awarded CH2M HILL’s Excellence in Safety Program Award, one of the firm’s highest commendations.

Buckman Direct Diversion

The ambitious $192 million Buckman Direct Diversion project is the largest design-build drinking water project in New Mexico history and was extremely complex and politically volatile. Partnering, risk-sharing, and collaboration played a critical role to its success. This was a joint project between the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County, in partnership with Las Campanas, LLP. This project leveraged the design-build capabilities of CH2M HILL and joint venture partner Western Summit Constructors to meet the goals of improving regional water supply under drought conditions, replacing current groundwater pumping, expanding water supplies to meet future demand, and increasing overall system reliability.

“We are very pleased and honored to be among those talented people to receive this award. We believe that the Joint Venture, our Owner’s Agent, and Buckman Direct Diversion staff did a tremendous job as a team to take this vital design-build drinking water project from concept to fruition,” said Brian Snyder, PE, City of Santa Fe Public Utilities Department and Water Division Director.

The state of the art treatment process features multi-barrier protection due to a combination of membrane filtration, ozone disinfection, and granular activated carbon contactors to account for variations in raw water turbidity. The design includes robust treatment for removing turbidity, pathogens, total organic carbon, and impurities that impart an odor to water or affect its taste. The facility also includes processes to help stabilize the finished water and remove iron and manganese.

The project was conducted with safety and sustainability at the forefront of everyone’s minds. CH2M HILL/Western Summit created a site-specific safety program that addressed the unique concerns of the various project sites, and implemented a value-based safety environment. The operations building was constructed as a LEED™ certified building. Additionally, the unique plant has very limited sewer or waste streams and the waste streams associated with the treatment process are recovered and blended with incoming raw water resulting in 100 percent use of river-diverted water. To enhance and restore the landscape to its natural state, the project transplanted 200 existing native trees back into the project’s low water/xeriscaping.

The completed project diverts up to 8,730 acre-feet of water annually from the Rio Grande and returns unwanted sand to the river.


Headquartered near Denver, Colorado, USA, employee-owned CH2M HILL is a global leader in consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. The firm’s work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environmental, energy, facilities and resources. With $6.4 billion in revenue and 30,000 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record and named a leader in sustainable engineering by Verdantix. The firm has been named a FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For five times and was named Water Company of the Year at the 2012 Global Water Awards. Visit us at,, and