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P3s: Embracing Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure Development

August 02, 2023

What could you accomplish with $250 million?

As owners and facility managers work to fight increasing infrastructure needs with minimal capital and operating funds, the question inspires the biggest of dreams in accelerating your core mission. Would you rebuild to allow for climate resiliency? Would you add solar to increase clean energy? Would you replace your aged HVAC system and provide healthier spaces? Maybe it’s all three. Now add on having lower operational risk and higher project productivity, and you have the makings of a successful public-private partnership (P3).

What is a Public Private Partnership?

P3 models are based on a steering principle that centralized project partner communication increases productivity.

As defined by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), a P3 is “a project delivery model that involves an agreement between a public owner and a private sector partner for the design, construction, financing, and often long-term operations and maintenance of one or more infrastructure assets by the private sector partner over a specified term.” This type of relationship is special in that it specifically includes the operations and maintenance services remaining the responsibility of the private sector partner. Additionally, the P3 format allows for the creativity to design the partnership around the exact needs of the client instead of a “one size fits all” format.

As of 2020, the type of P3 models and availability of where you can have them is wide-ranging as shown in the map below outlining public infrastructure P3 allowance. The reason for this range is due to multiple factors such as public vs private, project scope, and public ordinances. For owners who are unsure of whether their project qualifies for a P3, contacting your private sector partner of choice and having them review your project should provide you with all your answers.

Source: Design-Build Institute of America 2020 P3 State Statute Report

How Can a P3 Help You?

The potential for projects when utilizing a P3 model is infinite in scope thanks to the amount of customization. This means that owners who are worried about capital planning, project scope limitations, or even just project coordination, have options that allow for guidance and collaboration. For Viridis, being a private sector partner means bringing the needed financing, expertise, and experienced partners that many owners don’t have access to.

The public-private partnership model is one of many options for project partnership models, but a strong choice for owners to make depending on their project needs. At Viridis, it is always our priority to make sure that our clients are receiving the guidance they need, identifying exactly what partnership type is best and how we can be the best possible private sector partner possible.