Integrated Project Delivery (IPD): Greater than the Sum of its Parts

With the owners increasingly demanding high-quality, energy efficient buildings which can be completed within tight timeframes, the entire AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) fraternity is continuously in search for ways and means to serve this purpose. The concept of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), if understood, planned and executed well, can certainly come to their aid.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) as a unified process that “collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all the participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.” In a nutshell, IPD is an approach that aims to ensure closer working relationships, mainly through contractual arrangements, between the owner, the designer (architect), the constructor, the contractor, and all other parties involved right from design and planning stages through to project completion.

Considering that the industry is grappling with grave issues, such as poor multidisciplinary coordination during planning, design, and construction phases; surging hidden project costs; lack of architect-led collaboration during contract administration; and designs which face constructability issues during latter stages of design-build delivery methods, the Integrated Project Delivery (IDP) approach has the potential to deliver positive value propositions for each party involved.

Whilst the success of projects employing Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) methods depend on the scale of project and the teaming structure, its adoption results in effective sharing of risks and rewards by all the major parties involved thereby resulting in projects getting delivered in time and within the stipulated budget. Since IPD largely differs from traditional project delivery methods and approaches, it is important to plan for some areas which can help you smoothly transition to IPD. Some points to consider include:-

  • IPD approach requires preparing and finalising the IPD contractual agreements by all major project stakeholders – owners, designers, and contractors. This helps establish detailed responsibilities and outcome expectations of each trade.
  • Modifying operating and management structure in a way that encourages clear, open, horizontal communication. As a result, all parties involved in the project (beyond the owner, architect, and contractor) are integrated for the production and use of design and construction data.
  • The team should map out workflows and protocols for preparing, sharing and updating the digital 3D building models. This includes high-quality management and delivery of design data, construction drawings and bill of quantities.
  • As opposed to traditional fragmented methods, IPD necessitates communication channels that promote constant participation from all disciplines during all phases of design and construction.
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