July 16, 2019

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) Just Makes Sense

How many of us have seen motivational “TEAMWORK” posters in a corporate setting reminding everyone that working together beats working individually?

Integrated Project Delivery, commonly referred to as IPD, is this principle from a construction perspective. Ultimately, the best way to deliver a project that meets all the customer’s needs, on time and on budget, is to get the key players involved from the conceptual stage.

IPD Just Makes Sense

When the customer wins, the entire project team wins. Integrated Project Delivery has many differences from the traditional design/bid/build process but there are two main differences from which the main benefits are derived.

  1. Bringing the owner, architect and key consultants/contractors/subs together prior to the design stage allows for a more streamlined and informed project that delivers better value to the customer.Having everyone sitting at the table prior to, and through the design, stage delivers the “right” scope without requiring changes later in the process where they become disruptive — and expensive. This allows for a complete understanding of the project goals and scope, and eliminates the traditional owner/architect/contractor conflicts, making it impossible for one party to take issue with something that another party decided in a vacuum. With an inherently collaborative IPD project delivery, all parties have visibility to the decision-making process and the opportunity to contribute from the beginning.
  2. The resulting contracts and agreements are written to encourage all players to do what is best for the project, not what is best for their individual team.The low bid/change order cycle is broken because the contracts are set up such that the reward for the designers, contractor, and key trade subcontractors are directly tied to the overall project success. IPD allows the contractor to participate in the scoping, budgeting, and design phases to ensure that there is alignment in the scope, budget, and project plan which eliminates distrust, and encourages a unified approach for the overall project success.

From the American Institute of Architects “Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide” comes the following chart that does an excellent job summarizing the differences between traditional and integrated approaches to project delivery.


Traditional Project Delivery Integrated Project Delivery
Fragmented, assembled on “just-as-needed” or “minimum-necessary” basis, strongly hierarchical, controlled teams An integrated team entity composed key project stakeholders, assembled early in the process, open, collaborative
Linear, distinct, segregated; knowledge gathered “just-as-needed”; information hoarded; silos of knowledge and expertise process Concurrent and multi-level; early contributions of knowledge and expertise; information openly shared; stakeholder trust and respect
Individually managed, transferred to the greatest extent possible risk Collectively managed, appropriately shared
Individually pursued; minimum effort for maximum return; (usually) first-cost based compensation / reward Team success tied to project success; value-based
Paper-based, 2 dimensional; analog communications / technology Digitally based, virtual; Building Information Modeling (3, 4 and 5 dimensional)
Encourage unliateral effort; allocate and transfer risk; no sharing agreements Encourage, foster, promote and support multi-lateral open sharing and collaboration; risk sharing


IPD Just Works

While it may sound like having extra input at the design stage would slow down the overall project, the efficiencies gained from having a solid, approved design makes the build phase move more smoothly. Additionally, the bid period for a project is eliminated because you arrived at an approved scope and target budget during the design phase. With everyone at the table early, there’s a vested interest in providing feedback to get alignment with the IPD team.

It’s difficult to compare costs of projects using IPD to traditional bid methodology, but it’s impossible to ignore that the value engineering enabled during the design phase of IPD delivers a better final project. Similarly, with the contracts written so that contractors benefit when the project benefits results in “open book” project management that creates a better relationship between the owner/architect/contractors.

Miller-Valentine Group and IPD

Miller-Valentine is currently working on multiple projects utilizing IPD, several of which are key manufacturing facilities where utilizing Integrated Project Delivery has provided great success for their customers in improving the project delivery time, maintaining the target budget and ensuring operational and functional goals.

“Miller-Valentine Group is all about delivering excellent projects and we have seen how the Integrated Project Delivery methodology allows the team to deliver the best possible product not only for the owners but the end-users as well,” explains Adrienne Ruebusch, Vice-President at Miller-Valentine Group. “Having the key players at the table from the start tightens up the entire process and allows everyone to hit the key requirements.”

For more information, contact Adrienne Ruebusch at (513) 588-1217.

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