Integrated Project Delivery
In a normal project, there is about 30% waste. This can be driven down with efficient design and good planning.
The projects that have used integrated teams have saved the cost of their additional labor and material by putting their heads together and being financially motivated to be a team.
IPD is a delivery method that combines the owner, architect, and construction team from the very beginning of a project.
1. Shared Ownership
When a contractor receives drawings to build from, he typically has no ownership in the design. He is not familiar with all the intricacies of the project, which results in time delays as he tries to learn the drawings, and more time delays when he inevitably makes mistakes or misses something.
Further, he may have innovative and informed ideas about alternative ways to achieve the same design intent that would be faster, cheaper, sturdier, or safer. But it's too late to change things at that point. But what if that same contractor had been in the room as each part were designed, and already had his expertise built into the details and decisions? He would hit the ground running, knowing exactly what to do, and would feel more pride and ownership in making sure the design intent was protected, all through construction.
Clients are frustrated that, despite new technologies, projects are not faster and cheaper. They are consistently over budget and over schedule.
2. Profiting from Success
Some projects have tried to bridge this knowledge gap by hiring a contractor to provide pre-construction services. That means the contractor lends his professional knowledge about scheduling, constructability, and cost estimating, to aid the designers and owner in making decisions. However, these contracts typically do not hold the contractor accountable for the information provided. That means it is in the contractors best financial interest to keep quiet about any mistakes or omissions from the drawings that he may see. Then, once construction begins, the contractor is entitled to added fees each time a mistake is revealed. Also, under a traditional model the contractor hired for pre-construction services is not even guaranteed to get the job once the project goes to bid. This prevents the contractor from developing a sense of ownership in the project during design.
IPD is designed to make it impossible for the contractor to profit from the project unless the project is successful. When something goes wrong, like costs start slipping above the target, everyone shares in the pain regardless of whose fault it is. This encourages everyone to focus on fixing the problem instead of placing blame.
3. Drive for innovation:
Pushing the envelope on sustainable design or cool high-tech designs like twisting buildings and mile-high skyscrapers really demands that construction techniques be a full part of the discussion during design. You can't build innovative buildings using the same old traditional building methods.
Keep in mind that design fees are a tiny fraction of the total project cost. Compared to soaring construction costs due to bad planning, meaningful savings to the Owner can really be achieved by driving construction costs down by designing for saving.