However, one aspect of the building process has recently emerged as one of the most important factors affecting a job’s success: project delivery method. Although the delivery method debate has typically been dominated by design-bid-build and design-build, there’s a new method creeping into the narrative and demonstrating successful results: Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).
What is integrated project delivery?
An IPD arrangement involves the owner, general contractor, architect, and major subcontractors and suppliers entering into a mutual contract to collectively determine project goals, costs, risk sharing, compensation and general responsibilities.
Those stakeholders in the IPD can form a limited liability company (LLC) or use an American Institute of Architects’ IPD agreement to spell out all of the details of the project, and they typically waive liability claims against each other.
IPD agreements aim to create more collaborative projects where all stakeholders can offer their opinions, especially at the early stages of the project. If done successfully, according to experts, they can:
- Allow for faster construction timetables
- Keep projects within budget
- Reduce the number of change orders
- Allow companies to secure their preferred trade partner early on in the process
Encouraging a team atmosphere
Finding a way to bring all of the key project participants into the process earlier and in collaboration with each other creates a more efficient work environment and more successful project.
IPD allows stakeholders to join a project earlier in the process, rather than waiting after all the designs and documents have been completed. This element of IPD is especially valuable, as the ability to have an impact on a project is diminished the further along it goes.
Therefore, bringing on different parties to offer their opinions at the early stages allows them to have an actual effect on the project, rather than taking the completed designs and starting construction with no say in the plans. This early input can potentially result in fewer change orders down the line.
The costs of design changes are low at the start, but it costs a whole lot at the end when construction actually starts.
Effective for early stage development
In traditional Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build projects, Subcontractors are rarely included early in the process. IPD aligns with eSUB very well in the sense that it allows Subcontractors to become involved and show that they have a tool to manage projects effectively from very early stage development.