ConstructionPro Week, Volume: Construction Advisor Today - Issue: 44 - 02/26/2010

New Study of IPD Method Demonstrates Efficiencies and Cost Effectiveness

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and The AIA California Council (AIACC) recently announced the results of a joint project focused on real building projects that used and implemented integrated project delivery (IPD) during the building process. IPD is a construction project model in which owner, design professional, and builder jointly share a project's risk and reward.


"These studies demonstrate the successful application of IPD in a variety of building types and scales in diverse regions of the country, and are the first installment of an ongoing evaluation process of how the IPD model might be incorporated nationwide to protect against project losses," according to AIA. "In particular, all six participants in the study delivered projects on time and within budget using the IPD model, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of its use.


"Inefficiencies and waste in the construction industry, coupled with new technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and owner demand for better quality and cost controls, have created a need for a collaborative approach to design and construction. The participants in this project openly discuss the pros and cons of IPD as a collaborative building and design effort."


According to the case studies, advantages of IPD include the following:

  • Owners enjoy improved cost control and budget management as well as the potential for less litigation and enhanced business outcomes.
  • Contractors are provided with the opportunity for stronger project pre-planning, more timely and informed understanding of design, the ability to anticipate and resolve design-related issues through direct participation in the design process, construction sequencing visualization to improve methods prior to the start of construction, and improved cost control and budget management.
  • For architects and designers, IPD provides more time for design, reduces documentation, allocates more appropriate sharing of risk and reward and improves cost control and budget management.
  • According to Jonathan Cohen, who conducted the study, "Based on these initial reports, IPD is proving to be a solution that frees parties from the processes that often weigh a project down. It allows for creativity and innovation in the way stakeholders approach a project -- avoiding a 'one size fits all' formula and instead, finds solutions unique to the specific building issues. We are excited to continue this research and see if this methodology provides the boost to the bottom line of businesses that are desperately needed."


About the Case Studies
The six case studies in the report include Autodesk Inc., AEC Solutions Division Headquarters in Waltham, Mass.; Sutter Health Fairfield Medical Office Building in Fairfield, Calif.; Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital Expansion in St. Louis; St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, Mo.; Encircle Health Ambulatory Care Center in Appleton, Wis.; and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University in Phoenix.


All participants were selected based on their compliance with the criteria of IPD, which include the following: mutual trust and respect among participants; collaborative innovation; intensified early planning; open communication within the project team; building information modeling; lean Principles of design, construction, and operations; co-location of teams; and transparent financials


Projects had to be completed in the United States. Cohen visited all of the projects and interviewed the major participants at length, including at least one representative of the owner, architect, and builder. In most cases, the major engineering consultants, specialty subcontractors, building users, and other stakeholders were interviewed, and project data was self-reported by the participants.


Steps have been taken across the AIA to support the use of IPD in future projects. While the projects in the current report were implemented prior to the availability of standard IPD agreements, AIA contract documents now offers several documents specifically for IPD projects, including the C191-2009, Standard Form Multi-Party Agreement for Integrated Project Delivery; C197-2008, Standard Form of Agreement Between Single Purpose Entity and Non-Owner Member for Integrated Project Delivery; and C197-2008, Standard Form of Agreement Between Single Purpose Entity and Non-Owner Member for Integrated Project Delivery.


AIA and AIACC continue to study the ongoing effort to apply IPD as a business model and will document results in future reports. To download the IPD case studies, visit




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