Integrated Project Delivery

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Integrated Project Delivery

What is Integrated Project Delivery?

Integrated Project Delivery is a method of building project delivery predicated on five big ideas:

  • Optimize the whole, not the parts
  • Collaboration

  • Joint ownership (also known as “Shared risk and reward”)

  • Accountability

  • Trust-based environment


A building project is a complex undertaking with lots of moving parts.  The only way for that project to succeed is for all the moving parts to work together well.  When you hire your general contractor and architect under traditional contracts, however, you are actually incentivizing them to optimize their own piece of that puzzle, rather than the whole.


From "The Owners Guide to Starting integrated Projects"

The AIA defines IPD  as a project delivery approach that integrates people, systems, business structures, and practices to harness all insights to reduce waste and optimize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.  Integrated Project Delivery: A Working Definition. Version 2 updated 06.13.2007 AIA California Council


The most aggressively “integrated” IPD projects include all of these mechanisms:

Contract Items

  • Early involvement of key players: General contractor and major sub-contractors must participate during design - [Optimize the whole, collaboration, joint ownership]
  • Early goal definition: Set a budget and other goals at the beginning and design to them, rather than designing first then pricing. [Optimize the whole]

  • Shared risks and rewards: Everyone gets performance incentives or no one does.  This radical concept can trigger radical collaboration.  This requires a shared profit pool, tied to major project goals.  It also requires certain waivers of liability. [Optimize the whole, joint ownership, accountability, trust]

  • Collaborative decision-making: If the team is to share risks and rewards, then they must share management.  Core management team includes a representative from each party to the contract, and makes decisions through consensus. [Optimize the whole, collaboration, joint ownership, trust]

  • Transparency: Open books reinforce the trust necessary to share risks and reward.  Each company must be transparent about their personnel rates, overhead rates, and profit markups. [Accountability, trust]


  • Mutual respect and trust: An atmosphere that allows people to make mistakes and learn from them will ultimately achieve more than an atmosphere of blame. [collaboration, trust] excellent tools for this process. [Optimize the whole, collaboration]
  • Open communication: Information, including BIM or CAD files, are openly shared with the whole team.  Profits are open-book.  Meetings are well documented. [Collaboration, joint ownership, trust]
  • Appropriate technology: In order to fully coordinate the design and construction and to share information, technology like BIM and file-sharing applications are crucial. [Collaboration]
  • Continuous improvement: Constant monitoring of adherence to work plans and team commitments should not end with tongue-lashings when deviations occur, but rather an open dialogue about changing processes, personnel, etc. along the way. [Optimize the whole]
  • Intensified planning so execution is smoother: Construction goes better if the design is complete, well-coordinated, and has full buy-in from builders before breaking ground.  For best results, “planning” should be a structured, well-documented set of commitments from people.  Lean Construction & Design methods provide

Take the Quiz and find out if you qualify to join an IPD Team

Read 650 times Last modified on Sunday, 07 August 2016 21:18
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