Integrated 
  Project Delivery  

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants. The goal is to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.

The approach aims to put the right people in the room at the right time. The early engagement of trade partners, designers, owners and contractor teams provides the opportunity for a much deeper level of collaboration. The teams are also aligned through risk and reward sharing. If the project is delivered ahead of schedule and/or under budget, everyone stands to profit from requisite savings (the same is true for the reverse). The process naturally fosters efficiency.

Early Engagement

On traditional projects the design is completed and the delivery team is procured subsequently under separate contracts. IPD recognizes that early engagement of both designers and constructors is central to project success. Having all parties on board from the start leverages the collective experience and expertise of all team members, allowing much earlier identification of potential problems. This results in great opportunities to maximize value and minimize overall project risk. Having a full team in place early offers a project team tools that would otherwise not be available.

Early assembly means the team can:

  • Mutually grasp the project scope
  • Define an integrated delivery plan
  • Prioritize design deliverables
  • Implement quality control early
  • Maximize the use of prefabrication
  • Order long-lead equipment early
  • Enrich building information models
  • Research existing conditions

Team Behaviour

In an integrated project, the culture naturally fosters collaboration and innovation. When the owner, designer, consultants, constructor, subcontractors, and suppliers understand the value of collaboration, we see all players acting in a trusting, helpful, and respectful fashion. IPD principles rely heavily on the psychology of making shared commitments. The prime contractor, owner and designers don’t bark out orders as is often the case with traditional delivery. Instead, the teams talk about shared goals and collectively decide how to get there. The result is an open, collaborative, high-performing team composed of all project stakeholders, always acting in the best interests of the project.

Best for Project Thinking

As one of the most experienced teams in Canada, we know that one of the reasons IPD is so successful is its method of compensation. Because individual monetary success relies on the project meeting its goals, we see team members making decisions that benefit the entire project, rather than themselves. This differs from traditional delivery methods in which project success and personal gain are not always related. As we embrace ‘Project thinking’ we see deliverable goals are more often realized not by pursuing them individually but as outcomes of behaviours and a prioritization of people. The graph to the right* shows how the IPD process suits the total project. Experienced builders know that changes made late in the process result in significant cost increases. Early implementation of IPD means all team members come to the table with a contribution to a solution.

Target Value Design

Target Value Design (TVD) is an estimating methodology used on IPD projects. The budget is broken down into divisions of work at an early stage. The budget and divisional breakdowns are given to the design team and our team works with the designers for them to understand the options that are available to meet the budget within each division of work.

The TVD method requires the group to define constraints, arrive at conclusions, and then create designs. The team carries out its designs based on a detailed estimate rather than estimating on a detailed design. Team members know they will collaboratively plan and re-plan the project. TVD is valuable to the IPD process because it gives designers the opportunity to speak beforehand with the parties who will be executing the design. The process is integral to the team learning to work collaboratively and to share lessons learned. At the end of each design cycle we have a conversation about what went well and identify what can be done better next time.

Co-Location

Co-location happens when project teams from different organizations work together in a shared space. Co-location supports a collaborative environment and allows the IPD team to become highly integrated. It allows for open dialogue resulting in more efficient and real-time work product and reduces rework and revision.

Having the wider team share a space speeds up decision making, actions, and hand-offs. Because the team has a stronger understanding of each other, there are fewer conflicts and the team focuses on innovation and improvement. Co-location isn’t a necessary element of IPD but it helps the greater team grasp concepts that are outside of their remit. We have found that co-location can help teams understand the way of thinking required for an IPD project.

Evidence/Tools

We produced two documentaries tracing the evolution of five IPD-led projects to illustrate the benfits and rewards of this integrated delivery approach.

IPD: Performance, Expectations, and Future Use (PDF)

Motivation and Means: How and Why IPD and Lean Lead to Success (PDF)

We produced two documentaries tracing the evolution of five IPD-led projects to illustrate the benfits and rewards of this integrated delivery approach.

Normal is Broken

We Build Better Together

As we have completed more and more IPD projects, we have developed numerous tools designed specifically for IPD. Many of these tools are featured in the following guide:

Integrated Project Delivery: An Action Guide for Leaders (PDF)