Productivity and efficiency are essential for a successful construction project. However, productivity is actually on the down slope. In fact, recent studies have shown that productivity has been steadily declining year after year. The issue is this: Everyone is looking out for themselves (at the expense of everyone else). Because so many separate parties contribute to a project, there are plenty of conflicting interests. Everyone is in CYA mode. The Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) method is one innovative way to combat this trend.
What is Integrated Project Delivery?
Integrated project delivery (also called “IDP”) is a delivery method that sets out to optimize efficiency – and it’s gaining traction. This method is formed by a single, multi-party agreement. It’s based off a shared risk/reward model, guaranteed costs, and waivers of liability between team members. IPDs encourage proactive involvement and collaboration of knowledge and experience from all the key participants, not just the typical “big 3” (owner, designer, and contractor).
One reason these projects are becoming more prevalent is the increased use of technology and data collection on construction projects. Specifically, building-information modeling (BIM) and computer-aided design (CAD) software are making things easier. These are 3D model based software that allow architecture, engineering, and construction professionals to input their information and data into one model so the entire project can be evaluated as a team from the beginning of the project.
Phases of Delivery
The IPD approach alters the steps of the more traditional construction delivery approaches. The following are the main areas of focus for an IPD:
This is when collaboration is most crucial. The key project participants will assemble to analyze any potential issues relying on each others’ various fields of expertise.
All the evaluations from the conceptualization phase are now integrated with the main project goals and regulatory considerations to optimize costs and reduce waste.
Its during this phase where the computer-modeling software comes into play. By inputting all the information gathered from the project teams and the design phase, the software will then crunch the raw data and predict the project’s performance and outcome.
This is when all the benefits of collaboration and careful planning comes to fruition. If the previous phases were performed properly, this phase should be relatively painless, resulting in minimal delays, waste, and scheduling problems.
Benefits of Integrated Project Delivery
So how does this increase efficiency? Rather than having each member focus solely on their aspect of the project, IPDs force them to consider the implications on the overall project. Also, since this model is based on the principle of shared risks/rewards, the participants have more incentive to improve costs, optimize scheduling and increase the overall quality. So, when an issue arises, the responsibility falls on the most capable/experienced member, and is evaluated on a “best for the project” basis.
Having the right team members and the right contract makes a huge difference on construction projects. Considering how often things can go wrong, a collaborative mentality can go a long way to avoid potential issues. The involvement of all parties throughout the entire project, encourages better decision making and efficient performance that is beneficial to everyone! Integrated Project Delivery is just one more way to improve the lives of construction businesses through collaboration.