Successful implementation of Integrated Project Delivery, or Design Assist, on a project will result in a lower final construction cost, a shorter schedule, high quality and value for the customer, and lower facility maintenance costs.
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is not merely the newest construction management trend to arise, but, in fact, the culmination of our industry’s move over the last several decades. Moving away from the inherently adversarial, and therefore wasteful, design-bid build (plan and spec) process, and toward a mutually-beneficial, collaborative, and therefore more effective, approach to construction design and performance.
Early award to IPD Contractors presents the inherent ability to shorten a project schedule, while delivering a high quality product for the owner. By adding critical contractors to the Design Team early, questions, constructibility issues, and conflicts, that would typically become RFI’s and/or change orders when discovered after the bid and award, are exposed and addressed during design. The flow of information between members if the IPD Team is unimpeded, allowing planning, scheduling, coordination, prefabrication, and other activities normally reserved for the period between award and construction to be performed on a continuous basis throughout design. Since contractors are on the Team before the implementation documents are complete, the time that would be utilized for bid and award is eliminated from the overall duration of the project. Additionally, due to the completion of MEP coordination in tandem with design, the duration for coordination and fabrication following award is shifted forward in the schedule, shortening the critical path. Collaborative planning and continuous schedule analysis and adjustment throughout the design phase ensure a thorough and well understood construction phasing plan and schedule will be in place well before construction commences.
In traditional design-bid build project delivery, the overall construction cost can rise 10-15% in the time between contract award and project completion, due to design clarifications, unforeseen conditions and other issues that generally lead to change orders. On an IPD project, these issues are identified and addressed in the design phase. This, and the fact that the budget is continuously monitored and controlled throughout design, leads to a lower final construction cost.
Successful IPD implementation relies on the selection of experienced, innovative Project Team members that can effectively collaborate to develop a complete design. Participants should have extensive experience using BIM (Building Information Modeling) and supporting the Design Team to create a complete and well-coordinated 3D Model. BIM and Lean Construction Principles are vital components of the Integrated Project Delivery system. Through regular design, constructibility, schedule and life cycle analysis, the IPD Team can work together to suggest, analyze and evaluate potential value improvements in building materials, layout, systems, equipment, sequencing, etc.