Several years ago – I first heard about it in 2010 – the American Institute of Architects (AIA) introduced a project delivery approach known as Integrated Project Delivery or IPD.  They defined IPD as “a collaborative project delivery approach that utilizes the talents and insights of all project participants through all phases of design and construction”.  In other words, all of the primary stakeholders in the project share in the project’s risks and rewards.  There are, of course, other collaborative project delivery vehicles such as CM at risk and design-build with GMP, but IPD offers the owner, design team, and construction team a real “partnership” to ensure the success of the project (on-time, on-budget, meets all of the Owner’s Project Requirements).

In traditional, non-collaborative project delivery models, the most common being design-bid-build, the stakeholder are definitely not “partners”.  The architect and her/his consultants are totally separated by the owner from the GC and his/her subs.  Moreover, their risk and profit objectives are totally in conflict.  There’s an old saying in manufacturing:  Do you want price, quality, or delivery?  You can have any two of the three.  That, unfortunately, often holds true in design-bid-build projects, in spite of the contract language to the contrary.  Projects run late and contractors frequently manage to avoid paying damages, while still being paid for change orders.  And the design team, even on those projects, may claim add service fees.

IPD is something that owners should consider, especially for small-to-mid-size projects that are not terrible complex.