Free «Integrated Project Delivery» Essay Sample

Integrated Project Delivery

Executive Summary

Almost every technical job in the world has various setbacks that interrupt or dwarf its progress. Here, building construction can act as an example of such jobs. While constructions differ in more than one aspect, they tend to share some problems. It is not uncommon to find commercial and residential projects sharing similar issues. This factor highlights positive aspects despite shortcomings that might emanate from construction projects. First, it signals that stakeholders of these projects are aware of the problems they can face because they are similar and recurrent.

Second, it allows them to come up with ideal mechanisms that can help them handle those issues in a perfect way. In fact, they can improvise collective techniques to handle them with equal effectiveness. Many studies reveal that constructions suffer from poor scheduling and time management, clashes between participants, and failure to stick to the budget. An advantage is that they confirm that all these problems are solvable. They can solve any setback in their work with the help of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

IPD creates an integration between the stakeholders and their projects, allowing them to intervene in every phase as well as handle any misfortune that might affect their programs. This paper presents a practical way through which people can use this tool to achieve success. As such, it uses a case study in which a project is facing some problems with building construction. The central idea of this paper is to examine how IPD can help identify those issues and come up with perfect solutions to them.

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Problem and Environment

It can be supposed that a man has a construction project that is facing some problems. He has tried out various schedules and designs for this work, but they fail on every occasion. Usually, the construction of buildings does not meet deadlines. In addition, those projects are not in line with the budget in that they cost more than the money available. The worst problem this man faces is his relationships with the architect, general contractor and owner. In other words, he has no job security and can lose it any moment.

There is no doubt that he needs to cope with all impediments as soon as possible, but he seems devoid of ideas. This factor intrigues his son who decides to render assistance to his father. He believes that IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) is the appropriate tool that can make his father deal with the problem he is facing and help his project work. This method refers to “a mechanism that integrates systems, people, practices, and business structures into a systematic process that harnesses the insights and talents of all participants. As such, it optimizes efficiency and helps stakeholders reduce wastage of time through all phases of fabrication, design, and construction.”

The son believes that IPD is the way forward that can help solve the problems, which occur in his father’s project. He perceives that there is no proper integration between the stakeholders and the construction processes. Things can worsen unless they incorporate a new progressive approach to their work. His father will not only lose the job, but will also waste much money on tasks that potentially have little returns. As such, he is interested in investigation of the challenges facing the delivery method of this project. With the help of IPD, he will find it easy to leverage issues pertaining to both the stakeholders and the project.

Analysis of the Problem

There are three issues connected with the failure of this construction project. First, the schedule and design of the project are sub-standard, which means that they do not match the requirements of the plan. Second, budgeting is poor, implying that this man cannot work, properly using the budget when it is supposed to cater for every aspect. Third, the relationship between the project manager and other stakeholders, including owner, architect and the general contractor, has encountered an obstacle (Cohen, 2010).

The first approach for handling any of these problems involves examining their causes. It seems that the owner of the project is a passive person who lacks both sophistication and willingness to participate in any phase of the construction. On the one hand, he must have been operating under a traditional process of procurement, in which he assigns duties to the relevant professionals and sits back waiting for the outcomes. On the other hand, the architect operated within the boundaries of his duty such that he never took part in other tasks related to the project.

The general contractor also took the same approach as the architect. He waited for his turn to come and did not want to take part in other phases of the project. Therefore, the manager had to contend with many duties because the other stakeholders left them for him. Hence, he had to design, schedule and budget the project by himself. He could work in harmony with others for the same purpose.

There will be much more misunderstanding because of many unfulfilled tasks and absence of mutual consent. The owner will think that he is not working in a responsible way because his budget is affected by more expenses than those initially aimed to spend for the project. The slowness is likely to annoy him too. The architect will find it hard to work with a design that does not match the requirements of the building. Lastly, the general contractor will not like the fact that everything is behind schedule. The relationship between the project manager and the other stakeholders may deteriorate (Cohen, 2010).

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Presentation of the Research and the Topic

The characteristics of IPD underlines its suitability for solving the problem at hand. Unless the son finds proper solutions to the drawbacks of this project, he cannot suggest them to his father. The primary aspects of IPD that make it suitable for this project are the following:

  • Early involvement of key stakeholders
  • Shared risks and rewards
  • Multi-party contracts
  • Collaborative control and decision making
  • Liability waivers among the participants
  • Jointly developed and validated goals of the project
  • Mutual trust and respect among stakeholders
  • Collaborative innovation
  • Open communication among the team members of the project
  • Intensified planning in the early stages
  • Using BIM (Building Information Modeling) by multiple parties
  • The principles of design, operations and construction
  • Co-location of project teams
  • Financial transparency

The users of IPD must work in accordance with these characteristics in order to attain the best solutions to the problems facing any construction. They work as the guidelines, which users must follow when applying IPD in their projects. The best way the young man could help his father to cope with shortcomings is to go through some of the previous projects that used this method in the past.

Why IPD?

People should imperatively investigate methods they use for their project, and this program requires the same scrutiny. Integrated Project Delivery is a perfect mechanism for handling construction issues, but the users need to understand its effectiveness before implementing it. With its benefits and qualities, there is no doubt that it is the most suitable choice for this case. First, it will promote the relationship between the stakeholders because it allows them to unite. Once they reach an agreement, they can work on other matters in collaboration with each other. Thus, their mutual understanding, respect and openness will significantly help.

Second, IPD will allow them to recover some of the losses they incurred through poor budgeting and time wastage. The workflow will improve because all the barriers stagnating the process will be identified and corrected. In other words, the overall monitoring and management of the project improves, allowing the participants to handle their shortcomings in a perfect manner. This tool will also develop sustainable measures of handling errors in an effort to make future programs successful. Therefore, there is no doubt that the project manager should use IPD to improve his relationship with other stakeholders, manage budget and time, as well as prepare comprehensive designs for the work.


Many projects have successfully used IPD in the past. Stutter Health facility in Northern California represents an example of it. This paper uses it as a benchmark for demonstrating how this tool can help fix the problems that the project manager can encounter. Stutter’s case is relevant to this one in that it has similar issues.

Stutter Health has experienced frustrations due to its earlier projects that failed on more than one occasion. However, the introduction of IPD helped the company to rehabilitate, resulting in its immense success. Since that time, the tool became one of the most perspective solutions for this health facility and its other projects. Stutter used this approach for the first time in construction history, which means that it was just an experiment. Undoubtedly, the results indicate that it was beneficial since it transformed the company’s operations for the better. In fact, it is unknown when IPD can disserve Stutter Health when used in every building plan it has (Cook et. al, 2007).

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Therefore, it would be right to deduce that this system is the ideal tool for projects loaded with several problems in almost every phase of construction. The most important feature of IPD is the fact that it benefits all the parties of the contract. For example, in this case study, the outcomes impressed the owner (Stutter Health) and he decided to transfer assets to the other projects, including $1.7 billion construction of California Pacific Medical Center. Other examples include $320 million building of ’s Sutter Medical Center in Castro Valley, California, and 555-bed Cathedral Hill Campus in San Francisco.

The subcontractors learned that they need to put more effort rather than to wait to do it for the design-assist or negotiated projects. In future, the builder (Boldt) plans to provide BIM-enabled superintendents of fields in the trailer phase of the project. The architect (HGA) was also impressed by the fact IPD allowed them to work in collaboration.

For these reasons, it cannot be denied that the man’s case this paper presents will enjoy the same success if he uses IPD to rectify problems facing his project. Here, the ultimate questions are, why should he use this method? Will he succeed in it? Is IPD suitable for solution of specific problems he is encountering? There is one answer to all those questions – “Yes.” Darrington, Dunne, and Lichtig assert that most construction projects suffer from low levels of productivity, adversarial relationships, consistent disputes, and escalated rates of inefficiency on a regular basis. The shortcomings result in long implementation of plans, which cost more than the initial budget. Hence, owners do not embrace the outcomes because they suffer huge losses, and might lose workers through injuries or deaths.

However, those problems can disappear if project stakeholders adopt IPD. They argue that this tool has the ideal structures and varieties that handle all problems relating to construction. Consequently, there is no debate on IPD’s capability to handle the issues that the construction manager failed to cope with. A detailed outline that explores ways to rectify such problems is elucidated as follows.

Early Involvement of the Primary Stakeholders

In the first instance, this project failed because the other participants, namely the owner, builder and architect did not take part in its preparation stage. The boss only expected the results and was not engaged in construction. The other experts did not want to surpass the “boundaries,” expecting the manager to do everything he is responsible for and pass it on to them. This approach not only provided the manager with lion’s share of the work, but also failed the project. If the other participants joined forces with him, then they could make sure that the process is carried out according to the budget and schedule in a standard manner.

For example, the other participants must have a better understanding of the design of the project and the most essential approaches implemented in its preparation. The architect needs to know how to draw a proper draft of the project’s design that suits the initial plan. In this way, he or she can carry out his or her duties precisely and flawlessly. On the other hand, the builder needs to know how it is better to distribute the budget for materials and execute his or her tasks according to standards that will impress the owner. The involvement of the owner in this stage is also crucial because it allows him or her to ensure that things meet the requirements of the program.

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Shared Risks and Rewards

Passive participants expected to enjoy the rewards, not being involved in the risks sharing. It seems that the manager had to cope with all the shortcomings of this project. The owner, builder and contractor could only participate after the outcomes were achieved. However, it was not the best way to obtain positive results. IPD could help share the risks, looking for ways of curtailing them and avoiding those that might recur. Unless they overcome the shortfalls, rewards cannot come out of the project.

Multi-Party Contract

This contract presupposes that each party must agree to handle all responsibilities assigned to it. This system not only initiates involvement, but also promotes mutuality among the participants. Through IPD, the participants could sign contracts that assign their duties and guide them on how to handle different eventualities. Stakeholders are able to foresee the issues that can stagnate progress and profitability of the project due to such contract.

Perhaps, the stakeholders of this project had one-party contracts that only covered responsibilities of each person. Such agreements do not outline what the others should do. However, this information is necessary for a project like this one because people must work as a team. In fact, they will understand their roles better if they are aware of their partners’ tasks. In this case, a multi-party contract can help passive participants understand their duties as well as those of the people they work with. Most importantly, it will reduce some burdens the project manager has to face.    

Collaborative Control Decision Making

From a general perspective, collaboration is vital for success. It can not only help these participants reduce clashes, but also involve them in all phases of the program. If they took part in budgeting, scheduling and keeping time, the other participants could have avoided misunderstandings and failures that derailed their project. In this case, the builder and architect used the direct decisions of the manager or those he passed to them from the owner.

There was no cooperation between them and the manager. If the latter made a wrong decision, the owner made him responsible while the others only blamed him back. However, IPD should have allowed them to come up with accurate decisions that predetermine success of their work (Branch, Thomsen, Darrington, Dunne, & Lichtig, n.d.).

Liability Waivers among the Participants

The owner, builder and architect accused the manager. They presumed that he was liable for all the misfortunes that befell this work. This factor highlights that this program did not use IPD in any stage. If this method was adopted, such problems could not ensue. The Integrated Project Delivery allows the owner to waive liabilities among all the primary stakeholders. As such, they focus on the success of the construction rather than deal with the misfortunes that can derail the program’s progress.

Jointly Validated/Developed Targets

It is apparent that participants of the project had different goals. The boss was interested in success of his building while the builder and architect aimed at performing their duties and receiving their wages. They expected the project manager to harmonize, coordinate and leverage all matters to allow them to fulfill their duties. With the help of IPD, they could have constructed collective goals geared towards favorable outcomes, allowing each party to benefit from its contribution.


Almost all construction projects face the same problems outlined by this paper. They can fall behind the schedule, cost more than the initial budget or cause chaos among the key stakeholders. However, there is a crucial tool that solves any of those issues with unparalleled effectiveness. Integrated Project Delivery is the ideal mechanism with the help of which you can handle any problem that arises in a certain construction plan. The most important feature of this approach that people need to understand is collaboration. Unless all the participants of the project join forces, they will not achieve their objectives. Many people perceive IPD as exhaustive, which is not true. This is an involving tool that allows stakeholders to join forces in all phases of the work with the aim of distributing responsibilities to all members.