Building owners and their design and construction teams now have a free guide to help them navigate the waters of integrated project delivery. The how-to publication lays out, for the first time, steps to implement IPD—a collaborative but complicated contracting strategy that centers on a building owner-developer sharing risk and reward with its architect and contractor.

“Until this guide, there was no document focused just on the steps a party needs to take to commence and execute an IPD project,” says Howard W. Ashcraft, a lawyer with Hanson Bridgett, which has structured some 140 IPD contracts. Ashcraft is a member of the five-person core group that produced the 151-page “Integrated Project Delivery, An Action Guide for Leaders.”

The goal of IPD, introduced about 13  years ago, is to drive down costs, meet or beat a schedule and maintain or improve quality and jobsite safety (ENR 5/10/10 p. 22). But the process, which depends on Lean Project Delivery, is so different from traditional strategies that IPD, with its multiparty relational contract and cooperative team culture, has been slow to catch on.

“It hasn’t taken off as quickly as people had hoped. People still see IPD as a risk because it isn’t proven,” says James Pease, a regional manager for project delivery for Sutter Health, a system of nonprofit hospitals and doctors’ groups in northern California and an early adopter of Lean IPD (ENR 11/26/07 p. 81). Pease also is a member of the core group.

The guide, published June 6 by the Charles Pankow Foundation and sponsored by a $150,000 grant—half from Pankow and half from 18 construction industry firms—is primarily intended for those seeking to learn about IPD, based on the experiences of veterans. Beyond that, it is intended to help owners determine if they should even attempt IPD.

For success, IPD demands an owner that stays “engaged, is collaborative and is committed,” says Sue Klawans, a construction professional with more than 30 years of experience and a member of the core group. Not every owner’s organization or its individuals can be engaged, collaborative and committed, she adds.

What Goes Wrong

The guide, mostly intended for owners, is organized to parallel a job’s chronology. It is divided into subject areas, to allow the reader to access information relevant to a specific task. For example, a road map is offered for creating internal alignment within a company, assembling a project team and creating contracts. Financial considerations also are offered. The key tasks required both early on and later in the project are laid out. There is even a chapter on “what goes wrong” that offers ideas for fixes. In addition, there are examples of cost, scheduling and other digital spreadsheets and “dashboards.”

Contents are based in large part on a May 2, 2017 workshop that also included the guide’s 20-person advisory council of IPD veterans. Ron Migliori, executive vice president of Buehler & Buehler Structural Engineers Inc., a member of the advisory council and also one of the guide’s 18 peer reviewers, thinks the publication should be required reading both for IPD veterans and first timers. Beyond that, Migliori recommends regular discussion groups on guide chapters, much like a book club, during IPD jobs.

“It’s a very good summary and it hits the right points, laying out what teams have to do and the skill sets needed to be successful at IPD,” says Jack Avery, Sellen Construction’s senior project manager for integrated delivery and an advisory council member.