ENR Special Report: Integrated Project Delivery: the good, the bad and the risky.

I am planning to write a report on integrated project delivery. Questions follow. (No need to answer all of them, though that's fine, too.) I also invite you to simply write to me about IPD, in prose form, or send along any articles you have penned on the subject.

An e-mail to nadine_post@mcgraw-hill.com would be greatly appreciated, by April 30 at the latest but the sooner the better. I can also be reached at 212-904-4139, but please call before April 29. Please also send high-res photos of yourself and your IPD projects. Thanks in advance, Nadine

Nadine M. Post

Background questions: Please identify your firm, including its hq city, and yourself (title) and indicate whether you have ever entered into a multiparty agreement (aka an integrated form of agreement or IFOA), in which risk and reward are shared by the owner, architect and contractor (at minimum). If the answer is yes; please describe, briefly, the project--giving the type of integrated form of agreement; the size, cost, status and, if complete, whether the job was on time and on budget. Also, indicate whether there are (were) any outstanding claims on the project.  (FYI: I have a copy of the Integrated Project Delivery: Case Studies report published by AIA National-AIA California Council; AGC California and McGraw-Hill Construction (ENR's publisher).

IPD-IFOA Questions:

1) What are the plusses of IPD, from your discipline's point of view? What are the necessary ingredients for successful IPD?

2) What are the drawbacks of IPD? Do you know of any IPD-IFOA projects that have gone "south" during the project and were converted into conventional delivery projects, such as CM at risk?

3) If you are not an IPD supporter, would you go as far as turning your back on a project that required an IFOA? (This can be an off-the-record answer. If you do not want to put your comments in an e-mail, pls. call me at 212-904-4139 to discuss.)

4) Who stands to gain the most in a multi-party agreement? Is it a no-brainer for the contractor? How about for the owner?

5) Who stands to be most at risk in a multi-party agreement?

6) How do the engineers and other design subconsultants fit into this picture if the architect is at risk?

7) Ditto for the subcontractors. Can some be at risk and others not?

8) Have you heard of any IPD or IFOA project that ended up in court or in mediation?

9) If you have had experience with an IFOA, please share the lessons learned? (Has your opinion of IPD and IFOA changed for better or for worse?)

10) Would you recommend an IFOA for simple projects, complex projects, such as hospitals, or all projects? Please explain.

11) Can one have IPD without IFOA? If so, how? Can one follow the principles of "lean" construction without an IFOA? Can one use collaborative building information modeling without an IFOA?

12) What is your favorite form of project delivery? Please compare IPD, using an IFOA, with the design-assist delivery method. Also, is there such an animal as a hybrid IPD, where the isn't a multi-party agreement?

13) Do you think "trust" can be a contractual word? Here's a clause in the Sutter Health IFOA: "The Parties recognize that each of their opportunities to succeed on the Project is directly tied to the performance of other Project participants. The Parties shall therefore work together in the spirit of full cooperation, collaboration, and mutual respect for the benefit of the Project, and within the limits of their professional expertise and abilities."

14) For IPD veterans: In your experience, has anyone on any of the teams violated the "trust" clause? If so, what happened? (Please call me about this if you feel more comfortable.)

15) For IPD vets: Has your opinion of IPD changed? If so, please explain.

Call for input from lawyers:

I would also like to hear from lawyers who have experience trying to negotiate or negotiating IFOAs, either representing the owner, the architect or the contractor.

1) How much more difficult, time-consuming, etc., are the contract negotiations? Do parties begin work before signing an IFOA? If so, what are the pitfalls of that?

2) Please compare conventional owner-architect and owner-contractor agreements with the IFOA, including advantages and disadvantages.