An Overview of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)

Posted: February 1, 2012 in Construction

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines IPD as:

 “Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a project delivery approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction. IPD principles can be applied to a variety of contractual arrangements and IPD teams can include members well beyond the basic triad of owner, architect, and contractor. In all cases, integrated projects are uniquely distinguished by highly effective collaboration among the owner, the prime designer, and the prime constructor, commencing at early design and continuing through to project handover.”

Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide, AIA National, AIA California


IPD is not new to the construction industry but with the current economic climate it appears to be growing in popularity.  One of the reasons for this growth is the more collaborative project model that, if used correctly, should help reduce waste in cost and schedule.  This method uses the early involvement of key participates like general contractors in conjunction with architects and engineers to help make better decisions based on availability of materials, schedule, and labor costs.

The integrated Project Delivery Method does differ from a more standard Design – Build method in one main area.  The owner must constantly be involved in the IPD method to truly embody what the AIA defined.  Design – Build can align with the principles of IPD through early involvement of contractors and subcontractors, but without constant input from the owner, an optimized project result will not be achieved as valuable time and money might be wasted in owner reviews where the team has strayed from the intended outcome.


Moving the industry from a traditional Design – Bid – Build method, one that considers little owner and contractor involvement in the design of the contract documents, to the IPD method will be a challenging task.  This new method is a break from the industry standard.  Fear of this change will most likely be one of the greatest hurdles facing the industry.  Think back to the switch from hand drafting to CAD and now CAD to Revit and Building Information Modeling (BIM).   That was only a switch from one technique of drafting to another.  The switch from traditional project deliver methods to IPD is a change in the fundamental thoughts on project delivery from initial design all the way through construction.

  1. M. Kev says:

    Nice idea for a blog. I enjoyed both posts so far and particularly this one on IPD. We are now in the third year of our IPD/BIM pilot senior thesis (capstone) in AE at Penn State and there is no question that the concept is here to stay both in industry and education. Trying to implement it in an educational setting is a challenge to simulate but we are making progress. Continued good luck with your site. mkp

  2. Ryan L.S. says:

    I feel that this discussion on this introduction to IPD has a solid basis and hits the key points of what IPD is. I do agree that this thought of having early involvement my other trades is not new. One of IPD’s real advantage that was hinted at but often not realized is the contractual arrangements. I would recommend any viewers reading this to realize that IPD should be using contract language where every member of the team accepts equal responsibility for everything. This thought breaks the silos in BIM and non-BIm about sharing information. I personally feel that if you generated and are willing to share paper copies why not share the computer based (they should be the same).

    AIA has contracts for IPD, they are as follows: C191-2009 and C195-2008.

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