E-news for the Construction Division Winter 2010/2011

Integrated Project Delivery Sets New Team Objectives

Steven Storts

One of the more general misconceptions about integrated project delivery is the assumption that IPD is just an expanded version of the design-build concept. While design-build principles may be closely aligned with the fundamentals of IPD, the latter actually pitches a larger tent; design-build simply shares space under that tent.

Construction industry sources point out that design-build procurement and management methods can differentiate among projects and may or may not include the owner to varying degrees. If design-build moves more toward a procurement process or a project management that does not include the owner, it also begins to move away from the fundamental principles of IPD. Conversely, when design-build is used according to its best practices, it also aligns with the best practices of IPD. This is where the two concepts are sometimes inadvertently considered synonymous.

In its 2007 report Integrated Project Delivery—A Working Definition, the Integrated Project Delivery Task Force released its now widely accepted statement: 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.

The IPD Task Force, an interdisciplinary group sponsored by McGraw-Hill Construction and the American Institute of Architects/California Council, notes that within the ideal IPD and design-build models, the owner, designers, and builders work jointly from a project’s inception to mutually establish the performance, budget, and schedule within the constraints of the owner’s business model. Moreover, IPD principles can also be applied to a variety of contractual arrangements, with project teams including members beyond the basic triad of owner, engineer/architect, and contractor—all aimed at a life-cycle approach toward constructed facilities.

As part of its core definition, IPD is a “deeply collaborative process that uses best available technologies, but it goes beyond merely the application of digital tools, such as building information modeling (BIM),” the task force report notes. Unless all parties are committed to a set of essential principles, integrated practice will not succeed, the task force emphasizes. These principles include mutual respect, mutual benefit, early goal definition, enhanced communication, clearly defined standards, appropriate technology, and high performance.

To some, those principles may sound reflective of the construction partnering process. However, the AIA/California Council contends that partnering is purely aspirational, with project stakeholders signing a nonbinding agreement that supports joint and open interaction. “Partnering does not, however, change the basic contract and liability relationships, nor does it create incentives and consequences that flow from achieving or ignoring the collaborative goals,” the council explains.

In contrast, IPD is a value-driven process, where project goals are reinforced through shared risk (appropriate liability allocation) and reward based on the best interests of the project as a whole rather than individual performance.

Noteworthy, too, the council says that acceptance of IPD’s essential principles does not necessarily guarantee project success. “Although integrated projects can proceed using various business models, some approaches are better suited to an integrated project than others,” according to the IPD Task Force, which represents the interests of architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, owners, and attorneys.

For instance, under the more traditional design-bid-build approach, key participants cannot be identified until bids are received—too late to meaningfully participate in developing the integrated design, resulting in a likely failure to achieve the efficiency and performance benefits of an integrated process, the task force points out. For this reason, progressive design-build delivery methods have the potential to be more consistent with the integrated approach.

If a business model is a good fit for IPD, there are eight primary sequential phases that comprise the integrated approach, the task force reports:

Conceptualization (traditionally known as pre-design): the beginning of determining what is to be built;

Criteria Design (traditionally known as schematic design): where the project begins to take shape;

Detailed Design (traditionally known as design development): concludes the what-is-being-created phase of the project;

Implementation Documents (traditionally known as construction documents): where the focus shifts from what is being created to documenting how it will be implemented;

Agency Review: use of digital technologies such as BIM, early involvement, and validation by agencies to shorten the final permitting process;

Buyout: complete buyout of remaining contracts;

Construction: where the benefits of the integrated model are realized; and

Closeout: delivery of an intelligent 3-D model to the project owner.

For construction organizations considering an IPD approach, proponents recommend business models that promote early involvement of key participants; equitably balance risk and reward; have compensation structures that reward best-for-project behavior or provide incentives related to project success; clearly define responsibilities without discouraging open communication and risk taking; and implement management and control structures built around team decision-making.

What has been your experience with the IPD approach? Please send any feedback or comments to pec@nspe.org.

2011 Federal Engineer of the Year Award

The Federal Engineer of the Year Award recognizes federal engineers for their commitment, innovation, and value in service to our nation. Contributions from the private sector help us celebrate these agency-nominated engineers, and are important to the continued success of this nationally recognized program.

Each year, federal engineers from across the country are recognized. They are nominated by their employing agency, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Naval Facilities Command, U.S. Air Force, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Energy, among others. On February 24, 2011, leaders from both private and public engineering sectors will recognize these engineers at the Federal Engineer of the Year Award luncheon and ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  In addition, the event is recorded and made available on the NSPE Web site, www.nspe.org, as well as other media venues.

This event provides a unique opportunity for your organization to interface with hundreds of attendees, including senior level engineers and agency officials from numerous government agencies. To learn more about the Federal Engineer of the Year Award program and see the high caliber of previous Federal Engineer of the Year Award winners, visit our Web page at http://www.nspe.org/FEYA.

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Earmark Ban Could Halt Infrastructure Legislation

A congressional moratorium on earmarks could impede attempts to pass a multiyear surface transportation bill over the next two years. It all depends on how Republicans define “earmark” when they write House rules for the 112th Congress. It is unclear whether the moratorium will apply to infrastructure projects. Some Republicans are suggesting that there will be wiggle room for transportation projects; others support a full ban.

TheCouncil on the Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services, of which NSPE is a founding member, has urged congressional leadership to consider carefully the definition of “earmark” so that it does not obstruct legitimate project authorizations.

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Support PEC: Become a 2011 Sustaining Sponsor

There has never been a better time to get exposure, and more business, for your firm than now. By becoming a PEC Sustaining Firm, you will help to support the efforts of NSPE's Professional Engineers in Construction as we strive to promote the hard-earned PE license and enhance the image of the PE in construction.

As a 2011 PEC Sustaining Firm, you will link more business to your future while receiving the following benefits:

  • Company listing: You'll be included in a searchable directory that includes a complete description of your firm's specialties. Let owners and other customers and partners find you! All PEC Sustaining Firms are listed at  http://www.nspe.org/PEC/Supporters.
  • Company Advertisement: Listing in an issue of NSPE's PE magazine (circulation is over 40,000) and in PEC Reporter, which is sent to more than 5,500 PEC members.
  • Valuable Discounts: 25% discount on ads in PE magazine, NSPE Update, NSPE Web banners, and Job Board postings.

Please visit the PEC Web site to become a 2011 PEC Sustaining Sponsor. Your participation will not only help you reach potential clients and partners, it will also provide valuable support for our industry and profession. 

Thank you in advance for your support of NSPE/PEC.

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$3,000 PEC Hightower Fellowship

The George B. Hightower, P.E., Fellowship is awarded annually to a current student or a diplomate of an ABET-accredited graduate engineering program. NSPE's Professional Engineers in Construction established the fellowship in recognition of the contributions that Hightower made to the construction engineering profession. Hightower’s dedication to professionalism, ethics, and construction engineering resulted in him serving as a founding member and the first national chairman of PEC.

Visit the NSPE Web site for an application.

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Nominate Fellow Engineers for NSPE Awards

NSPE offers several awards that have upcoming deadlines in 2011. Below is a sample of the award programs NSPE will be conducting this year.

To see the complete list of NSPE awards, please visit the NSPE Awards Web page

Mentor of the Year Award (Deadline March 31)

The Mentor of the Year Award is given each year to the one member of NSPE who best exemplifies the ideal image of a mentor. The award may be given to an individual who has established a record of consistent outreach toward individuals in the engineering field, including engineering professionals and students, over a number of years. This award can also be received by an individual who has contributed to support or development of mentoring programs within their company or in the engineering community.

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2010-11 PEC Executive Board

Paul J Bakken, P.E.,F.NSPE

Immediate Past Chairman
David Hunley, P.E.

Chairman Elect
Thomas L. Paxson, P.E., F.NSPE

Dr. David Ray Shields, P.E.

Northeast Region
Donn R. Zang, P.E., F.NSPE

North Central Region
Paul E Harmon, P.E.

Southeast Region
James B Harper P.E.

Southwest Region
Lee M. Alexander, P.E.

Central Region
Glen R Schwalbach, PE,FNSPE

Western & Pacific Region
Paul Highley, P.E.

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If you would like to sponsor the next edition of PEC Reporter, contact the Professional Engineers in Construction for more information.


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