Integrated Project Delivery: Taking Design-Build to the Next Level

Design-build is a method of con­struc­tion where a design-build team works along­side the project own­er, under a sin­gle con­tract, to pro­vide design and con­struc­tion ser­vices. A con­trac­tor, design­er, devel­op­er, design-build firm or a joint ven­ture can lead a design-build project, but there is only one con­tract for both design­ing and build­ing. Accord­ing to a recent report by FMI, design-build con­struc­tion is pre­dict­ed to grow 18 per­cent by 2021. The advan­tages of design-build for the own­er is that there is only one con­tract to man­age and one sin­gle point of respon­si­bil­i­ty because the archi­tect and con­trac­tor are on the same team.

While design-build com­bines the work­flow through­out the lifes­pan of a project and rais­es its val­ue, there are some improve­ments and mod­i­fi­ca­tions to this mod­el that are gain­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty. Inte­grat­ed project deliv­ery (IPD) is a sol­id deliv­ery mod­el that takes design-build to the next lev­el with more col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts to posi­tion your project for greater suc­cess. In recent years, IPD has risen in pop­u­lar­i­ty as a means to bet­ter achieve a build­ing project’s goals and out­comes. IPD has been defined by the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects (AIA) as 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 Bau­tex Wall Sys­tem is a build­ing solu­tion that is well suit­ed to the design-build method, where the archi­tect, con­trac­tor and own­er ben­e­fit from sim­pler design, faster con­struc­tion, cost sav­ings and improved build­ing per­for­mance.

Transparency and Communication Become Key

At its root, IPD aims to bring all stake­hold­ers to the table before any design com­mences. This puts respon­si­bil­i­ty on all the stake­hold­ers to be ful­ly involved from the begin­ning of a project, work­ing togeth­er rather than inde­pen­dent­ly. With IPD, stake­hold­ers are no longer engaged in poten­tial­ly antag­o­nis­tic posi­tions but are, instead, part of a team of col­lab­o­ra­tors with a set of shared respon­si­bil­i­ties and goals.



The suc­cess of the project depends on everyone’s abil­i­ty to dis­cuss ques­tions and con­cerns as they arise. As a result, open lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion are often the norm in order to keep all process­es mov­ing for­ward to achieve the group goal.

IPD removes silos and cre­ates a sin­gle work­ing unit that can quick­ly make deci­sions, be more inno­v­a­tive and lessen risks to suc­cess. IPD ensures all stake­hold­ers are involved in each step of the project. The Bau­tex team of tech­ni­cal and con­struc­tion vet­er­ans con­sis­tent­ly pro­vide val­ue to project teams in areas relat­ed to build­ing struc­ture and enve­lope. This makes every­one con­sid­er the impact of their deci­sions and how shar­ing infor­ma­tion in a time­ly man­ner keeps oper­a­tions run­ning as planned for each area.

Cost Savings Becomes a Group Concern

IPD is a great cost sav­ing deliv­ery method. When all par­ties involved in a project can real­ize sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings and prof­it, there’s a greater incen­tive to look out for each oth­er through­out the project. Bau­tex col­lab­o­rates with own­ers, archi­tects, engi­neers and con­trac­tors dur­ing the ear­ly stages of project design in order to more effec­tive­ly build bet­ter build­ings. With this high lev­el of trans­paren­cy and com­mu­ni­ca­tion in place from the start, it’s eas­i­er to work togeth­er to find these poten­tial sav­ings. There are numer­ous ben­e­fits to using the IPD method­ol­o­gy includ­ing reduced project costs, accel­er­at­ed sched­ules, improved qual­i­ty, shared risk and reward, and team build­ing that can be car­ried on to future projects.

The abil­i­ty to share in addi­tion­al cost sav­ings and prof­it is a sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fit for all involved (espe­cial­ly the project own­er). More prof­it poten­tial means there is more moti­va­tion to ensure work is being done by the right group, they have the right equip­ment, man­pow­er and mate­ri­als, and every­thing pos­si­ble is being done to avoid delays.


Who Is Missing From the Table?

Many projects are clear­ly ben­e­fit­ting from the use of IPD method­ol­o­gy, but too often, key col­lab­o­ra­tors are miss­ing from the table. One of the most impor­tant and valu­able col­lab­o­ra­tors that is often left out of the IPD process, or brought in far too late, are build­ing mate­ri­als man­u­fac­tur­ers. While prod­uct man­u­fac­tur­ers don’t have any real say in how a build­ing will be designed and con­struct­ed, they can have the great­est lev­el of exper­tise and knowl­edge in how the build­ing should be designed and con­struct­ed.

This is espe­cial­ly true for man­u­fac­tur­ers of new­er and more inno­v­a­tive prod­ucts and build­ing sys­tems, like Bau­tex Sys­tems. New build­ing mate­ri­als are con­stant­ly being brought to mar­ket to solve prob­lems or to advance the qual­i­ty, safe­ty, cost and per­for­mance of our built infra­struc­ture. Suc­cess­ful­ly inte­grat­ing new prod­ucts into build­ing design requires care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion and plan­ning. For this rea­son, the IPD team should engage man­u­fac­tur­ers very ear­ly in design in order to reduce unnec­es­sary com­pli­ca­tions lat­er in the process and to opti­mize the ben­e­fit of using these new prod­ucts.

IPD is the first step in design­ing bet­ter build­ings with bet­ter walls. When the entire project team and own­er decide on the goals of the project before any design starts, the walls of the build­ing can be eval­u­at­ed and cho­sen based on the goals. This elim­i­nates hav­ing to change the build­ing in the mid­dle of the design to try to meet an unfore­seen need. It’s dif­fi­cult, if not impos­si­ble, to go back­wards once walls are cho­sen. Once a design has start­ed and man-hours have been com­mit­ted to a project, the abil­i­ty to change the wall sys­tem becomes improb­a­ble.

Reach­ing out to man­u­fac­tur­ers for con­sul­ta­tive design rec­om­men­da­tions is a great first step in get­ting start­ed on a project design. Man­u­fac­tur­ers have the test­ing data, past project his­to­ry and design para­me­ters at their fin­ger­tips to assist the design­er ear­ly in a project. Take advan­tage of their con­sul­ta­tive approach to deter­mine the best wall sys­tem for the project.

Bau­tex col­lab­o­rates with own­ers, archi­tects, engi­neers and con­trac­tors dur­ing the ear­ly stages of project design in order to more effec­tive­ly build bet­ter build­ings. The use of Bau­tex Blocks is known to make design sim­pler, con­struc­tion faster and build­ings per­form bet­ter – all qual­i­ties that ben­e­fit each stake­hold­er in the IPD process. Request­ing a con­sul­ta­tion from Bau­tex in the ear­ly stages of your next project is imper­a­tive, and a deci­sion many archi­tects con­sid­er, too late!

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