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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