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BIM research: New IPD document quantifies savings, shows obstacles

February 01, 2010 |

 Researcher Jonathon Cohen

The American Institute of Architects and the AIA California Council have released the results of “Integrated Project Delivery: Case Studies,” a collection of six studies that showcases the process changes and efficiencies of completed building projects that utilized and implemented IPD.

IPD is a construction project model in which owners, design professionals, and general contractors or construction managers jointly share a project's risk and reward. The IPD projects described in the AIA study are the Autodesk AEC Solutions Division Headquarters, Waltham, Mass.; Sutter Health Fairfield (Calif.) Medical Office Building; Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, St. Louis; St. Clare Health Center, Fenton, Mo.; Encircle Health Ambulatory Care Center, Appleton, Wis.; and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, at Arizona State University, Phoenix.

In each case, AIA researcher Jonathan Cohen, FAIA, collected data to measure the completed project against the stated goals of the project team. Through interviews with project participants Cohen and his team also attempted to tell the story of how each project was conceived and carried out.

“Based on these initial reports, IPD is proving to be a solution that frees parties from the processes that often weigh a project down,” Cohen said. “It allows for creativity and innovation in the way stakeholders approach a project—avoiding a 'one size fits all' formula and instead, finding solutions unique to the specific building issues.”

Cohen visited all of the case study projects and interviewed Building Team participants, including one or more representatives of the owner, the architect, and the general contractor or construction manager, and in most cases, the major engineering consultants, specialty subcontractors, building users, and other stakeholders.

Cohen's report includes sections with project detail on early involvement of key participants, shared risk and reward, multi-party contracts, collaborative decision making and control, liability waivers among key participants, and jointly developed and validated targets for all six of the case studies.

Lessons learned and a narrative of each project are detailed in the case studies as well, highlighting obstacles overcome and process changes. In the Sutter Health Project, for example, a few of the subcontractors did not want their foremen attending group scheduling meetings. General contractor Boldt now makes attending those meetings a mandatory requirement for its subcontractors.

“These studies show that IPD is most successful when owners, architects, engineers, and builders step outside the boundaries of traditional roles into a more fluid, interactive, and collaborative process,” Cohen wrote.

AIA spokesman Matt Tinder said that AIA and the AIACC will continue to update the report with new IPD research and that subsequent research will be incorporated into AIA's contract documents, notably C191-2009, Standard Form Multi-Party Agreement for Integrated Project Delivery; C197–2008, Standard Form of Agreement Between Single Purpose Entity and Non-Owner Member for Integrated Project Delivery; and C197–2008, Standard Form of Agreement Between Single Purpose Entity and Non-Owner Member for Integrated Project Delivery.

The entire report is available at—Jeff Yoders, Senior Associate Editor


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