Managing Integrated Project Delivery

AuthorBy Jean M. Terry, E. Mitchell Swann, and Carmela Mastrianni
THE CONSTRUCTION LAWYER 5Volume 42 Issue 1 2022
Published in
The Construction Lawyer
, Volume 41, Number 4. © 2022 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not
be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.
Managing Integrated Project
By Jean M. Terry, E. Mitchell Swann, and Carmela Mastrianni
“The construction sector makes
up a large portion of the U.S.
economy. In 2019, 6.4 percent
of all industry employment and
4.1 percent of GDP were attrib-
utable to this sector.”
the massive impact construction
has on the economy, the indus-
try still struggles with inefciency.
Indeed, “[o]ne of the worst-kept
secrets in the construction indus-
try is that the provision of design
and construction services is ego-
centric and inefcient.”2
This inefciency has real con-
sequences. Studies show that
“more than 90% of the world’s
infrastructure projects are either
late or over-budget.”3 Moreover,
inefciencies in the industry are
forcing construction companies
to leave money on the table. If
construction labor productivity
were to catch up with the prog-
ress made by other sectors over
the past 20 years or with the
total economy ... “this could
increase the construction industry’s value added by $1.6
trillion a year. This is equivalent to the GDP of Canada,
or meeting half of global infrastructure needs, or boost-
ing global GDP by 2 percent a year.”4
One of the roadblocks to efciency is the elaborate
dance for hegemony that is created by traditional con-
struction contracts and relationships. The typical project
delivery methods, such as design-bid-build (DBB) and
construction manager (CMa) variants, put parties at odds
and can hamper projects through an ongoing handing-off
between silos of responsibility. Breaking away from that
model and moving to “a system focused on collaboration
and problem solving” would result in all parties working
toward the project’s success, not just their individual goals.
The standard bearer for this collaborative process is Inte-
grated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD has evolved since its
incorporation into form contracts in 2008 and its use can
benet the end construction product an project partici-
pants’ bottom lines. This article explores the evolution of
IPD and provides best practices for utilizing IPD projects
and contracting processes.
I. IPD v. Other Project Delivery Methods
IPD is, at its core, a project delivery system. All project
delivery systems dene roles, dictate responsibilities, and
allocate risks among participants and each has its own
advantages and disadvantages. For instance, the traditional
DBB method allows an owner to more fully understand
project scope because the design is completed prior to con-
struction beginning. The architect/engineer is also actively
involved in the project, assuring that “design instructions
are followed.”6 Further, DBB ensures that “[c]ontractors
bid competitively, based on complete design documents to
maximize the built product for the price.”
On the down-
side, the process is fragmented because it separates design
from construction; this increases the likelihood of misun-
derstandings and miscommunication, which could lead
to delays and additional costs.8 Further, because the cost
of construction is not known until bids are received and
because bids can contain inaccuracies or large contin-
gencies, the owner can be uncertain about the nal cost
of construction until after the design effort is (ostensi-
bly) complete. Moreover, the Spearin doctrine can place
project participants at odds, with contractors asserting
claims against owners and designers for defective plans
and specications.9
Even more modern project delivery methods are not
immune to push-and-pull risk management. In design-
build (D/B), for instance, there is a “[s]ingle entity
responsible for design and construction.”
This central-
ized approach can make D/B the “fastest project delivery
system.”11 It also allows the owner to obtain a xed price
early in the project and prior to the completion of design.
D/B also means, however, that there is “[n]o objective agent
to represent owner’s interests,” such as the design profes-
sional in DBB.12 Further, the method may not be exible
enough to respond to changes, making scope changes
potentially expensive. If a D/B request for proposals is
meant to avoid that, the request must be detailed and, as
a result, the owner may incur high costs in the develop-
ment phase of the request itself.
The various construction manager iterations (e.g., CM
at risk, CMc, CM/GC, CM for a fee, and CMa) are also
double-edged swords. These methods can give an owner
more cost security and give an owner a voice throughout
the construction process to suggest practical and cost sav-
ing alternatives. But those savings can be lost if the CM’s
fee is too high or if the owner becomes liable to contractors
Jean M. Terry
E. Mitche ll Swann
Carmela Mastrianni

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