Integrated Project Delivery: A Planning & Construction Primer

What is Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and why is it important when starting a planning and construction project?

When beginning a significant planning and construction effort, a key objective should be to build a team of capable professionals who collectively embrace the goals of the project and want to work collaboratively to achieve them. This might seem self-evident and obviously fundamental to any building improvement and expansion work; however, more often than not, there are two factors that block necessary synergies before the process even begins:

  1. There is no lasting “team”, as professionals (i.e.: architects and interior designers, engineers, contractors, etc.) are brought on board throughout the project’s duration only if and when they are deemed necessary for their respective responsibility.
  2. Expectations are not established from the outset and common goals are not clarified and understood.

If the goal of any project is to deliver a timely, well-conceived, aesthetically durable and fiscally responsible place, then the team must be assembled from the outset with clear expectations and performance criteria. This is achieved through a thoughtful and highly collaborative planning and construction process known as Integrated Project Delivery.

So, how does one assemble the “right” team?

To begin, get an early start! All critical personnel should be identified, evaluated, and engaged as early as possible. The earlier the team is composed, the earlier members can collaborate and form common goals, and the more likely the project is to succeed.

In addition to the project “owner”, an integrated team usually includes key design professionals (aka: architect, land planner, interior designer) and builder (aka: general contractor, construction manager). It can also expand to involve other professionals providing legal, financial, risk management, facilities management, and information technology expertise.

The right team is assembled to cooperatively harness the talents of people, systems, business structures, and best practices to create better project outcomes.

How does this team create value for the project?

Value is gained from the process and from those who lead it.

In other words, the cumulative direct investment made in the collective project delivery team pales in comparison to the cost of the tangible construction. For comparison’s sake, the aggregate fees for the design professional team and including specialty engineers such as land planning, civil engineering and other consulting services may range between 6% – 10% of the total construction cost. Moreover, a minor investment in pre-construction planning services by members of the builder’s team will also add value to the proposition.

From another perspective, the appropriate early and one-time investment in an integrated project delivery team yields multi-fold long-term dividends when compared to the life cycle of the final building product itself. One time capitalization on the front-end is cheap compared to long-term building maintenance and operations, to the effect of a ratio of 1:200 times over a period of 50 years.

Who provides these services and how do I engage them?

When considering the enlistment of a team to help in the planning and construction processes, various options exist; however, when electing the IPD method, it is critical to find members with inherent synergies and a healthy working history. As noted previously, central to Integrated Project Delivery is the team’s capability to collectively embrace the goals of the project and a desire to work collaboratively.

Some IPD teams are joined purposefully to serve a specific project while maintaining their relative independent responsibilities including design, engineering, development, brokerage, procurement, and construction. Traditionally, agreements are structured early in the project’s inception to outline each member’s responsibilities, performance metrics, compensation strategies, etc.

Alternatively, TONO Group provides responsibility for most aspects of turn-key, integrated project delivery through its family of companies serving under one roof. Within the TONO Group family, we provide the myriad services and responsibilities associated with planning and construction project delivery including architecture, interior design, real estate brokerage and development, construction management, and furnishings and décor procurement. Effectively, TONO Group is an integrated team whose purpose is to provide a seamless process. Through teamwork with professionals who share common ideology and experiences on multiple projects of all types and scale, we deliver optimal results.

As you contemplate your options and examine the value proposition associated with planning, expanding, or improving your home or business, consider the benefits of IPD and the team at TONO Group.