Integrated Project Delivery

Integrated Process Delivery (IPD) is changing the way building projects are completed - delivering better downstream value for investment and sustainability (often within LEED certification) to both owners and end-users. At Rhodes architecture we’ve embraced this process as a means of ensuring our clients receive the best construction value they can. ipd is a way of handling design and construction that maximizes process efficiency at every step – by virtue of greater team communication and cooperation at every level of the architectural and construction process - in materials, doccumentation, and applied knowledge. The downstream value is proven in church design, retail design, or any other team-build / design-build project led by a church architect or church designer, or, a commercial architect within the Rhodes family.

The construction industries have a lot to learn from the larger manufacturing sector, and we see this learning more and more all the time within the construction process and the architectural environment. Lean production tools have been driving improvements in manufacturing process efficiency for almost twenty years. These tools enable a construction and design process that are more efficient and allow the owner a greater downstream value.

The US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that since 1960, the non-farming productivity index has gone up over 100% since the 1960s, while the construction productivity index has actually decreased by about 20%. The building industries have lagged far behind in delivering efficient projects that meet and exceed owner expectations. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is one way in which Rhodes Architecture has been trying to do its part to help bring the bar back up in construction project efficiency. We've done this for 15 years through project centered team build, our in house marketing term for IPD, an improved team process leveraging each stakeholders knowledge.. The team build project process, sometimes referred to as design build at Rhodes architecture, takes full advantage of IPD and passes the savings on to the owner.
IPD has improved building sustainability and project efficiency by about 30% in the years since its earliest implementation in the 1990s. What's the secret? The short answer is team integration. Team integration allows for greater sustainability in process, increased efficiency of team communication, and best of all – a more cohesive project result. By way of better communication and tighter efficiency, we deliver better finished products.

The three major stakeholders in any building project (the owner, the design team, and the contractor) all have an investment in maximizing downstream value for the team build / IPD project. The idea is to eliminate the inefficiencies that can arise when each of the stakeholders work through the project while keeping their own interests foremost. Instituting lean manufacturing and better process efficiency in the life-cycle of the project fosters cooperation and team integration so that everyone's interest in the investment is best served. Because of this, the finished projects are more sustainable, a better value, and are also better constructed – the entire team having had a chance to voice concerns and suggest revision on all particulars – with greater cost efficiency. That is the key to the ipd / team build / design build design and construction process.

Established with solid relationships of trust from the beginning, IPD and team build projects rely on a constant team environment that fosters communication and sustainable systems. For this to be effective, the owner needs to either know how to implement team communication, or work with a team they know can be trusted to work together well – this is the benefit of hiring a team with built in relationships for managing a team build or ipd process.

When initiating an IPD or team build project, it is important to start with plans and systems should be in place - drawing from the principles of lean manufacturing to reduce waste, redundancy, and other costly difficulties.

The team should also have established and open lines of communication about each phase of the team build or IPD process. On the design side, this goes well beyond plans and building documents. When using IPD, Rhodes Architecture works closely with contractors and owners, creating optimal feedback among the stakeholders. This intensified early planning makes for the best downstream value, even after the project is completed.

Team communication and trust are essential to the whole process, a fact verified by years of successful project delivery.

It may seem like the stakeholders are giving up a lot to participate, but that's not the case. Under the standard design-bid-build model of project development, the owner gets the most benefit while the risk is borne primarily by the contractor. Under that system, problems tend to go undetected until it's too late, creating the need for specifications, contracts, and change orders, all in an effort to rectify the inequities that should have been prevented or addressed from day one.  The largest problem with this system is that in the end it costs the owner more – nullifying the benefit. By placing the liability on the contractor, owners wind up increasing their cost in dollars, time, and headaches. By working within an IPD or team build framework the owner has an optimal chance to reduce waste and to create a system that will deliver on time, on budget projects that will retain market value for years and years.

IPD isn't magic - it involves total collaborative design in the early stages, with all parties defining goals. All stakeholders are present for meetings and make unanimous decisions. Visualization and planning tools such as building information modeling (BIM) make the cooperation and team communication IPD requires virtually seamless. Team knowledge is intuitively shared by everyone involved. Our experience has taught us that, in this way, we can put into practice the principles of lean manufacturing and insure maximum downstream value in the finished project.

These are the benefits of team build and IPD for owners and architects alike... In this way of working, the whole working culture of the project is based on full team integration, not the fine print of the contracts. The "us" and "them" lines are erased. All team knowledge is common, creating a tendency to solve problems and take responsibility rather than point fingers. The result is a building with maximum sustainability and best value craftsmanship.

If you have any questions, or if you’d like more information, please contact us today. We can be reached by phone at 206.465.2021, or you can submit to the right and we’ll get right back to you.

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