IPD Process

It’s far easier to get it right the first time, not to mention less expensive. This principle is true for any kind of building project, and IPD (integrated project development) is no exception.  This method creates an early process with a culture of cooperation and early understanding among the team members that's vital to continued and effective cooperation among everyone involved. While these goals are normally detailed in the proposal and the contract, these are most effectively disseminated to the whole team early on using accurate visualization for representation of project outcomes - allowing better control of the bill of materials, LEED certification, sustainability, and overall team communication. This task can require some early programming on the part of team responsible for handling the technical details, but the extra effort in the early process is well worth it.

At Rhodes Architecture, we begin by defining the scope of the whole project. We've found that BIM provides a precise and clear early understanding, and an accurate visualization that extends across the whole team. BIM (building information modeling) plays a crucial early role in a project utilizing IPD. BIM can provide the modeling and visualization tools that communicate the goals of the project outcome. 

 in the early process BIM irovides a 4D model, the fourth dimension being time.  It also aids in estimating and analysis of building systems. This level of detail can be extended to every phase of the project, giving the team a global view of each phase previously very difficult to achieve with traditional CAD software. This requires a high level of interoperability built into the data systems, not to mention clear leadership on the part of the stakeholders.  Accurate visualization helps the project team define outcome-based targets, rather than checklists that incentivize minimal effort. This kind of visualization also provides a detailed, graphic look at the costs, materials involved, and regulatory restrictions, allowing for the best use of time and effort before anyone sets foot on the site.
This isn't to say that 3D software like Sketch-Up can't also be helpful. We've found that Sketch-Up 3D models provide a limited amount of information.  It’s a good tool for early massing and visualization, but does not integrate with later analysis, design and production such as Autodesk Revit.

There should be an understanding in the early process how BIM standards will be administered, and how the information will be disseminated to provide maximum benefit to the project team. At Rhodes Architecture, we've found that when BIM is used effectively, not only is everyone literally on the same page using the same data, but the BIM data becomes an excellent permitting tool, since a well-planned project can take into account possible regulatory restrictions.

Since BIM helps keep the whole project in one shared data file, construction time can be reduced considerably. One tool BIM provides is collision detection which minimizes collisions between mechanical and structural members, sharply improving efficiency through accurate visualization. One of the most superb capabilities at work here is the 4D analysis that this process makes possible. Overlapping tasks are clearly visible and relatively easy to plan, making the most of team cooperation. 

There are three major factors at play in any project: quality, quantity, and price. One is constant, the other two are variables. For instance, when quality is clearly defined at the outset, the other two tend to fall into place. This goal is contingent upon the whole team working in an integrated way, defining the variables of each system earlier in the process. Working within a strong team built on mutual trust and cooperation, implementation becomes much easier.

Early understanding of the whole project creates a solid plan with complete project goals. It bears systematic analysis, rather than hurried implementation once the team has an accurate visualization of the project goals. Early team analysis means saving thousands on changes that would normally happen in later phases of the project. At Rhodes Architecture, we normally look over the schedule, possible conflicts, operations (or building life cycle), and green strategies, all with an eye towards lowering initial costs as much as possible while maintaining outcome objectives.

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.

Copyright 2010 © Rhodes Architecture