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The AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community (PD) promotes the architect’s leadership role in all project delivery methods by assembling and distributing knowledge and best practices for a variety of project delivery methods, e.g. design-build (DB), integrated project deliveries (IPD), and public-private partnerships (P3).

  • 1.  IPD Questions

    Posted 08-27-2020 09:17 PM
    Hello Everyone,
    I have recently been invited to participate as the Architect for a new Building project, where the Owner / Contractor would like to implement Integrated delivery, BIM management and would be hiring all consultants directly.
    It is an exciting opportunity, the project is also seeking LEED Silver as minimum requirement. BIM management will be an outside consultant as well.
    Understanding fees cannot be discussed, I am seeking feedback from colleagues with experienced in this delivery model, specifically to know how it compares in terms of necessary hours worked and effort to a traditional project fee structure.
    It's hard to determine if you've never done it. My fear is it sounds good, but it can be really bad.
    Thank you.

    Ivan Contreras, LEED AP, AIA
    Qualifier | Director
    Miami FL

  • 2.  RE: IPD Questions

    Posted 08-28-2020 05:32 PM


    It is my experience that IPD projects (even those with an IFOA) do not necessarily lead to less hours or effort. There are too many variables unknown about your project but generally it's roughly the same. The difference I've seen is the % of hours burned are typically greater earlier in the project (meaning less CA time, more SD-CD time). You may decide to lower your fee (lower initial profit expectation) if you are able to negotiate a performance bonus leading to higher potential profit if agreed upon metrics are met. Your fears are valid – it can be really good, it can also be really bad. It all depends on the trust and culture of the IPD team (plus a well negotiated contract).


    Best of luck,



    Brian Zeallear, AIA, NCARB, DBIA Principal | Architect
    NBBJ  223 Yale Avenue North SEATTLE WA 98109
    Direct: 206.223.5107 Mobile: 206.818.2849  |


  • 3.  RE: IPD Questions

    Posted 08-31-2020 05:50 PM
    I have had the experience where the Owner talks about IPD but the contract isn't really IPD -- it ends up being some weird hybrid collection of clauses that ends up being difficult to administer.  I've also found that the time investment is very heavily front loaded, and that it is common for the contractor to request that the project is issued in multiple smaller packages that aren't always consecutive.  I would have a clear discussion with the parties regarding package issuance.  In addition, we've had outsize involvement by subcontractors in reviewing partially finished drawings and specifications, and an expectation that we will be responsive to all of those entities.    There may come a time when you have to put all comments on hold while you simply advance the project design.    A clear definition of your scope of work and  your responsibility vis a vis all the other players is necessary.

    Anne Whitacre Assoc. AIA
    San Francisco CA

  • 4.  RE: IPD Questions

    Posted 09-01-2020 06:30 PM
    I agree with Anne.  IPD is very poorly defined, and the participants tend to me much more hopeful than knowledgeable.  Typical pitfalls:
    - If the contract uses target pricing, and your reward depends on whether the project hits that target, what precludes the Owner from setting too ambitious a goal, which will be largely unattainable?  And how would you, the architect, know if that target is too low, with sufficient precision so as to bet your reward on it?
    - While the subcontractors ought to participate in the pool of people whose reward is also at risk, they tend to NOT want to confirm their price until you produce sufficiently advanced designs, with the result that you are doing all the documentation anyway, and they price it afterwards, reducing their risk, and eating at the pool of monies available for the reward.
    - In my experience, there tends to be no (or very little) reward money at the end.  In an IPD project everybody is supposed to be made WHOLE in their costs (but not their profits), with their profits coming from the reward pool.  As the A/E you have a minuscule portion of the costs (your fee, 5% of the total?) but you are risking your entire profit.  It doesn't take much "error" in the performance of the other 95% of the project in order for your profit to disappear.

    Gustavo Lima (Retired Director of Construction Administration at CannonDesign)

    Gustavo Lima AIA
    Gustavo A. Lima Architecture, PC
    Williamsville NY

  • 5.  RE: IPD Questions

    Posted 09-03-2020 12:20 PM
    It looks like a contingent fee arrangement in which the architect has no control over the measurements of architect's performance.

    John Nyfeler FAIA, LEED AP
    John Nyfeler, FAIA
    Austin TX

  • 6.  RE: IPD Questions

    Posted 09-03-2020 04:19 PM
    Ivan, I recommend checking out the family of documents for IDP and the scope and connections between the entities involved.  A summary of the IDP document family will provide good information to define each of the entities responsibilities and commitments, risk/reward for a pure IDP delivery. I recall HOK developed a comprehensive contract family and AIA has a family of documents that were developed around 2008 or 2009. My experience has been that IDP is applicable to large projects and where integrated CCIP/OCIP can also be part of the IDP delivery. Clients and small contractors use the term IDP loosley and when I ask what they are expecting they are actually describing a hybrid design/build without the contracted commitments or the risk/reward of all entities in a pure IDP delivery.

    Michael Katzin AIA
    Michael Katzin Project Services, LLC
    Johns Creek GA