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On March 6, a diverse group of professionals across the country converged at the AIA Project Delivery Symposium to discuss the project delivery trends and inspire the future of the design and construction industry.
The event, which was organized and hosted (for the first time) by the AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community (PDKC), was held at the headquarters of the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC.
The thematic title of the Symposium was "Delivering the Future". The event's program emphasized the importance of team integration, delivery structure, and technology intervention.
The opening keynote speaker, Barbara Jackson, Director of the Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management at the University of Denver, stimulated the audience with her perspectives on project delivery and highlighted the key factors that will shape the future of project delivery: innovative ecosystem, technology advancement, shared economy, project financing, risk management, legal and regulatory affairs. Ms. Jackson fostered diversity and an inclusive environment.
The Symposium was filled with enthusiasts and packed with collaborative and constructive discussions about where the future of project delivery is heading. 21 speakers and five panels delivered the following topics:1. Project Delivery Strategy
The panelists discussed how project delivery strategies have evolved. They articulated the legal considerations and challenges to different delivery strategies and brought meaningful analysis on an owner's risks that fall within the "<g class="gr_ gr_25 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del" id="25" data-gr-id="25">liability</g> gap" between the professional standard of care (i.e., negligence or omissions) and Spearin Doctrine. Disallowing reliance can increase cost. Shifting risk to those best able to manage the risk reduces cost and is the premise behind alternate project delivery strategies.
The panelists and the audience had an intelligent exchange about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Patrick Duke, Managing Director at CBRE (photo below), enlightened the crowd with his remarks "Delivery models don't matter but outcomes and process do. Culture drives delivery."
2. Owners Panel: Public and Private
The panelists shared owners' expectations of the design team and their perspectives on alternative project delivery. They addressed the issues that shape their institutions' decision making on project delivery strategies and brought to the table their experiences including their successes and challenges, and reactions to delivery processes and technology evolution involving their customers' needs and the evolving marketplace. 3. Trade Contractors and the Architects
The panelists delved into how specialty trades interfaced with designers and how contractors view traditional and alternate project delivery. Project delivery systems have become more integrated and "lean" - increasing in efficiency, producing high-performance team and improving project outcomes. To become more progressive, a cultural shift and new innovative processes with the integration of technology are required to transform the traditional fragmented systems. 4. Modeling Panel
The panelists presented projects that explored new digital design and manufacturing that require higher levels of collaboration and integration. They discussed how prefabrication and modularization accelerate delivery, improve quality and safety, and drive positive outcomes. Projects were presented to demonstrate digital fabrication in architecture and specialty trade interface with designers in alternate project delivery, to manifest where the construction community has evolved in their application of technology in modeling and delivery process, to usher project delivery into the future.5. Research Panel
The panelists elaborated on how "lean" integrated processes increase the opportunity for schedule alignment and improve project outcomes. They presented research initiatives that show how accurate project costs could be modeled and compared to market averages based on projects goal, desired quality and performance characteristics, from the very early planning stages. Timely cost measurement as the project develops provides best cost certainty for the owner using an integrated team. This panel also presented information that showed that qualification based selection, early involvement of contractor and key specialty trades, and open book contracts led to improved project outcomes in terms of quality, cost, and schedule and project turnover experience.
The closing keynote speaker, Phillip Bernstein from the Yale School of Architecture, accentuated project delivery by advocating elevated attention to risk management over risk mitigation to drive best values. Risk mitigation merely reduces design and coordination errors. Risk management integrates trade coordination; therefore, reduces error, accelerates the schedule, and improves cost prediction to yield better project outcomes. He concluded the Symposium with key takeaways:
Contracts are moving from transactional-based to relational-based to improve project outcomes.
On behalf of the AIA Project Delivery Advisory Group (photo below), I thank all participants for bringing their expertise and experience around the table and engaging in such fruitful, constructive and open exchanges throughout the Symposium – an event that was remarkably successful as depicted in the graph shared by the American Institute of Architects.
It's great to see everyone really enjoyed the Symposium and the networking! As professionals in the AEC industry, we perform essential roles in shaping the future of project delivery. With a good cross-section of topics to think about for continuous improvement, let's broaden the conversation on project delivery.
The AIA Project Delivery Advisory Group
Overall Satisfaction RateSource: The American Institute of Architects
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Political and financial considerations may trump "transactional-based to relational-based" depending on the organization's goals and desired project outcomes.