9 Principles Of Integrated Project Delivery / by Positive Energy

Our mission at Positive Energy is simple - we want to change the way the built environment is delivered. Part of that transformation happens when we work through projects differently, emphasizing the strengths of each key player involved. It's not always easy, but it makes sense. And the AIA knows this too. They have a name for this process and have even laid out fundamental principles to move it along. 

It's important that we all know these principles, infuse them in our process, and use them to strengthen and benefit our projects. Our Integrated Mechanical Designs are performed with these principles woven into each decision made along the way. It's a no brainer. Here are the fundamental principles of Integrated Project Delivery as defined by the AIA (California Council). 

1. Mutual Respect & Trust. 

Mutual Respect & Trust. In an integrated project, owner, designer, consultants, constructor, subcontractors and suppliers understand the value of collaboration and are committed to working as a team in the best interests of the project. 

2. Mutual Benefit & Reward.

Mutual Benefit & Reward. All participants or team members benefit from IPD. Because the integrated process requires early involvement by more parties, IPD compensation structures recognize and reward early involvement. Compensation is based on the value added by an organization and it rewards “what’s best for project” behavior, such as by providing incentives tied to achieving project goals. Integrated projects use innovative business models to support collaboration and efficiency. 

3. Collaborative Innovation & Decision Making.

Collaborative Innovation & Decision Making. Innovation is stimulated when ideas are freely exchanged among all participants. In an integrated project, ideas are judged on their merits, not on the author’s role or status. Key decisions are evaluated by the project team and, to the greatest practical extent, made unanimously. 

4. Early Involvement of Key Participants.

Early Involvement of Key Participants. In an integrated project, the key participants are involved from the earliest practical moment. Decision making is improved by the influx of knowledge and expertise of all key participants. Their combined knowledge and expertise is most powerful during the project’s early stages where informed decisions have the greatest effect. 

5. Early Goal Definition.

Early Goal Definition. Project goals are developed early, agreed upon and respected by all participants. Insight from each participant is valued in a culture that promotes and drives innovation and outstanding performance, holding project outcomes at the center within a framework of individual participant objectives and values. 

6. Intensified Planning.

Intensified Planning. The IPD approach recognizes that increased effort in planning results in increased efficiency and savings during execution. Thus the thrust of the integrated approach is not to reduce design effort, but rather to greatly improve the design results, streamlining and shortening the much more expensive construction effort. 

7. Open Communication.

Open Communication. IPD’s focus on team performance is based on open, direct, and honest communication among all participants. Responsibilities are clearly defined in a no-blame culture leading to identification and resolution of problems, not determination of liability. Disputes are recognized as they occur and promptly resolved. 

8. Appropriate Technology.

Appropriate Technology. Integrated projects often rely on cutting edge technologies. Technologies are specified at project initiation to maximize functionality, generality and interoperability. Open and interoperable data exchanges based on disciplined and transparent data structures are essential to support IPD. Because open standards best enable communications among all participants, technology that is compliant with open standards is used whenever available. 

9. Organization & Leadership.

Organization & Leadership. The project team is an organization in its own right and all team members are committed to the project team’s goals and values. Leadership is taken by the team member most capable with regard to specific work and services. Often, design professionals and contractors lead in areas of their traditional competence with support from the entire team, however specific roles are necessarily determined on a project-by-project basis. Roles are clearly defined, without creating artificial barriers that chill open communication and risk taking.