According to an October 15, 2015 report published in the Engineering News-Record, covering the broadest survey performed to date on IPD, the industry is moving toward more collaborative contracting schemes, with what appears to be an overwhelmingly positive response strongly supporting risk and reward sharing multi-party agreements. Conducted by the University of Minnesota and sponsored by Canada’s Integrated Project Delivery Alliance, the study canvassed 108 IPD veterans of 59 unique IPD projects located largely in the United States and Canada. Data was collected from July 9 to September 15, 2015 (with the survey remaining open until September 15, 2016). Respondents, including owners, architects, contractors and other team members, compared performance in areas such as schedule predictability, cost and budget control, quality of building outcome, quantity of changes, handling of changes, morale of the stakeholders and overall value delivered. Significantly, 60% of the respondents said IPD teams performed “significantly better,” and more than 80% said IPD performance was “better” than non-IPD. (A copy of the survey can be found here)
Although the survey indicated an overwhelmingly positive response from responders, those less than satisfied responders noted some key IPD challenges of which prospective IPD participants should take heed: (a) the unwillingness of some team members to let go of traditional roles; (2) disruption of the whole team due to poor performance of any single stakeholder; (c) mid-project changes in personnel; and (d) team members that do not grasp what it takes to succeed in an IPD world.
With the blurring of lines between design and construction means and methods that is often associated with IPD contracts, especially with the increasing use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, IPD may open up a whole new realm in risk management and risk allocation (including potential impacts to the economic loss/independent duty doctrines, erosion of the Spearin doctrine, contractor/designer licensing and registration issues, impacts to the standard of care, untested standardized IPD contracts and clauses, insufficient insurance products, and issues with sharing in means and methods and third party design responsibility). While IPD is garnering accolades for its benefits realized through a new collaborative team approach to design and construction, where the project members drive the project toward a common goal, this relatively new and untested model is still fraught with risk. For the unwary IPD participant, IPD may pose some unique or amplified legal challenges that need to be considered before undertaking an IPD project.