Project Delivery  

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a project delivery approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants. The goal is to optimize project results, increase value to the owner, reduce waste, and maximize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.

The approach aims to put the right people in the room at the right time. The early engagement of trade partners, designers, owners and contractor teams provides the opportunity for a much deeper level of collaboration. The teams are also aligned through risk and reward sharing. If the project is delivered ahead of schedule and/or under budget, everyone stands to profit from requisite savings (the same is true for the reverse). The process naturally fosters efficiency.

Early Engagement

On a traditional project, the design is completed and subsequently the delivery team is procured under separate contracts. IPD recognizes that early engagement of both designers and constructors is central to project success. Having all parties on board from the start leverages the collective experience and expertise of all team members, allowing much earlier identification of potential problems. This results in great opportunities to maximize value and minimize overall project risk. Having a full team in place early offers a project team tools that would otherwise not be available.

Assembled early, the team can:

  • Mutually grasp the project scope
  • Define an integrated delivery plan
  • Prioritize design deliverables
  • Implement quality control early
  • Maximize the use of prefabrication
  • Order long-lead equipment early
  • Enrich building information models
  • Research existing conditions

Team Behavior

In an integrated project, the culture naturally fosters collaboration and innovation. When the owner, designer, consultants, constructor, subcontractors, and suppliers understand the value of collaboration, we see all players acting in a trusting, helpful, and respectful fashion. IPD principles rely heavily on the psychology of making shared commitments. The prime contractor, owner and designers don’t bark out orders as is often the case with traditional delivery. Instead, the teams talk about shared goals and collectively decide how to get there. The result is an open, collaborative, high-performing team composed of all project stakeholders, always acting in the best interests of the project.

Best for Project Thinking

As one of the most experienced teams in Canada, we know that one of the reasons IPD is so successful is its method of compensation. Because individual monetary success relies on the project meeting its goals, we see team members making decisions that benefit the entire project, rather than themselves. It is different from traditional delivery methods, where project success and personal gain are not always related. Without the traditional silos of responsibility and as we shift into ‘Project’ thinking’, we see deliverable goals are more often delivered not by pursuing them individually, but instead as outcomes of behaviours and a prioritization of people. The graph to the right shows how the IPD process suits the total project. As builders, we know that when changes are made later in the process, the cost is significantly higher than if they were planned for earlier in the process. When this outcome has the ability to affect everyone on the team, all team members come to the table with a contribution to a solution.

Target Value Design

Target Value Design (TVD) is an estimating methodology that is used on IPD projects, where the budget is broken down into divisions of work at an early stage. The budget, including the divisional breakdowns are given to the design team and our team works with the designers for them to understand the options that are available to meet the budget within each division of work.

The method requires the group to define constraints and arrive at conclusions, then create designs from that. The team designs based on a detailed estimate, rather than estimating on a detailed design; they have to recognize that they will collaboratively plan and re-plan the project. TVD is so valuable to the IPD process because it gives designers the opportunity to speak about design with the parties who will be executing the design. The process is integral to the team learning to work collaboratively and to share lessons learned. We ensure that at the end of each design cycle, we have a conversation about what went well and identify what would be done better next time.


Co-location happens when project teams from different organizations come together to work on the project out of a shared space for a stretch of time. It supports the collaborative aspects of IPD and helps the team build relationships. Co-location supports a collaborative environment and allows the IPD team to become highly integrated. It allows for open dialogue, resulting in more efficient and real-time work product, as well as less rework and revision.

Having the wider team share a space facilitates the speed of decisions, actions and hand-offs. Because the team has a stronger understanding of each other, there are less conflicts, meaning that the team can be focused on innovation and improvement. Co-location isn’t a necessary element of IPD but it helps the greater team grasp concepts that are outside of their remit. We have found that co-location can help teams understand the way of thinking required for an IPD project.


Our knowledge and desire to improve the industry, led us to build some of the first publicly funded IPD projects in North America. These projects were studied by academia and their findings were published in two major research studies as follows:

IPD: Performance, Expectations, and Future Use (PDF)

Motivation and Means: How and Why IPD and Lean Lead to Success (PDF)

We wanted to capture the process to share with others, so we produced two documentaries. Each documentary follows the project through completion through multiple episodes.

Normal is Broken

We Build Better Together

As we have completed more and more IPD projects, we have developed numerous tools designed specifically for IPD. Many of these tools are featured in the following guide:

Integrated Project Delivery: An Action Guide for Leaders (PDF)