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Buildex Calgary workshop integrates all facets of the IPD model

Peter Caulfield
Buildex Calgary workshop integrates all facets of the IPD model

Published in June 2018, Integrated Project Delivery: An Action Guide for Leaders provides owners and other project leaders with how-to knowledge about a method of project delivery that is gaining traction in Canada: IPD.

To explain the guide, Markku Allison and Jennifer Hancock, both of Chandos Construction, led a recent Buildex Calgary workshop, which took place at the BMO Centre earlier this month.

Allison, who is president of the Integrated Project Delivery Alliance (IPDA), said IPD is a project delivery model that aligns the goals and interests of all the team members on a project to optimize project outcomes.

IPD also uses a single agreement in which all the team members agree to design and deliver a project.

The purpose of the action guide is to help leaders determine whether IPD is right for their project and to show them the steps they need to take in order to make this project delivery method work for them.

The writers of the document say it answers this question: “OK, I know I want to try IPD. What do I do next?”

Organizers say the workshop combined formal presentation, audience discussion and interactive activities.

In addition to giving an overview of the guide, the workshop covered such subjects as validation, culture, finance, complications and challenges, and how to get started.

The event was facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team of owner, architect and constructor.

After they have completed the workshop, organizers say, participants should be able to:

  • describe the goals and processes of a typical IPD validation process and tailor them so they can use them on their own projects;
  • explain how financial tracking and projections work in IPD projects;
  • create an implementation strategy for IPD on their projects;
  • anticipate what might go wrong on a IPD project and what to do about it; and
  • compare and contrast the cultural expectations of traditional projects and IPD.

Allison said IPD is especially suitable for projects that have a high degree of complexity.

For example, buildings with many different considerations that need to be balanced against each other; projects that have multiple and different dimensions of success that need to be taken into account; and buildings that have a tight construction schedule or a constrained building site.

“IPD is also good for projects for which the owner has a fixed budget and he or she wants to maximize the value that is delivered within that budget,” said Allison.

IPD is a good alternative for design-build, design-bid-build and construction management project delivery models, “given the right project and the right owner,” said Allison.

The IPD model comes from the U.S.

“It largely emerged in the early- to mid-2000s in the California health care market,” said Allison.

There is no data on the exact number of IPD projects in Canada, but the best estimate is 35 to 40 completed or underway.

They include schools, hospitals, a nuclear research centre and various municipal buildings.

The IPDA action guide is available as a free download on the IPDA website at

The document, which is applicable to projects in both the U.S. and Canada, was developed by an advisory group of industry experts led by representatives of the IPDA and the Center for Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry in the U.S.

A federally-registered not-for-profit, the IPDA is made up of a group of companies that came together in 2015 to study and support new models of design and construction, in order to improve industry outcomes.

“We have 38 members now and we are growing,” said Allison.

The IPDA has adopted what it calls “a three-point agenda of action” that combines research and performance, knowledge and competency, and awareness and mentorships.

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