Creating Competitive Advantage: Understanding Integrated Project Delivery


New York City is a challenging construction environment. Costs are high, competition is fierce, and speed to market can directly determine whether a project succeeds or fails. This is especially true in healthcare – with hospitals and treatment facilities being among some of the most complex types of projects.

As a firm committed to building New York’s best possible tomorrow today, Talisen Construction continues to lead the way in exploring and adopting the best processes to ensure project success. Integrated Project Delivery is a method of delivery that is beginning to garner more attention in New York City and beyond. In this article, we’ll explain some of the fundamentals of Integrated Project Delivery and what projects may benefit from it.

What is Integrated Project Delivery?

Based on lean principles and a collaborative culture, Integrated Product Delivery is a model for delivering construction projects using a single contract for design and construction. This approach is made possible with a shared risk/reward model and waivers of liability between team members.

IPD teams can include members well beyond the basic triad of owner, architect and contractor. Others (i.e. subcontractors) can be included in the prime contract. In all cases, integrated projects are uniquely distinguished by highly effective collaboration among the owners, the prime designer, and the prime constructor. Additionally, input from end users is actively sought. This collaboration begins at early design and continues through to project handover.

How Does Integrated Project Delivery Work?

While there’s no one definitive Integrated Project Delivery model, IPD generally features five key components:

  • A single contract involving all primary project team members
  • Shared risk/reward model
  • Collaboration
  • Shared decision making
  • Internal resolution of disputes and liabilities

What Are the Benefits of Integrated Project Delivery?

The primary benefits of Integrated Project Delivery are two-fold. Using this methodology, projects are completed faster, and significant cost savings are realized. This occurs while all parties are positioned to do their best work, resulting in greater client satisfaction.

Integrated Project Design requires all team members to get involved in all aspects of planning, scheduling and other critical decision paths from the beginning of the project.  This means the correct point of contact for each project task must be established and maintained. Change orders are kept to a minimum. Early and intimate integration into stakeholders’ needs helps allow for an early construction start, while final design tasks such as finishes and FF&E are under development. The shared risk/reward model ensures all team members are motivated to collaborate effectively.

The other benefit of IPD is the fundamental shift in the relationship between all parties to the project. All three parties – the architect, the client, and the contractor – are working in alignment to create the best possible space due to the shared interests of profitability among the project team. There’s a contractual agreement in place that dictates that risk and reward are shared. Everyone’s interests are directly dependent on a positive project outcome.

How Does Integrated Project Delivery Specifically Impact Health Care?

One of the key components of IPD is bringing all stakeholders into the process very early. In the case of health care facilities, there are two end user groups to consider: the physicians, clinicians and staff who will work in the facility, and the patients who receive care there.

Reception area of Northwell Lynbrook Medical Office BuildingExam room of Northwell Lynbrook Medical Office BuildingToo often, health care projects are well underway before input is received from the people who will work there. When it becomes clear that staff workflows require changes to be made, this creates delays and increases costs. Integrating this group of end users early in the concept/design process, along with key vendors to understand end-user intent means their usability requirements are factored into the design process, thereby eliminating the need for changes later.

The patient experience is critical. Understanding what patients want from their visit to the doctor guides every brand engagement decision. Design choices can then be made to optimize the patient’s experience end-to-end, from greeting and check-in through their time with the doctor and check-out.

Talisen’s Project Approach

It is exciting to see that IPD has been picking up traction in New York’s public sector. Recently the education, health care, and life sciences sectors have had growing interest in the model. At Talisen, early collaboration on every project is a goal of ours, and it is interesting to see the IPD model beginning to garner more attention. To learn more about Talisen’s project approach, view our recently completed projects and industry pages.