Wednesday, June 13, 2012

IPD... Why so slow?

IPD was all the rage back in 2007 and 2008.  Sutter Health lead the way in California, ConsensuDOCS and the AIA delivered new generation form agreements to facilitate adoption and use of integrated agreements on projects and then the entire effort hit a wall.  What happened?

The article linked below argues owners never bought into IPD because designers and constructors focused on the benefits IPD brought to their processes and ignored the needs of the owner.  There is something to the theory.  Owners, after all, remain remarkably clueless regarding the benefits of IPD, opting instead, too often, to mandate BIM under an antiquated Design - Bid - Build delivery model.

The author argues advocates of IPD must focus more on the value of IPD in the operations and maintenance phase.  Readers of this blog know I agree with that assessment.

I would add the downturn in the economy, the risk averse nature of owners and their professional advisers, ad the lack of reformation in procurement process as culprits as well.  The horrible economy killed many projects in the cradle and owners found designers and constructors working cheaper than ever.  IPD is not cheap, it costs a good bit to implement the new business processes necessary to make IPD work.  Lawyers, risk managers, insurance agents, accountants and other professional advisers treat changes in business processes as an opportunity to gouge their clients, fear monger and reap the benefits of higher fees and more work.  Owners, especially in a downturn, had zero interest in incurring such costs.  Finally, owners completely ignored, and continue to ignore, the need to revamp their procurement laws, regulations and protocols to match the delivery mechanisms and processes that support and enable IPD.

That said, owners are clamoring for BIM.  The GSA, Coast Guard, USACE, DOD, NASA, DOE and the State Department, along with other federal agencies, all demanded BIM in varying degrees.  Of course, they wanted BIM delivered under the federal procurement guidelines, which are among the most antiquated and sclerotic procurement procedures on the planet.  California, Wisconsin, Alberta in Canada and other governmental entities all demanded BIM of one kind or another.  The UK government has mandated 2nd Level BIM by 2016.

Built industry professionals scrambled to respond.  And nobody bothered to revise the underlying legal agreements or to otherwise adjust the legal framework whithin which those BIM demands were made.

Collaborative Construction has argued, and continues to argue, that owners must adopt Integrated Procurement Programs that support and enable owners to solicit bids for BIM enabled facilities and infrastructure from BIM enabled teams capable of operating in an IPD environment.   Once owners recognize the true value of BIM, and realize they need IPD to fully leverage BIM, they will embrace both tools.  Dual demands from fiscal conservatives and green advocates are adding pressure to adopt these tools.  As the economy improves and more owners demand BIM and or high performance building more teams will take the plunge.

The ENR article mentioned at  the top concludes:

When thinking of long-term investment, the owner—as the stakeholder with the largest stake—may literally be thinking of something other than inching one early-phase curve on McLeamy's chart slightly to the left. Some IPD proponents argue that IPD can improve the entire owning and operating experience, and while I think that is true, for the owner, emphasizing the need to change delivery methods for construction-phase advantages may not be a compelling argument, because for the owner, conventional construction is “tried and true.”

Read the whole thing.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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