Monthly Archives: November 2010

Is IPD dead?

Le IPD est mort. Vive le IPD!

So where are we with Integrated Project Delivery?

Is IPD losing steam?

Yes.

The evidence – however anecdotal – is threefold.

First, Google Alerts containing the term are sparser and less frequent.

There are fewer content providers, with rare exceptions, writing on the topic.

Back in January 2010 AIA issued IPD Case Studies.

These provided what everyone was seemingly eagerly awaiting:

An examination of real-world, completed building projects that used Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) in as pure a form as possible.

Projects illustrating – showing, not telling – the successful application of IPD in a variety of building types and scales and in diverse regions of the country.

These were followed by dozens of posts announcing the release of the IPD Case Studies.

Followed soon thereafter by an inexplicable silence.

R.I.P. 2010. Case (studies) closed.

Since then, there have been what seem to be fewer and fewer activities related to IPD.

Which brings up the second reason:

No doubt due in part to the economy.

In the doldrums (where doldrums = dumpster.)

Face it: there are just plain fewer opportunities to use the IPD delivery method.

Even if they were building, there is a tendency for already risk-averse owners – who need to lead this process – to go all conservative on us in tough times.

Translating as conventional design-bid-build.

Without educated, intelligent, willing owners to drive its use – not only is IPD dead, but so is building, and by extension, architecture.

Hedging on IPD

My blog (and book) were deliberately called BIM + Integrated Design, not BIM + Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for two reasons.

To call attention to the fact that Integrated Design is not only a delivery method but a collaborative work process enabled by technology.

But also because I was hedging.

Hedging on the fact that IPD would one day give way to something else.

Some other way of working together, one with a different name.

But why hedge?

With the exception of fellow Wiley author George Elvin,

Who remembers the term Integrated Practice?

(Markku, no cheating.)

Exactly.

R.I.P. 2007. Case closed.

What would we truly miss if IPD would go away altogether by, say, tomorrow afternoon?

Wiped from our collective memory, Google searches and treasure trove of resources.

The whole shebang wiped out as though a giant D/B meteor hit it front and center.

Where it hurts.

Gone forever are all the IPD seminar presentations you never bothered to see.

The Next Great Delivery Method

If not IPD, what then?

Let’s be honest.

The basic tenets – the fundamental principles that form the basis of IPD and NGDM (Next Great Delivery Method) – are what made IPD something special.

And perhaps difficult to enforce contractually.

You: “The contractor’s not being trustworthy!”

Attorney: “Umm…?”

Principles that have been around a lot longer than 2007.

Because they are not only part of IPD’s DNA (t/y Zigmund Rubel) but because they are part of our own DNA.

Familiar to everyone by now, they include:

  • ·         Mutual Respect and Trust
  • ·         Mutual Benefit and Reward
  • ·         Mutual of Omaha
  • ·         Collaborative Innovation and Decision Making
  • ·         Open Communication
  • ·         Organization and Leadership

As well as others perhaps unique to IPD:

  • ·         Early Involvement of Key Participants
  • ·         Early Goal Definition
  • ·         Early to Bed
  • ·         Intensified Planning
  • ·         Appropriate Technology 

As to this last one, while it can include communication software and management tools, what is meant by Appropriate Technology is a not so subtle reference to

BIM.

Why?

Because BIM is most valuable when shared across disciplines.

But at many firms there is no sharing.

BIM is used for narrow purposes rather than for the benefit of the project.

What can be done about that?

Scrap it, Sell parts

The third and last indication that IPD may be losing its way was triggered by something said at a panel discussion I recently moderated at the NTAP conference in Washington DC.

With Phil Bernstein FAIA, Howard W. Ashcraft Jr and Jonathan Cohen, FAIA.

Cohen, who conducted the research and authored the report for the AIA Case Studies, said:

“I don’t think ‘pure’ IPD will predominate by 2015 – but all of the project delivery methods will have learned something valuable from IPD.”

Cohen continued:

“Should we not find ways to apply elements of IPD to CM@Risk, Bridging Design-Build, etc? Owners, particularly in the public sector, are asking for this.”

What is a Lamborghini without an engine?

An Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato without wheels?

I was a bit surprised, even taken-aback (full disclosure: also shocked and dismayed,) by the NTAP panelist’s assertions that IPD will not catch on whole cloth.

Even among those who created it.

Not that IPD is DOA.

Not that when we search “ipd” Google will henceforth ask: do you mean “iPod?”

But that there are perhaps only parts of IPD that work.

In a recent post, Hafez Daraee states,

“Integrated Project Delivery (‘IPD’) has been the topic of much discussion over the past several years. Despite being heralded as revolutionary, IPD has not become the gold standard in construction project delivery; it remains just a great idea that is sparingly used.”

But due to the economy and dearth of imagination you could likewise say:

Architecture has not become the gold standard in building; it remains just a great idea that is sparingly used.

Heck, for the past 12 months I have been sparingly used.

Daraee concludes,

 “IPD is gaining a foothold but more slowly than it should, and the economic upheaval of the last few years has not yet ended. Until contractors believe they will be more efficient and more profitable by using IPD, it will be hard to convince them to take a chance and bet on IPD.”

There might be something to say after all for all the IPD-ish and IPD-lite projects being pursued.

Perhaps we ought to scrap IPD and sell off the parts?

IPD is dead. Long Live IPD.

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Filed under BIM, collaboration, construction industry, Integrated Design, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, process, Uncategorized

Imagine

Imagine.

A design tool.

For early concept work.

That will allow you to design and do quick analysis.

Via the cloud.

That will allow you to orient and sculpt your building to respond to the environment.

In ways that were difficult or impossible before.

That will allow you to compare different schemes for energy performance.

In just a few clicks.

Without requiring you to cobble together separate programs that don’t play well together.

Imagine

You have at your disposal

– today –

A flexible program that produces conceptual models using both geometric and parametric modeling functionality.

At a time when there’s arguably more need for conceptualizing and analysis than for documentation.

That isn’t too big of a beast to work with.

With a light computer footprint.

That doesn’t ignore our economic competitiveness.

That got us back to basic value added activities.

That focused on keeping productivity on an upwards trajectory.

Imagine you had this program.

Right here, right now, to play with.

Providing you with a number of pre-defined readymade masses for you to drag and drop into your project from the project browser.

So easy to learn that you’ll have it up and running in no time.

BIM LT…Less Filling

Imagine a program that didn’t cause architects of a certain age to demur at the prospect of taking on yet another technology.

When retirement is within their sights.

Architects who can be overheard at night, and arising every morning, reciting:

Please, dear Lord, don’t make me learn BIM.

Imagine an app without all of BIM’s bells and whistles.

BIM reduced to its bare essentials.

For use in the early design stages of architectural design projects.

That let users get their hands dirty

– faster –

With easy to navigate UI that only gradually disclosed its underlying complexity.

A lighter, more agile, less imposing user interface.

Love Means Never Having to Say Vasari

Imagine

An easy to use standalone application.

Built on the same technology as a BIM platform.

An on-ramp gateway for BIM.

Designed for students and young designers.

Anyone who considers himself or herself an architectural designer.

Anyone interested in 3d parametric modeling.

Anyone looking for ways to understand performance-based design.

With energy analysis integrated into the product so you can begin adjusting your design as you go.

Seamlessly exporting to eQuest, Energyplus, and gbXML.

But working equally well for someone who, upon seeing gbXML, would like to buy a vowel.

While designed for students and young designers,

It wouldn’t surprise me if mid-career architects, engineers and designers were this program’s biggest user.

Cost and steep learning curve are often cited as the main reasons for contractors and designers don’t even explore BIM.

These impediments have been removed.

Obstacles cleared. Challenges neutralized.

With Vasari, Less is finally More

To simplify, something had to go.

So detailed BIM modeling tools were removed.

No walls. No windows. No doors.

Those who can’t so much as think without walls will be challenged.

Everyone else, stick around.

It all – as with all great and worthwhile adventures – started as a simple question: What if?

Imagine.

Concocted in a lab by an integrated team.

Technicians who, wanting to see what a small team could do in a short amount of time, used the same process to develop their product as they used to build the headquarters where it was developed.

Software architects using something approximating design architects Integrated Project Delivery.

As with IPD, working with a co-located cross disciplinary integrated design team to increase collaboration, blurring roles to foster innovation, focusing work on a shared information repository, sharing equally in the risk and reward.

IPD in everything but name.

Developing a product that’s BIM at its core.

Revit at its core.

Import and export Revit files directly.

Create complex massing models, put them into Revit, add walls, doors, windows and structure.

Start with Project Vasari and then continue with Revit 2011 to make more detailed models.

Imagine

An easy-to-use, expressive design tool for creating building concepts.

And cloud-based integrated energy and carbon analysis.

So that your designs can be analyzed using the built-in energy modeling and analysis features.

Providing design insight where the most important design decisions are made.

Imagine

If Autodesk created an answer to SketchUp that works seamlessly with Revit.

Watch it here.

And here to see an excellent series of quick start video tutorials of the design and analysis tool.

Download it here.

Available as a free download and trial on Autodesk Labs until May 15, 2011.

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Filed under BIM, collaboration, design professionals, Integrated Design, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, modeling, process, workflow