Changing Mindsets and Messing with Tradition
After months of design and teamwork, I’m happy to report that we have finally broken ground on the Mosaic Project. We are in the midst of finishing the last details on the construction drawings. The building permit drawings are into the City for their approval. The project is moving along!!!
Our team chose to deliver this project using the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) contract method. In the typical process of construction, consultants design buildings and contractors estimate the cost of building. Occasionally, the owner counters that the price is too high. The team then value engineers to get the design to meet the budget. In this traditional method, pricing follows design. IPD changes that. It dictates that the team prices the project first, and then designs to meet the price. This little change really can mess with tradition. Initially, the whole team struggled with this concept. Numerous times, we found ourselves drifting back to the traditional methods, and we had to remind ourselves about the IPD process. Eventually we got it.
The IPD contract encourages open communication between all IPD partners (the general contractor, sub-contractors, architect, consultants and the owner). Throughout this process, the partners have elevated collaboration to a whole new level that I have not seen between contractors and consultants before. I attribute this to that fact that all the sub-contractors, contractor and the consultants have put their profit at risk. Now everyone has some serious skin in the game! This solidifies the “price-then-design” mind shift that has to occur in order to make IPD successful.
The IPD partners have really stepped up their game during the design phase. The IPD partners established small teams of closely related consultants and sub-contractors to coordinate the details and constructability of their scopes of work. They worked tirelessly to find solutions to design issues, they sourced the best supplier for the building products they require and they were driven to find the right personnel for the project.
The management of this process has had its share of bends and turns, as everyone had to shift their thinking. There have been many intense conversations about the IPD process, the design details and the constructability of the building. Intense conversations are not necessarily a bad thing; it means that the IPD partners are working very passionately towards the success of a great building. I’m proud of the product we’ve designed and I’m looking forward to implementing this design into a reality.