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How We Did It Volume 3 — The IPD Model: Build an Engaged Project Culture or Fail


It will likely come as no surprise that to deliver the priMED Mosaic Centre—the earth’s furthest most Net-Zero commercial building, Edmonton’s first LEED Platinum office project, and Alberta’s first Living Building certification attempt—we needed to build a team of giant foreheads that was up to the task. Even more important, was the project structure that would enable our Dream Team to make good on the enormous technical challenges and inevitable construction innovation.

Early in the project the Senior Management Team, comprised of the owner, architect and general contractor, sought out a project delivery model that would foster team play and incentivize the right results. After failed attempts to modify traditional and “broken” contract templates, we converged on a relatively new contract model called Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD.

Howard Ashcraft, the wizard and wisdom behind the priMED Mosaic Centre’s IPD model, writes “At its core, IPD seeks to create alignment among all participants regarding why and how a project will be accomplished. Traditional project delivery, in contrast, incentivizes the parties to maximize their individual outcomes, regardless of the effect on the overall project. Because interests are not aligned, if difficulties arise, individual self-interest tends to pull the project apart. Moreover, because the traditional project structure has “escape hatches”, such as change orders, claims and litigation, parties under stress will try to escape the problem by denying responsibility, shifting blame rather than joining in efforts to solve the problem. IPD attempts to optimize the whole, not the parts by creating a shared ownership in project outcome. It restricts the opportunities to “escape” and provides the team with tools to refocus them on solutions, rather than blame.”

Without this contract philosophy we would not have been able to deliver the priMED Mosaic Centre ahead of schedule and under budget. So sure of this, the team is, we are sharing everything we have learned about the IPD model so that others can experience its success.

Read the summary article from the priMED Mosaic Centre IPD contract workshop.

Want more? Download a complete copy of the contract used to construct the priMED Mosaic Centre.

Meet Chandos, the General Contractor that pioneered the IPD model in Alberta.

Key features of the true IPD structure; the “Eye of NEWT” needed to deliver a successful project:

  • Early involvement of key participants
  • Reduced liability
  • Joint project management
  • Joint validation process
  • Joint sharing of risk and reward
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