Key Drivers to a BIM IPD Approach

Jan 11, 2016 -- In a survey conducted across 70 organizations in UK, 94% respondents said that collaboration is the key to make BIM a success. 66% respondents said that the existing contracting approaches need to change, while 69% opined that these contracts fail to address the need for a collaborative contracting. Absence of collaboration was highlighted to be the most significant barrier to achieving Level 2 BIM – as mandated by the UK government.

BIM with an integrated project delivery approach seems to be answer – a new dimension to collaboration. Experts say that an integrated project team will play a critical role in successful delivery for next phase of BIM – i.e. BIM Level 2 and 3. The term has become one of the most talked about in BIM circuits. So what exactly is IPD?  IPD – integrated project delivery is a holistic approach where all participants and project stakeholders can work collaboratively to develop better buildings and manage them efficiently.

The defining characteristics of IPD include:

  • A highly collaborative process that spans across ‘design & build’ stages and for project handovers
  • Individual expertise can contribute more and effectively during early stages
  • Open sharing of information amongst project stakeholders
  • Teams success is tied to project success
  • Teams share a common goal , and both rewards as well as risks are shared
  • Value based decisions are encouraged
  • Technological capabilities and support is optimally utilized

Yes it a general consensus that collaboration is the key to successful BIM. But why is collaboration important? What are the key issues that make collaborative approach and hence IPD, so important for the next phase of BIM?

Let’s have a look…

A globalised project approach: Building supply chain is increasingly becoming globalised, result – cost estimation has become highly complex and the demand for building materials has become unpredictable. Simultaneously, outsourcing has increased and has led to globalization of workforce as well – in turn has fuelled the need for competencies that support a collaborative environment.

Higher productivity and lower margins: Lower productivity impedes project execution. It poses as a roadblock in steering projects towards profitable outcomes. As a result, there is higher demand for controlled building projects - an important premise of an IPD approach.

Growing demand for green building: Building designs can be optimized for reduced environmental impact via computational simulations, prediction, analysis and validation. With the increase in demand for reduced energy consumption, carbon footprint and use of fresh water – sustainable building design standards are evolving, and with this demand for performance based assessment throughout a building’s lifecycle is also increasing.

The rise of complex structure and larger than life buildings: Skyscrapers, hi-rises, mixed use buildings, complex structures, hi-tech hospitals, solar powered stadiums, net zero energy hotels, etc, – are the buildings that are marking the skylines of our cities. These types of projects are always marked by complicated supply chains, several regulatory restrictions, owner demands, evolving project delivery standards etc, to name a few. This has hence led to an increased demand for a collaborative approach to building design and construction management.

An integrated BIM IPD approach is the key to resolve all the above mentioned issues and fulfill the construction project related requirements of the industry.

BIM IDP Fit Together Like Hand In Glove

According to BIM IPD description in AIA guide, “it is understood that integrated project delivery and building information modeling (BIM) are different concepts – the first is a process and the second a tool.  Certainly integrated projects are done without BIM and BIM is used in non-integrated processes.  However, the full potential benefits of IPD and BIM are achieved only when they are used together”

BIM IPD integration improves project management though increased and improved data exchange and collaboration between stake holders. It hence, reduces the risk of defects, lowers wastage of materials and reduces the possibility of problems and issues that may arise during construction process.


IPD for BIM creates efficiencies throughout project lifecycle, and this is exactly what we need in current economic climate. It has become crucial for construction industry to concentrate on increasing productivity and collaboration; this can be done by shifting from the linear delivery model and by embracing BIM coupled with efficient integrated project delivery model.

About Author:

Bhushan Avsatthi is an Associate Director at Hitech Outsourcing Services. Bhushan imbibes the prophecy of efficient and prudent use of energy in his day to day life and advices his team to do so as well. He is also involved in green initiatives like nonprofit tree plantation project and promotes using cycles for commuting small distances. Bhushan, handles a team of architects, Structural and MEP engineers, LEED consultants and Energy modeling experts.

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