Sharing the risk in ILPD

The Integrated Lean Project Delivery method strives to eliminate waste in construction by breaking down barriers, increasing productivity, and reducing costs through integration and collaboration.

By Jacob Lynch, PE, Southland Industries November 21, 2016

Initially trademarked by the Boldt Group, the Integrated Lean Project Delivery (ILPD) method strives to eliminate waste in construction. The process begins before design even starts. By introducing constructibility efforts and lean tools early on in the project, team members can evaluate historical data and how waste can be mitigated through an integrated and collaborative design effort. This method, coupled with the Integrated Form of Agreement (IFOA), introduces a working environment that many team members have never witnessed.

Traditionally, the owner hires an architectural lead, general contractor, or construction manager. The architect will then hire applicable engineering disciplines while the general contractor or construction manager will hire the construction trades. This creates a divide among the owners, design, and construction. Contractual agreements, such as requests for information (RFIs) and charge orders, create what is known as "silos" in design and construction. Typically, the process takes weeks or even months to get an answer to these agreements. The ILPD method breaks down these silos through coordination in an effort to receive immediate responses, thus increasing productivity and reducing cost.

To break down these silos, the UHS Henderson Hospital project team created cluster groups to tackle difficult tasks and ensure a sustainable workflow. These groups are composed of a diverse group of team members reaching across many disciplines and can dissolve or emerge based on the project’s needs.

An important factor of the ILPD method is that the entire project team shares the same mentality across the board. With the UHS Henderson project, design leads and constructibility experts started the project with a goal to design the building with one drawing. Was the team successful in drawing it once? No. However, the team identified improvement areas that could have reduced the time spent physically drawing and coordinating the project to share on projects in the future.

Southland had a lot of success based on previous design-build experience. The design engineers red-lined drawings and delivered them to the detailing department to create a constructible design model. On a typical plan-spec project, the design engineer would deliver prints to the contractor to redraw the design. Southland’s design drawings for Henderson Hospital were essentially shop drawings without the spool tags.

Another important part of the ILPD method is the owner being a part of the team. The method requires the owner being present during all facets of the project, from conceptual design through construction and commissioning. If the enhanced profit goal is reached and exceeded, the owner gets to reap the benefits. At times, the team can grow complacent with their role on the project, and the owner will have to motivate the team to continue down the path of maximizing profitability. This system creates a world of checks and balances where no big decision goes unchallenged or unchecked. Everything is contingent upon trust-without trust, none of the benefits or enhanced profits can be earned.

The management team on the Henderson Hospital project was tasked to read Steven M.R. Covey’s "The Speed of Trust." A concept from the book depicts what is typically seen in traditional delivery methods versus what can be seen through the combination of IFOA and ILPD.

The concept states that traditional delivery-method contract styles require each performer of work to cover their own bottom line. This method drives trust down, which reduces speed and increases cost. However, the team on this project witnessed trust being built, speed increasing, and collaborative efforts reducing costs across the board.

– Jacob Lynch is a project engineer at Southland Industries. This article originally appeared on the Southland Industries Blog. Southland Industries is a CFE Media content partner.