The Canadian Construction Association held a panel discussion called IPD (integrated project delivery) From a Trade Contractor's Perspective where experts offered their advice on the unique project delivery method that is beginning to grow in Canada.
On the panel was Andrew Basso, project manager with Urban Mechanical; Art Winslow, with Graham Construction and Engineering; Paul Grunau, founder of specialty contractor Grunau Company and Ted Angelo, executive vice president of Grunau Company.
Grunau said that, at its core, a true IPD project is defined by its contract.
"The contract basically says that all of us who participate in IPD are going to commit to change our behaviour," he said. "We are not going to only think of ourselves we are going to think of the larger group and put that first. We put all of our profit at risk and our profit is at risk, as well as everybody else's profit,"
Grunau said that IPD is emerging in Canada and the industry can expect it to stay.
"This is something that is emerging in Canada, the sense is that there is going to be more, owners are tired of adversarial relationships and bad results," he said. "This concept of shared fate and understanding that it it's about how well all of us can do ... I don't think that is going to go away. We need something that is different. We need something that is going to align everyone's interests."
Basso said one of the issues with traditional project delivery is it can be very inefficient, with workers only being truly productive about 35 per cent of the day. With Lean construction, technology and collaboration with IPD, this waste can be trimmed.
And, more value for the owner means everyone shares profit. Basso explained that the profit is generally split with 50 per cent for the owner and 50 per cent for the trade partners. All one's costs are covered.
"You can never lose any money," said Angelo. "But, you may not make any money, but all your costs are covered and that is an interesting thing to remember."
Basso said that once you are able to gel relationships with your contractor partners, you can work better together and increase the team's profits. Often this happens after teams work on several projects together. Before Canadian companies can becoming involved in IPD projects, they have to be tech savvy.
"If you are serious about pursuing IPD projects, you have to be fairly sophisticated in your approach," Grunau said. "These are cost-plus projects, they require a fairly detailed level of presentation relative to cost, I know we have seen cases where contractors on the project really struggled with producing that information. It's important you are able to do it. You have to look at your business and determine if you have what it takes to do that."
Basso added that prefabrication capability is also a must to be an IPD partner.