Benefits and challenges to applying IPD : experiences from a Norwegian mega-project
Purpose – The traditional construction delivery method is challenged by low trust and collaboration issues, resulting in increased project costs. The integrated project delivery (IPD) method is developed, through a contractual agreement, to overcome these challenges by creating a common set of terms, expectations and project goals. Design/methodology/approach – A singular construction case was followed during a four-month period. Data collection consisted of contract documents and a series of semi-structured interviews with representatives from the owner, design-group and contractors. Findings – The IPD contract was found to have a number of positive effects; it improved project behavior (e. g. trust, collaboration and communication), increased ownership among project participants and improved buildability of the design, leading to fewer surprises and interruptions in the construction phase. The study also revealed a number of challenges including contractual and legal challenges and involving too many participants in the early phases. Moreover, co-location was identified as a particular important supporting element, to build relations and improve collaboration. Originality/value – This research identified lessons learned from the application, as well as initial barriers and persistent barriers for implementing IPD. To improve IPD application the top three lessons were as follows: 1) the contractual documents should be adapted and signed at an early stage as this increases financial transparency, 2) cost estimates should be carried as an iterative process and project main concept be freezed at an early stage to increase understanding and minimize risks, 3) only the most important project developers should be involved in the early phases, to avoid going into detailed design issues before the main concept is completed.