Integrated Project Delivery has generated a buzz in the industry. But many industry professionals have not yet had an opportunity to participate in an IPD project. Contrasting IPD with the Construction Management at Risk delivery method may illustrate how IPD differs strikingly from more traditional delivery systems:


CM at Risk


Timing of CM Involvement Executed after design is underway Executed before design begins
Contracting Parties Owner and CM Owner, CM and designer(and key consulting designers, trade contractors and/or suppliers
Relationship between CM and A/E CM is arms-length advisor via owner contract CM has direct contract with designer
Collaboration by CM, A/E and Owner Expected but not contractually specified Required by contract
CM Involvement in Design Expected, based on date of involvement Intensified, based on earlier involvementand greater investment; parties may be colocated full time
Construction Funding Cost of work plus agreed fee with Guaranteed Maximum Price Open-book cost-plus; with target pricing but no GMAX
Potential CM Reward Fee, often supplemented by shared savings Shared financial rewards, incentives
Risk of Cost Overruns Capped by GMAX Determined by contract
Liability By contract Limited by agreement
Consequential Damage Waivers Often negotiated Addressed in form contracts, expected by parties
Financial Transparency CM costs may be transparent; A/E and trade costs likely not Agreed cost transparency of all signatories
Project Objectives Determined by owner, with A/E input Developed jointly by all key participants
Management Responsibilities defined by contract; roles defined by personalities Shared management, defined by contract, with roles enhanced by investment and potential incentives
Focus of Participants Traditional self-interest Best interests of the project as a whole
Motivation of Participants Traditional self-interest Enhanced by investment in process and potential incentives; participants expected to perform based on project interests
Roles of Participants Defined by contract Developed by agreement of parties
Efficiencies Achieved by Participants Determined by individual conduct Influenced by conduct of other parties, to the extent that they put project interests ahead of self-interest

Note that this summary is intentionally generalized. The differences described above can be affected by a) the forms that CM @ Risk and IPD take, b) the behavior of the individual participants and c) the corporate cultures of the owner, CM and A/E. CM @ Risk could look very much like IPD in some cases (and vice versa).