In this year's survey, 49.6% of respondents reported working on an IPD project, down from 56.9% last year. The number of IPD projects reported for both years was 641.
The American Institute of Architects' California Council defined IPD in 2007 as an “approach that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to reduce waste and optimize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction.”
The traditional construction approach involves designers and contractors working in silos, heightening the risks of miscommunication and the need for revisions. In contrast, IPD pulls architects, contractors, subcontractors and hospital owners together from the start to quickly resolve conflicts and push projects forward under shared risk-and-reward financial arrangements.
About 56% of respondents who worked on an IPD project said the methodology saved time. But only 37.5% said all the IPD projects they worked on included a shared risk-and-reward contract, while 41.7% said none had shared risk and reward.
Henry Chao, principal and healthcare design director for HOK architects in New York City, said IPD's focus on shared risks and rewards had been gaining popularity until the 2008 financial crash. “Now, if you're the owner, why do I want to share anything?” he asked. “What's the incentive if you have hungry contractors out there?”
He added that project speed was more important when it was more expensive to borrow money. Now that the costs of borrowing are lower, Chao said, some of the incentive to build fast has also come down.
Still, Andrew Quirk, senior vice president and national director of Skanska USA's Healthcare Center of Excellence, said Skanska was pursuing three East Coast projects that were true IPDs with shared risk and reward.
Eckblad said projects have to be a certain scale for IPD to work, but no one knows yet what the minimum size is. “A one-year project probably can't bring people together to make this work,” he said. “It's a question of complexity and being able to respond to an unanticipated amount of change.”