A Mountain Peak View of the Legal Risk Associated with IPD Contracts


Integrated Project Delivery, or “IPD,” is taking the construction world by storm. It is another attempt at solving an age old problem: picking the right players who will all function together as a team. IPD attempts to deal with team selection in a way which gets away from the “forced marriage” approach of traditional design-bid-build project delivery where many team members simply look out for themselves. Once the team is established, the new challenge is putting the team together with a suitable written IPD contract.

Fueled largely by technological innovations such as Building Information Modeling, or “BIM,” construction project teams are looking for ways to enlist greater collaboration in the entire construction process with early participation, trust, communication, input and cooperation from all of the key players. IPD attempts to couple that cooperation with a dynamic shift in thinking from “risk-shifting” contracts to “risk-sharing” environments.

Construction is no different than so many industries these days in that factors such as business climate changes, the economy, technological advances, and so many other factors are both forcing and enabling changes in how business is being done. IPD is facilitating such a change.

Much has been written about IPD in terms of what it is and what its benefits are. The purpose of this article is not to revisit all of those considerations, but rather to focus on a few of the primary legal challenges facing IPD participants.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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