Integrated project delivery is more sustainable

Historically, creating a building was a linear process: A project was passed along in distinct stages—from the architect to the mechanical engineer to the electrical engineer, and so forth, until a contractor was charged with putting it all together.

Things have changed. Today, high-performance buildings require a far more integrated process—and broader thinking from engineers.

Linear progression simply cannot create the improved environments our projects strive to achieve. The level of specialization and integration required with the MEP systems in high-performing buildings demands communication among the whole team from the onset of design.

Collaboration comes first

PAE collaborates with all project stakeholders in a variety of design scenarios. Our familiarity with different project delivery types allows us to fast-track schedules and save money for our clients.

We work together with owners, developers, designers, and contractors through project delivery methods ranging from design-bid-build and design-build models to design-assist and integrated-project-delivery approaches.

Design-bid-build project delivery

The design-bid-build (DBB) model focuses on delivering a bid set of documents, going through an open or selected bid process, then selecting contractors. Traditionally, this has been the most popular project delivery method for private and public projects. The DBB model lets PAE maintain engineering-design continuity and deliver value for clients with full design follow through.

Design-build project delivery

Design-build is often the delivery method of choice for our clients. PAE actively works with general contractors and first-tier subs to ensure that innovative features are considered and implemented. We effectively streamline designs that meet budget and timeline requirements.

The development of our documents in conjunction with contractors’ shop drawings optimizes the design-to-construction timeline, creating fast installable systems for the build team.

Design-assist project delivery

This delivery method combines the advantages of the design-bid-build and design-build methods. It’s an integrated solution that allows for the strengths of each team member to be leveraged to the fullest extent.

With design-assist project delivery, sub-contractors are brought in early, in a pre-construction role, so that they can contribute engineering ideas, provide feedback on constructability issues, and offer opinions on cost. This allows for strong working relationships to form and strengthen leading up to the start of construction.

At the beginning of the CD phase, the sub-contractor starts on shop drawings by taking over production of the floor plans. This allows for detailed coordination of ducts, pipes, cable trays, and conduits with the architecture and building structure. It also allows PAE to focus on other complex design challenges, such as schematic diagrams, and control sequences and specifications. Since PAE remains the engineer of record, design continuity is maintained throughout.

One of the biggest advantages of a design-assist approach is increased confidence in the building performance and return on investment. Additional benefits of this delivery approach include the following:

  • Team collaboration between engineers and MEP contractors
  • Design and construction schedule can be maintained
  • Contractor control of construction drawings limits change orders and RFIs
  • Contractor input from the beginning on pricing and constructability
  • Best value design fee (no full CD draw and then contractor redraw)
  • Pre-qualified bidding partners prevent low fee bids
  • Design is not compromised by PAE working for the design-build contractor

Integrated project delivery

In order to deliver projects better, faster, more efficiently, and with fewer construction issues, integrated project delivery (IPD) is quickly becoming the production method of choice.

PAE’s experience with IPD goes back many years, before “integrated design” became an industry buzz phrase. For example, we used IPD in our modernization design of the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Office Building, even co-locating with the architect to ensure smooth project delivery.

PAE is passionate about IPD. We are actively seeking opportunities to collaborate with owners, architects, and contractors to revolutionize the standard for project delivery to where IPD is the norm.

To learn more about our experience with integrated project delivery, visit our Work portfolio. Or contact us if you’re interested in discussing collaboration opportunities.