A Perfect Pairing: Coupling Lean with Integrated Project Delivery

January 7, 2015

In recent years, integrated project delivery (IPD) has emerged as an alternate delivery method that enhances efficiency by emphasizing collaboration and early involvement of key stakeholders.

At Brasfield & Gorrie, we’re taking IPD a step further by coupling it with Lean construction techniques for an even better result.

Success without Sacrifice

For years, there existed a general belief in the construction industry that projects could achieve only two out of three when it comes to quality, speed, and cost. Traditionally, projects could achieve quality and speed, but only at great expense. Alternately, projects could achieve high quality and maintain budget, but would take longer to build.

By coupling the contractual delivery method of IPD with the principles of Lean, we’ve been able to achieve all three of these aims, ensuring quality and speed without sacrificing budget.

Why Lean and IPD


Stakeholders participate in a big room meeting to collaborate on plans for the construction of Wekiva Springs, a project using integrated project delivery coupled with Lean construction techniques

The structure of an Integrated Form of Agreement (IFoA), the contract agreement used in IPD projects, allows each party in a construction project to put the whole in front of their part. The key principles of Lean construction focus on continuous improvement and value. Both IPD and Lean emphasize reduction of waste to provide greater value to the owner.

When IPD and Lean are used together, the result is a delivery method and a philosophy that both put the value of the client first. From the contractor’s perspective, this alignment helps ensure that we provide value, meet the client’s expectations, and identify best practices that can be shared with the entire team.

The results of this approach are projects that achieve improved safety, enhanced customer satisfaction, higher-quality construction, reduced project schedule, and greater productivity, among other benefits.

Douglas Lee is Regional Preconstruction Director at Brasfield & Gorrie.