Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
Construction activities associated with the new Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa, California, are being managed using an innovative process called Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD is a proven way to organize project teams to achieve lean construction by modifying traditional building methods to optimize the entire project, not just each piece, through a highly collaborative relationship among the owner, architect and general contractor.
These parties sign an integrated contract and are part of the risk pool that shares responsibility for cost containment, with built-in incentives to be shared by IPD team members for completing work on schedule and under budget. As a result, substantial savings are already being realized in terms of time, materials and money.
Each week some 40-50 team members come together in 10 trailers adjacent to the building site to organize collective activities and plan specific tasks. This 8,300 square foot complex is the strategic nerve center where project team members collaborate and share information with the goal of obtaining the best results and increased value for the owner by reducing waste, improving productivity, streamlining construction and achieving shorter delivery times throughout the life cycle of the project. This synergy establishes trust and commitment among all parties by seeking input from project team members before the first shovel is put into the ground and during each subsequent construction phase.
The IPD planning stage starts with a set of Target Value Design principles, such as the maximum cost of the facility that can never be exceeded, and other desired outcomes. A virtual structure is designed using a computer-generated 3D simulation before actual construction begins. This virtual model enables core team members to work out details, avoid obstacles, facilitate intra-trade cooperation, ensure efficient process scheduling and find the most cost-effective solutions. The continuously updated model helps to reduce the cost of care and anticipates each process cycle by eliminate delays and creating a seamless, reliable workflow within a framework of allowable expenditures.
Other advanced building assembly techniques are also being deployed. Various components of the project are prefabricated off-site, where contractors have all of the tools and materials on hand. This saves money and enables packages to be delivered and installed at the precise time when they are needed.
Collaboration also includes working with hospital employees to study how they do their jobs and what they would like to see incorporated into the design. Factors such as nurse-to-patient ratios, hospital process flow, operational and maintenance efficiencies related to the building design must also be considered, along with the cost of proposed design elements versus anticipated performance improvements.
At the end of the day, improving patient satisfaction is a primary goal. This is being addressed by designing a facility with all private rooms and by following future patients through the virtual hospital to see it through their eyes and determine what customers really want. At the same time, acoustical engineers are planning finding better ways to reduce noise and enhance the patient experience. All of these strategies are designed to advance the overall healthcare delivery system and provide high quality care at an affordable price.