On October 22 and 23, 2009, the Harvard Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Design jointly sponsored a symposium on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD is a project delivery method where all of the key participants (owner, contractor, designer and key subcontractors) are engaged at project commencement to collaboratively design, develop and execute the project. Participants’ compensation is based on overall project outcome, measured against an agreed target cost, and liability within the IPD group is waived or greatly reduced. IPD has produced exceptional results in healthcare, and more recently, in a range of commercial and institutional projects.

The symposium used the Harvard Graduate School of Business Case Study format, focusing on the Autodesk AEC headquarter project in Waltham, MA. (Case Study N2-610-017) The symposium attendees, who were senior members of the design, construction and facility industries, were lead by Professors Robert Eccles and Amy Edmondson in a Socratic investigation of strengths and weaknesses of the current IPD project format. There were also 4 panel discussions, concluding with a panel of major institutional owners who commented on their experience and how what they had learned during the symposium would be applied to their infrastructure programs. Hanson Bridgett’s Howard Ashcraft, who prepared the contracts for the studied project, was also a panelist discussing IPD project structure.