May 22, 2009
  Integrated Project Delivery and BIM: Changing the Way the Industry Operates

Summary: In recent years, thought leaders in the construction industry have advocated for greater collaboration among project stakeholders to improve efficiency, reduce waste, minimize disputes, and generally improve the quality of the process and the predictability of project outcomes. Products that allow for the free exchange of digital data are seen as essential tools for promoting greater collaboration. The AIA is playing a key leadership role in advancing collaborative processes such as integrated project delivery (IPD) and the sharing of digital data, especially through the use of building information modeling (BIM).

Over the past two years the AIA published several documents to further stimulate industry-wide discussion of project collaboration and the IPD process and support architects, contractors, and owners in moving the ball from discussion to implementation. This year’s AIA National Convention marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the AIA’s first IPD agreement forms. This milestone presents an excellent opportunity for a recap of the AIA’s leadership initiatives and progress.

The guide to IPD
Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide was jointly developed by the AIA’s Documents Committee and AIA California Council and released in November 2007. The goal of the guide is to identify the characteristics of IPD and provide specific information and guidance on how to use IPD methods. To date, over 20,000 copies of the Guide have been downloaded, spread widely across all industry stakeholder sectors. For additional information, or to obtain a free copy of the Guide, visit

IPD agreements
The AIA has developed two sets of coordinated agreements for persons wishing to implement the principles of integrated project delivery. The transitional agreements provide a comfortable step into IPD because they use a familiar contracting model: owner-architect agreement, owner-contractor agreement, and a shared “general conditions” document. Many key IPD concepts are reflected in the transitional forms. The single purpose entity (SPE) agreements are far more provocative. Drafted to express full IPD principles, these agreements accomplish significant reordering of the sharing of risk and reward in a “one-for-all and all-for-one” approach. Traditional concepts of compensation and profit give way to compensation based on performance and goal achievement. To foster effective collaboration, these agreements seek to restructure some of the traditional ways that risk and liability are dealt with among the project participants.

The AIA recognized that in taking a lead in developing these documents, it would in some circumstances be sailing into yet uncharted waters. It also recognized that in some instances concepts expressed in the documents would be revolutionary and cut against existing industry norms, and that industry participants might have questions or concerns as they try to understand the new concepts.

Many of the questions and concerns about the more thought provoking IPD concepts in these documents cannot be adequately addressed in a short article such as this. To better understand the concepts contained within these documents (such as creation of a limited liability company in the SPE agreement) and to address complex questions and concerns about issues like corporate governance, party liability, licensure, and insurance, visit the page on SPE agreement frequently asked questions, which provides a significant level of detail and explanation. For more information about the transitional agreements and the SPE agreements in general, visit the page that addresses those issues.

Digital Data Documents
The Digital Data Licensing Agreement, C106™–2007, serves as a licensing agreement between two parties that otherwise have no existing licensing agreement for the use and transmission of digital data, including instruments of service. It defines digital data as information, communications, drawings, or designs created or stored for a specific project in digital form and allows one party to (1) grant another party a limited non-exclusive license to use digital data on a specific project, (2) set forth procedures for transmitting the digital data, and (3) place restrictions on the license granted. The Digital Data Protocol Exhibit, E201™–2007, is not a stand alone document and must be attached as an exhibit to an existing agreement. Its purpose is to establish the procedures the parties agree to follow with respect to the transmission or exchange of digital data, including instruments of service. For more information on the digital data documents visit

The Building Information Modeling Protocol Exhibit, E202™–2007, was written as a practical tool for managing the use of BIM across an entire project. Among other things, it sets the requirements and authorized uses for BIM content, helping teams determine who will be responsible for modeling each building element to specifically defined levels of development at particular points in time. It also establishes protocols for model ownership, conflict resolution, storage, viewing, and archiving. Although written primarily to support a project using IPD, the BIM protocol exhibit may also be used with more traditional methods of project delivery. For more information or to obtain a free copy of the BIM Protocol Exhibit, again, visit

Your comments
The AIA Contract Documents Committee is interested in understanding any concerns you might have about the AIA IPD documents and materials! Please send your comments to the AIA national component.


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Your comments
The AIA Contract Documents Committee is interested in understanding any concerns you might have about the AIA IPD documents and materials! Please send your comments to the AIA national component.