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The Misconceptions of Integrated Project Delivery

CEI candids 2014_12

There’s been a lot of talk lately about IPD (Integrated Project Delivery), but with it has come many misconceptions, misunderstandings and miscommunication about what IPD really means.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines IPD as “a project delivery method that integrates people, systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively harnesses the talents and insights of all participants to reduce waste and optimize efficiency through all phases of design, fabrication and construction.”

The Integrated Project Delivery method contains many specific components, including continuous involvement of the owner and key designers and builders from early design through project completion, an alignment of the business interests of all parties through shared risk/reward, and joint project control by the owner, key designers and builders. As you’d expect, a true IPD model is truly integrated, sharing and spreading responsibilities and rewards among all parties.

As an architecture firm, we are seeing many requests for proposals that request IPD, but also refer to other delivery methods such as design-build, stipulated sum and even P3—all in the same proposal. This indicates to me that our clients are interested in IPD but are unsure exactly what’s involved. This can be troublesome, as a confusing RFP puts not only the contractors and consultants at risk but the project itself.

IPD isn’t a new model—it’s been around in one way or another for many years, though true IPD projects are few and far between. It takes a special client and project team that fully agree to all the terms that an IPD project requires. After talking to many contractors, consultants and even clients, my experience is that most do not fully understand exactly what’s involved in a true IPD contract.

Everyone is willing to improve the construction process, and a modified IPD can be the tool to do so. Many so-called IPD projects are just this: a modified IPD contract that conforms to the ideology of an integrated project. Construction companies, consultants, suppliers and, most importantly, the client all want to be a part of a successful project.

With a little knowledge and a desire to improve how we design and construct buildings we can change the process for the better. We can incorporate aspects of IPD and modify the contract so all parties involved are comfortable and happy with the outcome, and as we do more and more of these IPD-type projects, the parties involved will become more familiar and comfortable with the process and we can introduce more aspects of a true IPD contract.


Currently, at HDR | CEI, we already do many aspects of Integrated Project Delivery simply as good business practices. Educating our clients and the project team are key to a successful IPD project and to making everyone comfortable with the process and the contractual obligations.

People are often confused with the differences between Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Integrated Design Process (IDP). In addition to the contractual obligations of an IPD project, it also includes aspects of the integrated design process. Both require the project team to collaborate together in a specific manner for the benefit of the project and ultimately for the benefit of the project team, ensuring a successful project.

IPD and IDP differ in some key aspects. IDP projects do not require all parties to have a “business interest” to the point of shared risk and reward. Financial gain is not necessarily tied to a successful project outcome. Having all parties involved, including the owner, consultants and construction company, at the onset of a project is beneficial. It facilitates an environment in which all parties agree to share information and ideas, and are willing to compromise and work together. Dialogue between all parties is open and communicative, egos are left at the door and input is expected and appreciated from all levels.

We do many projects using an IDP approach. Any project with careful collaboration between the consultants, client, contractors and suppliers is an IDP project. A client or owner can specify IDP as part of the contractual obligations of participating in a project without the financial risk/reward of a typical IPD project.

However, when specifying that a project will incorporate IDP, the expectations have to be clearly defined early on. A roadmap of how collaboration is to occur and what is to be expected from all parties involved needs to be clearly laid out in advance with sufficient time allocated to collaboration and dialogue.

If you are considering an Integrated Project Delivery model for your next project, be clear to your team exactly what your expectations are, select a team with experience and a willingness to collaborate in a way that benefits the project. Those are the keys to a successful IPD project.



Three CEI projects shortlisted for P3 Awards


Three CEI Architecture projects have been shortlisted for P3 Awards by P3 Bulletin.The award program recognizes and rewards outstanding achievements in public-private partnerships across Canada, the United States, and Latin America.

CEI’s design of the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North has been shortlisted under the Best Operational Project category, while the Surrey Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Expansion (with Parkin Architects) is in the running for Best Designed Project. The BC Children’s and BC Women’s Redevelopment Project Phase 2, the Teck Acute Care Centre, was also recognized as a shortlist under the Best Social Infrastructure Project.

Though sister program ‘Partnership Awards’ has been operating in the United Kingdom for 18 years, 2015 marks the second year for the Americas-focused P3 Awards. A panel of 50 judges will make their selections, announcing the winners at a gala awards ceremony in New York on October 8.

The BC Cancer Agency represents CEI’s first project delivered under the public-private partnership model, and since its completion in 2012, the firm has established itself as a leader in P3 delivery in Western Canada.




CEI Architecture to Join HDR to Advance Design Innovation in a Global Landscape

CEI Architecture, one of western Canada’s leading architectural practices, has announced it will join HDR, a global firm with one of the world’s top ranked architecture practices. Leadership of the two firms cite opportunities for growth both geographically and within each firm’s respective market sectors as the reasons for merging its shared commitment to design innovation in a global landscape. The agreement is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

“Both of our firms share a philosophy of balancing quality design, technical expertise, business orientation, and customer satisfaction—specifically focusing on being market leaders in clearly defined sectors,” commented Doug Wignall, AIA, president of HDR’s Architecture practice. “This common platform is essential to building a solid foundation for future growth. CEI is a well-respected design firm with a commitment to design excellence that complements our own. I am confident we will work well together to continue to advance this reputation to global prominence.”

“Together, we are poised to be a preeminent force in many sectors in Canada, particularly in healthcare, recreation and research,” explained Bill Locking, a founding partner of CEI. “We will seek to deepen our bench of local healthcare and research expertise with the global resources HDR offers in consulting services such as strategic innovation, user experience modeling, laboratory and healthcare planning, data-driven design, and Lean Six Sigma. This uniquely positions us to deliver healthcare and research projects of all sizes, scopes and complexities.”

Collectively, HDR’s and CEI’s experience with public-private partnership (P3) for health is perhaps more than any other architecture firm in Canada. This merger of practices provides clients with a much greater depth of experienced resources focused on an incredibly deep portfolio of PPP projects.

Additionally, Locking added, “The expertise CEI brings to the table can help HDR expand into new sectors such as recreation, K-12 education and commercial development not only throughout all provinces of Canada, but beyond the Canadian border as well.”

CEI was founded in 1996 and has approximately 70 employees located in British Columbia; its main office is in Vancouver, with additional offices in Victoria and Penticton, as well as Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta. HDR’s presence in the Canadian market began in 2002; currently about 120 employees are based in offices throughout Ontario.

About HDR

HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible since 1917. We specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. With nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world, we think global and act local.

HDR has more than 1,450 architecture employees working in offices in six countries who provide complete design, engineering, planning and consulting services across the United States, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Australia, and the People’s Republic of China.


Media Contacts:

Katie Sosnowchik

Kim Gosteli



Breathing new life into Vancouver’s Sante Fe Apartment Complex

Van Arsdel Apartments, 1931. City of Vancouver Archives (1399-617)

Van Arsdel Apartments, 1931. City of Vancouver Archives (1399-617)

CEI Architecture is pleased to be bringing new life to one of Vancouver’s treasured residential buildings.

The building, currently known as the Sante Fe but originally called The Van Arsdel, is a three-storey, 14-unit apartment complex, in Vancouver’s Fairview neighbourhood. It was built over 85 years ago by Townley, Matheson and Partners, a distinguished local architectural firm that has produced many of the City’s notable buildings, including City Hall.

The building’s juliet balconies, recessed windows, decorative plasters, and symmetrical facade are reflective of the Period Revival style that was popular at the time, and contribute to the building’s unique charm. The objective for CEI on the project was to add new residential capacity on the site, while preserving its architectural legacy.

Working with developer Aqulini, CEI’s design maintains the south and east concrete facades of the original 1928 heritage building and adds an 11-storey tower in behind. Maintaining the facades preserves the unique aesthetic detailing of the original structure while the new tower provides 37 one-bedroom suites.

“One of our firm’s design principles is to create buildings that are reflective of their time,” Partner-in-Charge Nick Bevanda says. “We find that re-creating historical imagery, as a solution to contemporary living, stifles innovation. There’s no value in recreating something from 100 years ago.”

As such, the design for the 2975 Oak Street Tower was deliberately kept simple and streamlined. “In some ways, it acts as a backdrop to the façade, emphasizing the dichotomy between the two structures,” says Bevanda.

New Sante Fe Building

The new apartment building emerges above the heritage structure—a contemporary design of glass, aluminum and steel. The design orients the residential units to face north and south, taking advantage of the views in each direction. Each floor contains four units and those in the lower three-storey portion will be two-bedroom, addressing the city’s aim that one-quarter of all units in secured market rental developments be suitable for families.

Construction on the complex has started and once complete, the new Sante Fe will bridge the gap between Vancouver’s historic past with it’s bright future.



CEI Architecture to design Whitehorse General Hospital Expansion

WH 1

PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc. and CEI Architecture have been named preferred proponent for the Whitehorse General Hospital expansion project. The selection comes after an extensive competitive selection process between three shortlisted teams.

The 40,000 square foot expansion will include a new emergency department and will create a second-storey to house future inpatient beds.

“We are pleased with the progress of the WGH expansion project to date and to have a qualified team to help us continue to move ahead,” says Craig Tuton, Yukon Hospitals’ Board of Trustees Chair. “This project represents the first large-scale enhancement to the hospital in nearly 20 years and will improve and sustain access to quality health services for Yukoners now and into the future.”


Lead Clinical Planner for the project and CEI Partner Troy Ransdell was equally excited by the opportunity and the work completed to date. “The entire project team has had a fantastic experience in creating this design. The Yukon Health Corporation has provided a remarkable opportunity for great healthcare infrastructure and we feel lucky to be part of delivering this vision.”

Completion of the project is expected in December 2017. For more information on the project, please click here.



Okanagan College Centre of Excellence achieves LEED Platinum certification


The Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at Okanagan College has been certified LEED Platinum.

Since its completion in 2011, the post-secondary facility has been recognized as one of the most innovative and sustainable education facilities anywhere.

Designed by CEI Architecture, built by PCL Constructors Westcoast, and with sustainable consulting by Recollecting Consulting, the 7,000-square-metre facility provides trades and technology training and professional development with a focus on sustainable practices and the use of alternative and renewable energy.

It was one of three buildings in North America featured by the New York Times Knowledge Network as leading examples of carbon-neutral campus architecture, and has received honours from the Canadian Green Building Council, the Green Good Design Awards, the Applied Science and Technologists and Technicians of BC, and many more.

“The Centre of Excellence is truly an innovative facility, providing leading edge training in sustainable practices for Okanagan College,” said Bill Locking, senior partner with CEI Architecture.“The integrated nature of the design and construction team enabled the Centre of Excellence to achieve ambitious targets for sustainable design. We couldn’t be more proud to have been part of the project.”

The Centre of Excellence is also pursuing certification under the Living Building Challenge, one of the most rigorous measures of sustainability for the built environment. The two-storey building incorporates a variety of integrated energy efficiency and sustainable design features to minimize its impact on the environment.

“The Centre of Excellence is a truly green project and an inspiring model of what can be. The elegant combination of simple passive strategies and complex mechanical systems shows the way forward for the built environment,” said Jason Packer of Recollective Consulting. “It is a pedagogic building, supporting the growth of capacity in the green building trades through the education programs it houses and the growth of the green building design community as a case study in conservation.

“It is great to see the project rewarded with a LEED Platinum certification.”

For more information about this innovative facility, visit the project website at www.alivingclassroom.com or click here.




LEED Gold plaque unveiled in North Vancouver

From Left: Kim Gosteli, National Director, Sales and Marketing, CEI Architecture; John Scott, Partner-in-Charge, CEI Architecture; Darrel Mussatto, Mayor of City of North Vancouver; Jane Watkins, Chief Librarian; Shervin Shahriari,Library Board Chair

From Left: Kim Gosteli, National Director, Sales and Marketing, CEI Architecture; John Scott, Partner-in-Charge, CEI Architecture; Darrell Mussatto, Mayor of North Vancouver; Jane Watkins, Chief Librarian; Shervin Shahriari, Library Board Chair


The North Vancouver City Library has recently been awarded LEED Gold certification by the Canada Green Building Council. On Tuesday, May 12, North Vancouver Mayor, Darrell Mussatto, unveiled the LEED Gold plaque which will now be a permanent reminder of the facility’s environmental stewardship.

“The Library is one of only four buildings on the North Shore to receive LEED Canada Gold certification,” says Mayor Mussatto. “This certification demonstrates our commitment to ensuring a more sustainable future for City residents. By incorporating green building practices into our community’s civic buildings, we are actively creating a sustainable future.”

The Library was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in a joint venture with CEI. The building, which was designed and constructed with LEED certification in mind from the onset of the project, opened its doors in September 2008. In this time, the three-storey building has become a popular destination for city residents, and is often a venue for community events.

The Library’s infrastructure contains several sustainable features that helped it to achieve the certification, such as radiant heating and cooling, solar panels, low flush toilets, and solar shading. Individuals wishing to learn more about the facility’s green components are encouraged to participate in a Sustainability Tour that takes every month. More information can be found here.



Edmonds Community Centre awarded BCRPA Facility of the Year Award

Edmonds3Burnaby’s Edmonds Community Centre and Fred Randall Pool was honoured with the BC Recreation and Parks Association’s Facility of Excellence Award at this year’s annual Symposium which took place in Victoria on May 8.

The 95,000 square foot community centre is the fifth CEI-designed facility to be recognized by the provincial awards, joining other notable projects such as the Cloverdale Recreation Centre in Surrey and Coquitlam’s Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

Each year, the BCRPA recognizes outstanding programs, dedicated professionals, and innovative facilities that enhance the recreation, parks, and culture services sector. The full award list can be viewed here.

Congratulations to all the members of the project team on a job well done!



CEI’s Scott Chatterton to speak at annual Revit Technology Conference

CEI’s BIM and Quality Control Manager Scott Chatterton will be presenting at the 5th North American Revit Technology Conference taking place July 23-25 in Washington, DC. The event provides individuals in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry with the opportunity to gain valuable insight into the latest trends and technologies in Building Information Modelling.

Utilizing the lessons learned over a 25-year career in the AEC industry, Scott will share tips for managing models and the people who create them. His session, ‘10 Ways to be an Outstanding BIM Manager,’ begins at 10:45 AM on Friday, July 24.

Registration for the conference is currently open, and tickets can be purchased here.



New surgical centre will be open for patients this September

Okanagan residents will be pleased to hear that construction has been completed for the first three floors of the Interior Heart and Surgical Centre, the newest addition to the Kelowna General Hospital. The new facility will become the home for the Hospital’s cardiac program and will include 15 operating rooms and 45 private pre-operative patient rooms.

The ceremonial handing over took place last week, and the new floors will be open for patients this September.

“We are very proud to celebrate the successful construction of this phase of the new Interior Heart and Surgical Centre, on time and on-budget”, states Sean Brock, the Vice President and District Manager of PCL Contructors Westcoast Inc. This sentiment is shared by all members of the Plenary Gorup delivery team, including CEI Architecture, HOK Architects, and Johnson Controls LP.

For more information about the project, please visit the project page.