Publications / Construction

5 Oct 17
IPD and BIM - the future of project delivery in Australia


  • All construction industry participants.


  • New forms of IPD are emerging which facilitate the implementation of BIM.   If implemented properly, the use of IPD (which is BIM compatible) can bring substantial benefits to projects.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is a relationship-oriented approach to project delivery that calls upon a spirit of teamwork and shared responsibility.  IPD facilitates creating a collaborative and cooperative environment by engaging the owner, designer/engineer, contractor (and any other major project participant) into a multi-party contract at the commencement of the project.  If executed correctly, IPD can bring major benefits to projects, including reduced cost and faster project delivery.

Traditional forms of IPD have predominantly been used in the Australian construction industry.  These IPD forms include alliancing and collaborative project agreements.  That said, new forms of IPD are emerging which support Building Information Modelling (BIM) implementation.

New form of IPD
A new form of IPD is emerging in the global construction industry which has been developed so it can better facilitate BIM adoption.  The key features of this new form of IPD are as follows:

BIM – the defining feature of the new IPD form is that it mandates the use of BIM.  By mandating BIM, this helps to further support integration between the supply chain (particularly in the design and construction phases).  For example, the American Institute of Architects has developed IPD contract templates which mandate the use of BIM.

Increased collaboration – new forms of IPD (which support BIM implementation) are more collaborative in nature.  For example, modern forms of IPD adopt the ‘big room’ environment.  The ‘big room’ environment is a shared space (typically on site) where the key project stakeholders can share information, communicate openly and work together under the one roof to optimise project efficiency.

Separately, modern forms of IPD adopt pulled programming between the various project participants.  Pulled programming allows project timeframes to be better understood and managed by the project participants.

Furthermore, given new forms of IPD mandate the use of BIM, this means that more of the supply chain will work together upfront.  For example, under modern IPD projects, major subcontractors have an active role upfront and liaise with the owner, designers and head contractor.

Shared risk and reward – under new forms of IPD, the project participants share the risks and rewards related to the outcome of the project.  This encourages project participants to work cooperatively and collaboratively (in particular in preparing and delivering the final BIM models to the owner).

Joint decision making – modern forms of IPD assume a cooperative approach to decision making and sometimes require unanimous approval.  Modern IPD contracts require regular meetings and cooperation between the project participants. The adoption of joint decision making is important to streamline the BIM process and to resolve design and structural clashes between the various project disciplines.

Future of IPD in Australia
The Australian construction industry continues to use more traditional forms of IPD (i.e. alliancing and partnering agreements), and this trend will likely continue in the future.  IPD contracts which mandate BIM are still uncommon in the Australian construction industry, and this is because the industry (to date) does not generally adopt fully integrated forms of BIM.  However, as BIM becomes more common in Australia, it is likely that new forms of IPD which are BIM compatible will become prevalent in the Australian construction industry.


Focus covers legal and technical issues in a general way.  It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases.  Focus is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice.  Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication.

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