Figure 1. Sebesta Blomberg IPD-ish process flow diagram.


Here, our long-time forward-thinking columnist uses a common hospital scenario to walk you through the shift from Design-Bid-Build to an Integrated Project Delivery approach. See how the job can get done with similar personnel on a considerably shorter schedule, resulting in a greater team investment in the project’s success and yet more time to get on to other work.

For decades, health-care facilities, as well as most institutional projects with limited funding, have chosen the design-bid-build (DBB) project delivery method to procure the lowest possible first-cost construction price. While studies have shown that DBB jobs eventually grow in cost by 9% to 12%, there has been a blind belief that this method of building, renovating, and replacing HVAC systems has the best cost benefit. This is slowly changing to a more value-added, team approach where designers and builders all share the same vested interest in the client’s building program. Called integrated project delivery (IPD), or more popularly “IPD-ish,” this article will outline how two antiquated chillers are to be replaced using the IPD-ish approach to infrastructure upgrade.

Historically, the DBB project delivery method would have the design team create what they consider the best way to document the replacement of these two chillers by producing the following, with little or no input from trade contractors who will submit their proposed bid to furnish, install, and turn over to the client a replacement chiller system:

  • Create a request for bid document outlining the parameters for submitting contractor bids.
  • Write the contract specification beginning with Division 1 (quite often with little or no input from the health-care facilities group) (e.g., did someone ask if there is already a maintenance management system in place?).
  • Create computer-aided drawings for architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and possible fire protection drawings showing:
    • Existing conditions
    • Demolition
    • New construction
    • Phasing if needed
  • Providing limited construction administration time during the construction phase of the project, and no time in the warranty phase of the project to ensure project success.


While the design team has years of experience, what is lacking are the “checks and balances” of trade contractors who have similar years of experience installing what designers design. The following is the outline for joining forces between the design team and the trade contractor, limiting the discussion to the HVAC scope of work to simplify the discussion.

Included on this IPD-HVAC team will also be the facility operator and the health-care owner’s project manager or owner representative/facilitator. The preliminary chiller replacement budget, provided from the hospital’s past experience, is estimated to be $1.1 million. This project delivery approach discussed herein is based on Sebesta Blomberg, a Minnesota-based engineering, commissioning, and eco-management firm, and their newly created IPD-Engineering Standards manual that is formatted and standardized to be ISO-9001 compliant.

CONCEPTUALIZATION PHASE

IPD Team Members
  • Owner’s project manager
  • Owner’s facility operator
  • Owner’s ATC operator
  • Eco-management engineer
  • Design engineers
  • Prime contractor (HVAC)
Deliverables
  • Owner’s project requirements (OPR)
  • Basis of design (BofD) document
  • System flow diagrams
  • ATC/FPT sequence of operation
  • System training manual
  • Program budget and acceptance date
  • Team signatures
The estimated timeline should be roughly three weeks to complete this initial phase of the chiller replacement project. At the end of these three weeks, the team will have spent approximately $20,000 to produce and signoff on the deliverables noted below. Team members/participants include owner’s project manager, facility operator, HVAC design engineer, HVAC contractor (prime contractor for this project), hospital ATC computer operator, and eco-management engineer.

Deliverables shall be:
  • OPR document: Replace two 1964-era chillers during the heating season and provide BACnet computerized, open protocol automation to the hospital’s BAS. Other OPR requirements include project funding and budgeted cash-flow, energy/environmental goals, O&M goals, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organ-ization (JCAHO) compliance, and individual team member’s project goals.
  • BofD: Operating parameters, construction period IAQ controls, and phase in of new equipment/systems and removal of old equipment/systems.
  • System design flow diagrams and sketches:
  • Flow diagrams of chilled water system and condenser water system (existing and proposed). As an alternate to the base design, it is relatively simple to enhance the chiller flow diagram with the potential to include a heating season waterside economizer and/or thermal storage to off-peak hour chilled water production.
  • From these diagrams, the team will overlay electric data, structural data, automatic controls, and water balancing requirements.
  • Using these conceptual phase documents, schedule one hour of project introduction/training for the entire team plus others (building security, environmental health and safety group, etc.).
  • Construction budget goal, as well as hospital’s acceptance of the project.
  • Team signature: At the end of the IPD conceptual phase, all participants shall sign the deliverables/documents as confirmation of project team agreement. It is important to note that the owner’s acceptance is inherent and simultaneous with the signoff.
Note: The DBB schematic phase timeline is estimated to take five weeks with limited input from the facilities group, no input from installing contractors, and an additional two-week owner approval process. 

CRITERIA DESIGN PHASE

The estimate timeline should be approximately three weeks to complete this second phase of the chiller replacement project. At the end of these three weeks, the team will have spent approximately $35,000 to produce and signoff on the deliverables noted below. Team members will continue to participants along with addition of the building information modeling (BIM) CAD personnel including the addition of electrical contractor as team members.

Deliverables shall be:
  • The team has recognized that whatever a DBB set of contract documents show, the trade contractors will convert all the data into an inventory, along with quotes from equipment vendors for the chiller, towers, and pumps. This IPD-ish approach will be to enhance the IPD conceptual phase system flow diagrams and sketches (e.g., penthouse alterations) by adding in an inventory of equipment and materials such as 300 ft of 8 in. pipe, 24 shut-off valves, etc.
  • Equipment can be selected and quotes confirmed to lock in the final chiller, tower, and pump prices, along with delivery dates and the receipt of O&M manuals.
  • OPR document is enhanced/updated based on the additional criteria phase information and team member agreements.
  • BofD is fine tuned, and phasing of the project is further defined.
  • System design flow diagrams and sketches are enhanced with the use of BIM CAD to create floor plans showing the primary equipment and main distribution based on “team design” by team members and on efficiency of chilled-water and condenser water system flow, accessibility to install, future servicing and operations, and eventually removal at end of useful service life.
  • As an alternate to the base design, it is relatively simple to enhance the chiller flow diagram with the potential to include heating season waterside economizer and/or thermal storage to off-peak hour chilled water production.
  • Confirmation of project cost and date for hospital acceptance of the project.
  • Using these criteria design phase documents the second 1-hour of project training would be completed for the entire team plus others.
  • Team signatures: At the end of the IPD criteria design phase, all participants shall sign the deliverables/documents as confirmation of project team agreement.
Note: If this was a DBB project, the deliverables noted above would encompass some of the work being completed in the schematic phase, design development phase, construction document phase, and construction submittal and field coordination phase. With the DBB process there would not be any trade contractor input until the construction phase and well after the contract documents were completed and contractor bids received. Any trade contractor recommendations at that time would possibly lead to contract changeorder(s).

DETAILED DESIGN PHASE

The estimate timeline should be roughly three weeks to complete this third phase of the chiller replacement project. At the end of these three weeks, the team will have spent approximately $30,000 to produce and signoff on the deliverables noted below. Team members will continue to participants along with addition of major equipment manufacturers.

Deliverables shall be:
  • In weeks seven through nine, the designer engineers and the field coordination CAD operator will complete the BIM drawings to the level that can be consider as-built, but more importantly, these can be used so the trades can prefabricate as much of the piping installation as possible well in advance of the chiller plant demolition and new equipment arrival. Note: For the DBB approach this work, still in the contract document, will be defined as “diagrammatic,” and that final field fabrication drawings would be the responsibility of the contractor who will produce his own CAD/BIM drawings approximately one month after being awarded the contract a few months later in the job.
  • Equipment submittals and associated O&M manuals will have been received and approved allowing the pro-duction of long lead items (e.g., chillers).
  • A three-year equipment service contract can also be competitively solicited to lock in the maintenance well in advance of the hospital’s fiscal budget for next year and the two years to follow.
  • Designers shall continue to work with the trade contractor’s BIM-CAD field coordinator as these CAD docu-ments perform a dual role: Installation drawings and project closeout record drawings, and elimination of the need for the design engineer’s CAD staff to initially produce diagrammatic contract documents.
  • Trade contractor shall recommend the materials to be used in sync with the designer’s requirements to produce a bill of materials in lieu of the designer spending time writing a large three-part specification.
  • Facility person shall also be offering recommendations relative to the annual operating parameters, service re-quirements, and phasing in the new equipment while maintaining a means to provide chilled water at any time during the year.
  • OPR document, BofD, project schedule, and cashflow funding shall continue to be monitored and enhanced as the project is further defined.
  • Decision on the purchase of alternatives (waterside economizer and/or thermal storage) to the project IPD design can be finalized based on the team’s combined project knowledge and procurement of major equipment and additional sub-contractors (insulation, etc.) in this phase of the work.
  • The third training class will be completed in this phase with all team members in attendance.
  • The expanding of the existing penthouse shall have begun.
  • Team signature: At the end of the IPD detailed design phase, all participants shall sign the deliverables/documents as confirmation of project team agreement.
Note: If this was a DBB project, the deliverables noted above would encompass some of the work being completed in the design development phase and construction document phase with duplication of effort with some of the work in the construction phase (e.g., BIM CAD). This IPD phase of work would be finishing up its tasks at the end of week nine, while the DBB process would need to be in month three of the construction schedule. 

IMPLEMENTATION PHASE

The estimate timeline is roughly 16 weeks to complete this fourth phase of the chiller replacement project, 25 weeks into the total job, and the team will have spent an additional $700,000 to produce and signoff on the de-liverables noted below. Team members will continue to work together.

Deliverables shall be:
  • Updating of BIM CAD with as-built conditions based on the actual installation.
  • Equipment will have arrived and been installed in the newly created penthouse space.
  • All mechanical, electrical, and BACnet interface has been roughed-in.
  • Demolition planning will have been finalized and chiller removal waiting while the new equipment is installed, tested, adjusted, balanced, and commissioned.
  • The finalizing of the preventive maintenance work orders will be inputted into the hospital’s computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) system along with asset data, parts, material, special lubricants, etc.
  • The fourth training class will be completed in this phase.
  • Team signatures: At the end of the IPD implementation phase, all participants shall sign the delivera-bles/documents as confirmation of project team agreement.
Note: If this was a DBB project, the deliverables noted above would encompass some of the work being completed in the design development phase and construction document phase with duplication of effort for some of the work in the construction phase (e.g., design vs. field coordination BIM CAD initiatives). This IPD phase of work would be finishing up its tasks the end of week 29, while the DBB process would need to be in month three of the construction schedule.

COMMISSIONING AND PROJECT CLOSEOUT PHASE

The estimated timeline is approximately four weeks to complete this fifth and final phase of the design and con-struction of the chiller replacement project, and 29 weeks into the total job, the team will have spent the final $315,000 to complete the IPD infrastructure project. All mechanical, electrical, and BACnet interface has been completed, started up, and individual trade contractors have completed their own punchlist of work.

Deliverables shall be:
  • Mechanical, electrical, and BACnet interface has been com
  • pleted.
  • Startups and punchlist work completed.
  • Final air and water balancing and system commissioning, including system trending.
  • Demolition and cleanup.
  • BIM record drawings, along with facility management’s “Top-10 BIM O&M layered drawings” laminated and posted in the chiller room for quick reference.
  • Bar-coded equipment PM workorders ready to be implemented using the CMMS, including JCAHO compli-ance.
  • Eco-management carbon footprint reduction statement, along with team signature at time of hospital’s acceptance of the project.
Note: If this had been a DBB project delivery process, the entire design, bid, build, and construction timeline would have taken approximately 46 weeks to complete.

PERFORMANCE PHASE (AKA WARRANTY PHASE)

During the first year of operation, the BACnet computer software will trend the system performance, providing performance feedback to the entire team. Midway through the chilled water season, this data will be reviewed and a lessons-learned meeting will occur to revisit the process to make edits to the hospital’s new IPD process guidelines. ES