1. Integrated teams agree on a clear path forward before construction starts.
    • Key team members are selected before the design phase.
    • The team defines project goals and maps responsibilities for going forward together.
    • Input from multiple disciplines helps find the best solutions.
  2. Integrated teams achieve greener buildings.
    • System efficiencies are discovered through identifying synergies.
    • Waste and redundancy are avoided through better coordination, thus reducing material, energy, and water use.
    • Contractor and trade input during design increases cost predictability, which protects green features from being cut during construction.
  3. Integrated teams save the owner money.
    • Construction costs are weighed from the beginning.
    • Fewer changes are made later in the design process, when they become most expensive.
    • Fewer Requests for Information (RFIs) and change orders are placed.
    • Embedded contingencies and variable costs are reduced.

An integrated team generally spends more time and energy making decisions early in the project, when the ability is highest to affect the project positively. Results include making fewer changes down the road, when changes become more expensive (Figure 1) (Wilson 2014).

“ What creates the difference between a frustrating project and a fulfilling project? Everyone we’ve talked to mentions education, alignment around purpose, reduced ego, and clear direction. ” - Bill Reed, Regenesis Group


Figure 1: Cost and effort of design changes as project progresses

Shortcomings of the traditional design-bid-build approach:

  • Projects take longer to complete since all the design work needs to be finalized before the contractor is procured.
  • Knowledge is lost in the hand-offs between project phases.
  • Adversarial relationships develop because separate contracts create competing incentives for team members.
  • Any cost savings from selecting contractors based on the lowest bid are offset by extra costs incurred in change orders, construction rework, litigation, or reduced quality.
  • Performance outcomes in terms of energy and water efficiency and occupant comfort fall far short of what is cost-effectively achievable.

The problems in numbers:

  • 30 percent of projects do not meet schedule or budget (FMI Corporation 2007).
  • 7–11 percent of construction costs are spent on rework, which causes delays (Zach 2013).
  • 92 percent of project owners say architectural drawings are insufficient for construction
    (FMI Corporation 2005).
  • 37 percent of materials used in the construction industry end up being sent to the landfill
    (Kristine Fallon Associates, Inc. 2012).
“ By fixing our linear and non-holistic process, which is fraught with redundancy, we can start to significantly downsize or eliminate a building’s mechanical systems. ” – John Boecker, 7group