Applying all five of the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) key principles of integrated project delivery (IPD), Balfour Beatty Construction and its IPD team recently delivered 26,000 square feet of interior space in Lincoln Property Company's Bridgewater Corporate Center in Fairfax, Virginia. The project represents one of only a few dozen "true" IPD projects to reach completion, according to the AIA.
IPD is a cutting-edge project delivery method structured around a highly collaborative team of owner, architect, contractor, and other key stakeholders, a process characterized by more reliable information and open sharing of project goals, risks, and rewards. The result is increased value to the owner and reduced waste and inefficiencies through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction.
Completed within budget and on schedule for timely occupancy, the space-which covers the entire fifth floor of the Class A building-purposefully showcases sustainable features to help educate employees and visitors about the sustainable, collaborative, efficient, and state-of-the-art office environment. Designed and built to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification, the area serves as Balfour Beatty's new North Region headquarters and achieves the goal of a sustainable work environment that supports the efficient teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration inherent to successful team-based project delivery.
An IPD case study
Because Balfour Beatty Construction's business philosophy and construction practices align so closely with the IPD process, the company chose IPD as the contract delivery method for design and construction of the new space. The IPD team formed during the summer of 2009, with Balfour Beatty approaching the project in the unusual role of owner and tenant, as well as contractor, selecting as partners FOX Architects of Washington, DC, for planning, programming, and architectural design, and Engineered Systems Alliance of Virginia for turn-key MEP design and construction services.
"Team collaboration and client engagement-they're key in delivering successful projects for our own clients," explains John Tarpey, CEO of Balfour Beatty's North Region. "IPD requires collaboration, engagement, transparency, and shared risks and rewards. It's an extraordinary process that is transforming behaviors and project delivery."
The team used early process mapping, established project goals, and identified maximum allowable budgets in key scope areas. Program development and validation phases benefited from digital program analysis and alternate study, which then populated early building information models. The models were supplemented with full-floor digital laser scanning to match existing conditions with as-planned design status and coordination.
The project was truly a "learning lab." Demonstrating their commitment to maximizing small business participation, the IPD team awarded more than 40% of design and construction contracts to under-utilized businesses. Other project goals included safety, sustainability, and process efficiency. To capitalize on the learning opportunity, the team chose to pursue LEED Innovation and Design pilot credits 5 and 6, which encourage use of the IPD process to achieve sustainability goals.
Sustainable work environment
In support of a Balfour Beatty global sustainability initiative, the IPD team designed and installed features and systems that advance the firm's sustainable business practices such as tracking scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. Sub-meters were installed in the space to measure the office's electrical usage, which will be benchmarked against an established baseline. This will allow Balfour Beatty to track actual performance of energy-saving strategies and seek ways to continue reducing energy consumption. The team focused on LEED 2009 for Commercial Interiors credits including daylight harvesting; reuse of existing furniture; regionally sourced materials with high recycled content; recycling programs for paper, plastic, and aluminum; efficient manufacturing processes with a "zero waste" goal; green housekeeping; educational outreach; material and equipment recycling program; and GREENGUARD-certified furniture. To help educate employees and visitors, signage and materials identify and describe the key sustainable materials and features in the space.
Efficient teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration
While the new, 26,000-square-foot space has approximately 2,000 fewer usable square feet than Balfour Beatty's previous office space, the efficiencies in layout is a dramatic improvement. The previous space consisted primarily of enclosed offices, each in excess of 150 square feet, and included five meeting spaces. In contrast, the new space features an open plan layout with custom-designed workstations, accommodating 25 more employees and featuring 13 meeting spaces. A large employee kitchen/lounge area was created as a critical space for both work-related and personal interactions among employees, supporting Balfour Beatty's philosophy of sponsoring cross-functional interactions, idea exchange, problem-solving, and engagement.
About Balfour Beatty Construction
The growing Balfour Beatty Construction family-which today includes SpawMaxwell, Barnhart Balfour Beatty, and Charter Builders-provides commercial construction services through 2,100 professionals across the U.S. Through strong regional offices, the company provides general contracting, at-risk construction management, and design-build services for public and private clients nationwide. Balfour Beatty Construction is a Top 10 Green Builder and was named one of the 2010 100 Best Companies To Work For® in the U.S. by Fortune magazine. The company is part of London-based Balfour Beatty plc, a global leader in professional services, construction services, support services, and infrastructure investment, with more than $18 billion in annual revenues. To learn more about the business and its subsidiaries, visit balfourbeattyus.com , spawmaxwell.com , barnhart-balfourbeatty.com , or charterbuilders.com .
About FOX Architects
Fox Architects, LLC is a nationally recognized design firm specializing in Architecture, Interior Design, and Graphic Design with offices in Washington, D.C. and McLean, VA. www.fox-architects.com
About Engineered Systems Alliance
Engineered Systems Alliance was created by the mid-Atlantic's premier mechanical contractor, electrical contractor, and engineering design firm to provide turn-key, mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and tele/data design and construction services to general contractors and owners. www.esadb.com