Commissioning Authority essential to Integrated Lean Project Delivery

The term “lean construction” and the Integrated Lean Project Delivery® (ILPD) system have gained much traction in the construction industry over the last few years. ILPD is becoming one of the primary methods of building projects in the health care industry and is being embraced by major resort industry leaders as well. This method has become attractive to owners, architects, engineers and contractors alike because of its unique collaborative style, use of technology and profit incentives. Typically, all major players in an ILPD project are financial stakeholders, which is intended to drive the team to finish under budget and ahead of schedule and deliver a quality project.

Given the goals of ILPD are to embrace collaboration, eliminate waste and deliver an efficient, functioning product, it makes sense that the Commissioning Authority (CxA) should play a vital role in any ILPD project. The following are ways in which the CxA’s role enhances the overall ILPD process:

  • The CxA is included in meetings and charrettes from the beginning. The role of the CxA can be easily overlooked during typical large-scale construction manager at risk projects. Having the CxA always present reinforces his or her role to the rest of the team.
  • One tenet of the ILPD process is that everyone has a voice. ILPD on-board design reviews can get very in-depth because everyone is involved, especially if the owner has many stakeholders. The CxA in the ILPD process still provides an independent, third-party review as it relates to the functionality of the project’s building systems.
  • The CxA reviews building systems, especially those for which the work is done by subconsultants or subcontractors that are not equal financial partners. This can typically include building envelope systems and building automation system controls.
  • The CxA provides a “sanity check” throughout the ILPD process. Traditional design standards and traditional submittal requirements typically aren’t used, because it is the ILPD team’s responsibility to determine what provides the most value to the owner. The CxA can provide that extra layer of quality control to make sure “most value” does not mean “value engineering.”

The presence of ILPD in the industry will only grow in the future. The CxA can play a role with any project type, but ultimately is an integral part of any ILPD project.

For more information, please contact Bradley Perrott, P.E., at

Posted on March 18, 2016