The term integrated practice is gaining momentum today but is a philosophy of practice that has been around for some time. When the architect worked with craftsman guilds centuries ago the sophistication of building systems was far simpler and the architect needed to provide very limited documentation because the craftsmen were the experts regarding a particular building system or element, and the architect worked with those experts to ensure that the project intentions were met. Today, given the variety of specialized uses, increased expectations and sophisticated building systems, we now experience a far different project delivery.
In our Design/Build projects, and to an extent on our GC/CM projects, we have had the benefit of working with an integrated team. Like a political system benefits from three branches of government, so does a new building delivery. Even though a democratic metaphor may not be the best, because we all know the client is the monarch. But there is value in having developer, designer and constructor intelligence working together; bringing their different perspectives to bear on the project. The best teams are made up of ones that have proven they can work together, respect differing opinions and come together to marry up the best of their ingenuity, innovation, economy, efficiency, constructability and ultimately their collective performance at a high level. We have completed a number of high profile design build projects, both public and private, that brought together all factions in a coordinated and highly effective process. The value of having all parties contribute to finding the most appropriate and beneficial solution in any aspect of the endeavor is a rewarding experience.