Reducing time and costs – The OptEEmAL Platform and its links to the Integrated Project Delivery approach

06.03.2017 – The so-called “Integrated Project Delivery approach” – or IPD approach – is at the core of the OptEEmAL platform. Currently, the “Optimised Energy Efficient Design Platform for refurbishment at district level” is being developed by the OptEEmAL project partners. Within this platform, the IPD approach ensures that all relevant stakeholders of building and district retrofitting projects are involved.

But what defines the IPD approach? How exactly is it used within OptEEmAL? And what are its advantages and the expected savings? ACCIONA, the project partner responsible for coordinating the development of the stakeholder involvement through the IPD approach, provides some answers.

What is the background of the Integrated Project Delivery approach and what does it stand for?

Since the nineteen sixties, the construction industry has been experiencing a decline in its productivity, partially stemming from more and more construction sites being behind schedule as well as using up more budget than planned.1 The reason of these unfulfillments can be explained by the different aims and point of views of the main actors in the process – the owners, designers and constructors.

Using ideas coming from the Toyota Production System and the new computer technologies, the American Institute of Architects developed an approach to overcome the actors’ instinct of focusing only on their specific part of the project and make them look at the whole project. This so-called “Integrated Project Delivery” (IPD) approach focuses on the early involvement of the entire set of actors, on shared information in real time and shared incentives of all actors.

How is the IPD approach used within OptEEmAL?

In the scope of the OptEEmAL project, we have committed ourselves to develop IPD-based user profiles and interfaces within the platform. This shall ensure the involvement of all relevant stakeholders during the design process of retrofitting projects. We are also developing practical guidelines on how to involve all of these relevant stakeholders in the process. The main goal in mind is the one proposed by the European Commission: the reduction of the total costs by at least 15 % compared to existing solutions.

What impact do you expect by applying the IPD approach in OptEEmAL?

The advantage of the IPD approach is the fact that the use of new technologies ensures early contributions of knowledge and expertise. This allows all team members to better realise their highest potentials, built on collaboration, mutual trust, transparency, shared risk and reward, and to operate as efficiently as possible.

With this processes, the potential impact expected from using the IPD approach in OptEEmAL is even more ambitious than the one proposed by the European Commission: There are evidences of cost reductions during the design phase by 19 % to 25 % in the operation phase which could lead to a decrease of over 50 % in the return of investment.

Thank you very much for your answers!


ACCIONA Infrastructure is a leading European construction company designing, constructing and managing buildings and civil infrastructures under sustainability principles. It has an international presence in more than 30 countries and its turnover in 2014 was about 2.6 million €, employing 15,270 people.

ACCIONA is always looking for new business models that can be applied for sustainable economic growth. The IPD approach could be a fundamental part of any business model for construction in the next future, especially when taking into account the globalisation that the construction sector is experiencing.

Contact details:

ACCIONA Construcción

Acciona Construction Technology Centre

Calle Valportillo Segunda, 8
28108. Alcobendas (Madrid)

Patricio Moreno Montero | +34 91 791 20 28

Alejandro Martin Barreiro | +34 91 791 27 02


1 US Bureau of Labor Statistics: