Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Chris Ruehl


Due to the environmental impacts of buildings and the increased demand for sustainable construction, it is essential that the construction industry can effectively deliver green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system to aid in the construction and evaluation of green buildings. The project delivery method, chosen by the owner, can affect the achievement of project targets (e.g., budget, schedule, LEED certification). The most utilized project delivery method is the traditional Design-Bid-Build (DBB). Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is an emerging project delivery method that has gained attention for the potential to deliver buildings more effectively (i.e. reaching or exceeding project targets) than previous methods. Currently, there is a lack of IPD research regarding green building.

This research compared the most widely used DBB method to the IPD to identify the superior project delivery method for constructing a LEED certified building. Sixteen case studies of both DBB and IPD commercial construction projects in the U.S were studied. The research found that the important contributors to the achievement of LEED certification goals include early involvement of key project participants, collaboration, and use of technology. Although these factors can be utilized with both DBB and IPD project delivery methods, IPD facilitates the use of technology and incentivizes early participant involvement and collaboration. Thus, IPD provides more assurance that project performance targets (e.g., LEED certification) will be met or exceeded. This research recommends the adoption and utilization of IPD as the method of delivery for LEED projects in order to minimize the impact of buildings on the environment.