This is a must read post from bimcompletethought.blogspot.comI wanted to drop a quick note to everyone to let everybody know that as a whole this is what I am starting to see as the trends emerging in the world of Revit/BIM, as well as the fundamental changes that I believe will occur over the next two years in the architectural profession.
1.) FMI group in the 2007 annual owner survey says that the biggest problem owners have with architects are incomplete documents.
2.) Contractors surveyed replied that overall the largest problem that contractors have with architects are incoherent CDs and communication.
3.) Lastly the American Census Bureau now reports that over the past twenty years the entire AE industry as a whole is declining in perceived quality/value, technology use, and profitability.
Where we are at is a crossroads in our profession. I have said it before, and it couldn't be truer in our practice as architects and designers we are beginning to get away from the reputation and perception of master builder and are now being perceived more and more as "design professionals," with little or limited knowledge of the actual inner workings of a building and a total disconnect witht he actual construction process.
Here's where I'm headed...the Superdome in Louisiana, (the one that stood up to Katrina) was built using 31 pages of working documentation and was constructed in less than four years from 1971-75.
270,000 s.f., a complex laminella beam structure, advanced modern design and multiple trades.
How many pages would that take today?
Here's the tougher question. Why?
With BIM technology where it is and the professionals that form the very foundation of the AE communityI seriously question the practice of over-documentation. The CYA approach to design and construction is dead. Here's why:
Contractors don't look at your drawings. Gasp. I know. Be offended be scared. But you should be hacked off and wondering why the bathroom partition mounting detail that took you three days to draw won't even garner 2 seconds worth of the contractors attention. I know this is shocking and I know it was a detail in the standards library, but it is yet another point on the ever growing space in between what information architects thick need to be on drawings and what information the construction crews actually use to build. How it is actually built using the contractors "means and methods" to get it done, needs to be second knowledge to architects. Second to the necessary design language needed to create a better and more healthy and environmentally friendly world to live in.
I got asked this question five years ago when i was six months out of school by a contractor, "Why (when it is the contractor's responsibility to use the means and methods of construction they see most fit) the architect is detailing the head jamb and sill detail for a window they have not been trained to install, don't know the tools necessary to install it and will not be responsible for carrying the warranty on that aluminum storefront framing?" I asked what was important to show and the contractor looked surprised and just answered "Tell me at what depth you want the window to sit in the wall...you could even show it in elevation."
Think about it.
Engineers are worthless. Ok so that might have been a bit harsh let me rephrase and say that engineers who draw information that is completely different from the MEPS subcontractors calculations and shop drawings...they're useless. Why waste time drawing what won't be built? The entire idea of a drawing is to graphically represent to the constructor what is to be built and installed. By using BIM, engineers now have the tools to grab the responsibility and rewards of a truly coordinated model and potentially stop many of the issues before they hit the field. The question that I've heard a couple of times now is why are subcontractors drawing in 3D and my engineers (who are supposed to be more techno-savvy) aren't?! Ask your ductwork subcontactor on your next project, it's scary. Also ask the steel fabricators too, sometimes they'll have 3D models they're using as well.
Confused? Wondering why the information is going to the c and c machines more detailed and accurate then ACAD lines? You got me too. Seems that it would be a whole lot more useful to the entire AEC team if either the subcontractor was brought on board in the documentation phase or that engineers stepped up and created BIM's of their portion of the project.
Collaboration = Success. I don't think I need to elaborate on this point any more. I think we've seen that the current way just doesn't work. The endless trails of phone calls and emails are bordering on ridiculous. Not to mention using old technology to meet today's needs! We have the tools and those who have chosen to use them are seeing the rewards.So what's the new thing then? Anyone can complain about all of this, what works?
Integrated Project Delivery, Project Alliancing, tbc...