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Friday, March 13, 2009

What happens in Vegas....gets blogged about and read around the planet.

Well, today I finished day 3 at Autodesk One Team Conference. Had some interesting classes. Did some great networking and had great conversations with other resellers. I'm very happy with the direction Autodesk is moving in. More and better BIM. Analysis tools getting rolled out. Fabrication tools getting added to the process. More industry focus rather than product focus and my personal favorite, BIM for Construction. Being a GC, I've been telling the BIM for Construction story for 5 years now. Sitting in a session today about construction , I was smiling the entire time. Working with 4D and 5D is going to be lots of fun. Today I learned that I'm so far ahead of my competition in the ability to have the conversation with contractors and subcontractors that I decided to blog about it, not to brag, but to offer assistance to anyone out there reading this who has questions.

The article below got it's start 2 years ago when my wife and I walked into a hotel in Vegas and there was a display with a video and some really cool renderings of a cluster of buildings. It was called CityCenter. The salesperson told me it was a project with 8 different architects. My first question was 'were they using Revit?'. Of course she asked what Revit was. I just said thank you, walked away and said to my wife, this is a disaster in the making. Just to be sure, I just asked my wife if she remembered and she said "of course, we were laughing, we knew at the time that it was going to be a disaster." She said she'll never forget it because one of the architects was Cesar Pelli and we had sponsored a lecture by him just a few months earlier at the Miami Performing Arts Center.

Imagine my surprise today finding out that one of the towers which was supposed to be 49 towers was cut to 22 stories because of design or construction problems. What do you tell an architect that is internationally acclaimed project is being cut in half.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. BIM is going to fix a lot of issues that current methods, workflows and processes just can't effectively work with. I'm not even going to blame it on AutoCAD anymore. It's not the software. It's who's using it and how it's used. It's the capabilities of technology. It's analysis and design tools. It's using the power of newer technology to solve a lot of very painful business issues that the AEC industry faces every single day across the planet. Is the argument 2D vs 3D? Is it AutoCAD vs Revit? Is it CAD operators vs designers? Do you want to be part of an emerging market or a submering market?

The recession is going to end. Firms will be smaller. They will have to be more focused and work smarter. Only the strong will survive and Revit will play a big part in the transistion from survive to thrive. I sat in on a class called 'How to Sell in a Down Economy.' Yes we know you have reduced funds and pipeline. Business is slow. Is this the time to invest in Revit and training your staff or do you stick with your current software and hope for the best? Tomorrow, Friday the 13th is the last day of Autodesk 2006 product retirement. It's not too late to upgrade your licenses from AutoCAD 2006 to Revit Architecture Suite 2009. Can you afford to? Can you afford not to? We believe it's a matter of when, not if. If you're reading this and have Revit, are your engineers using it? If your engineers are using it, are you sharing the model with your contractors?

It's time to read the article and you'll understand why we have to do something to improve the process of designing and construction.

Perini redirects blame for errors at Harmon

Design flaws, company president says, were mishandled by subcontractor, inspectors

Alexandra Berzon * Las Vegas Sun *Feb 08, 2009 19:00 EST

Perini Building Co. is disputing Clark County's claim that construction problems alone and not design problems led to the faulty installation of reinforcing steel at CityCenter's troubled Harmon tower.

In a statement Friday, company President Craig Shaw said Perini stands by its opinion that design conflicts contributed to the Harmon Hotel structural issues and that portions of the structural drawings, as designed and permitted, contained elements of reinforcing steel that could not be installed as drawn.

Perini, the general contractor on the $9 billion project, also attempted to implicate Pacific Coast Steel, the projects reinforcing steel contractor, and Converse Consultants, the third-party quality control inspectors for the site.

Unfortunately, Shaw said, both companies attempted to resolve design conflicts by modifying the placement of the reinforcing steel, as it was installed. Because the third-party inspectors did not notify the county or Perini of the problems, these issues did not get elevated to the appropriate .. levels of authority, Shaw said

The companys attempt to assign blame to Clark County, the subcontractor and inspectors foreshadows what is likely to be a lengthy battle over liability for extensive remediation on the 15 floors of the Harmon, where the reinforcing steel was improperly installed. The structural problems, along with the faltering economy, prompted owner MGM Mirage to shorten the Harmon by 21 floors from 49 stories to 28 stories.

The county has consistently maintained that the plans it approved for the project were drawn up accurately and should have been easy to decipher.

If they had followed the plans, there would not have been an issue, county spokesman Dan Kulin said Friday. The subcontractor (Pacific Coast Steel) did not follow the approved plans.

Pacific Coast Steel and Converse Consultants have not returned calls for comment.

In a July letter, project engineer Halcrow Yolles defended the buildings design.

The current information we possess leads us to believe that our design has been adversely compromised, Halcrow Yolles associate Trent Miller wrote. The apparent lack of quality control that has occurred must be addressed and resolved before the continuation of construction of the tower.

Halcrow Yolles representatives have declined to comment on the Harmon.

The 15 floors of wrongly installed rebar were discovered last summer by a Halcrow Yolles representative. By then, much of the rebar had been covered in concrete.

County officials have noted that if the subcontractor or general contractor found the drawings problematic, they could have formally requested that the engineer clarify the plans.

In addition, people familiar with the project say Perini should have had its own quality assurance officers on the site to catch the problems.

The Nevada State Contractors Board is the venue where the question of which party is responsible for the problems will be disputed.

continue reading....Perini redirects blame for errors at Harmon

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