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Monday, February 15, 2010

BIM Question of the day: How do you demonstrate design and performance of architecture & engineerinig

I was reading a blog post at http://www.valanduseconstructionlaw.com/2010/01/articles/green/trends-in-building-green-update/ and it drives home the same message that we all know about the future and benefits of sustainable design.

One sentence in there really made me stop and think.

"Is there a commitment to demonstrated performance ... which is leadership" with regards to energy efficiency and sustainability.
As always, I like to put this in perspective of CAD vs BIM/LEED/IPD. I was at a job site today where the contractor overhead the architect say that this was the best set of construction documents they've ever put out. I was sitting in the room with the BIM manager and there are several thousand conflicts on the project and they're only a few months into the project.

Normally, you'd find these discprenancies while the M, E and P subcontractors are fighting it out for ceiling space. But on this job, the contractor requires all trades to provide a 3D model for Navisworks clash detection. There are so many conflicts, they've had to go to 3 coordination meetings a week. This methodology of the burden being on the GC and the subs to find the discrepancies, and find them before construction, is not even a choice on the project.

The quote above regarding demonstrated performance speaks for itself. I'm going add a few "layers" of complexity. As an architect, how do you demonstrate that your design works? How do you prove to the owner that the plans are complete, the systems work and that there are no conflicts? Do you even bother? Do you leave it up to the contractor? Do you review the submittals for clashes? What is your responsibility and liability? What if the owner charged you for every discrepancy on the permit set that led to a change order? Would that make you switch to Revit? What if buying Revit and training was cheaper than being backcharged for design flaws?

What exactly does it take for the design team to create a set of drawings that doesn't require the GC to completely recreate the entire building in Revit so they can find clashes? Why is it up to everyone else to double check your work?

How are you going to do all of this when it comes to a LEED project with specific energy requirements? How will you validate the energy use of the building and test the validity of the design before construction? What is your responsibility as design professionals?

As I watch the AEC industry transform before my eyes, I'm so curious as to how you make your business, technology, personnel and design decisions and how each of them affect your bottom line.

I received an email today with this little snippet.
Do they know what kind of shape the construction industry is in. I think it is time the architects and engineers by themselves and through the AIA and consulting engineering societies go to the Justice deptment and file anti-trust actions.

No one says you have to use Autodesk software. You can use mechanical pencils and paper. Even Microsoft Word can let you draw lines and create a floor plan. Are you going to file a class action lawsuit against every owner and government agency for requiring BIM or DWG file formats? You willingly bought a product. Did someone force you to buy your first copy of AutoCAD? Did someone hold a gun to your head and demand you buy Revit?

In so many businesses around the world, technology is used to automate and streamline. Would you hire an attorney if they used a typewriter? Would you go to a doctor without ultrasound, MRI or X-ray capabilities? Would you fly on an a commercial airplane that didn't have a radio, radar or GPS? Would you use a bank that used general ledger paper to keep track of your money?

You get the point. Oh, don't forget, for those of you who have Revit and haven't used it yet, the client is going to ask to see a sample of projects you've done. You can't fake that. Good luck.

Source:Trends in Building Green - Update : Virginia Real Estate, Land Use & Construction Law


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