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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Design-BIM-Build: A new paradigm for the AEC industry

I was having a conversation this evening with a gentleman named Victor.  He's one of us, the passionate BIMwits who know inherently that BIM is just the right thing to do.

During our chat, I thought popped into my head.  It's crazy, but I immediately pulled over, turned on my iPad and logged into my domain provider to see if a particular domain name was available.  

Surprisingly, it was.  I thought for sure Kimon would have owned it, but I'm officially the proud owner of DesignBIMBuild.com.

This is the future ladies and gentlemen.  Imagine the concept.  Come up with the conceptual design of the building, create the virtual model using our trusty BIM software and then build it.

Of course, that premise requires the new paradigm of not Big A/Little E or Big E/Little A, but here come the words that have so many of you 2Ders really scared.  It's Giant C, tiny A, Big E.  It's a cost driven, constructability focused, energy efficient building project.  The new decision makers are the contractors who are focused on cost containment, zero clashes and giving the owner a project, finished on time and on budget.

How do we do this?  It's called BIM.  It's just what your clients ordered.  How far away are we from this?  It's already here.  I've sold Revit to contractors who have created their own architectural departments.  One even created a new company name so as to no piss off the architects they were currently working with because the owner wanted a design/build project.  

Is Giant C tiny A IPD?  I'm not sure just yet.  Every day another developer sees what BIM can do for them.  Here's the wacky part.  It doesn't cost the owner a penny to require BIM on a project.  The contractors are happy to do it.  Why is it just the architects and engineers who are fighting BIM?  What are you so afraid of?  Liability?  Accountability?  Making decisions with the owner's best interests in mind?  

There's an army of us out there now.  You can find us on Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.  The internet is our microphone.   We are right and you are wrong.  BIM is better.  CAD is crappy (in regards to designing buildings).  Green is good and polylines are poopy.

Design it-BIM it - Build it.  It's so logical.  Why do you insist on using 28 year old technology to provide the construction documents.

Construction documents....Documents for Construction.  Are you really fully documenting everything needed for construction today?  Who knows, try BIM and maybe your fees will go up instead of down.  

I'm sure this post will elicit some reaction.  Forward it to all of your friends and let's change the world, one model at a time.


Alan June 17, 2010 at 12:09 AM  

Very interesting. Good job on the domain purchase. It will indeed be interesting to see if the divide between 'design architect' and 'architect of record' transforms on some projects into 'design architect' and 'BIM/Technical/3D Coordination Architect'.

Victor D. Ramsey II June 17, 2010 at 6:46 AM  

Thanks a MILLION Greg,
I've since learned to stop trying to convince others to do what I am meant to do. So do I continue to try and educate them just so they can have "skin in the game"? NO, my new quest is to be the game that everybody wants to have skin in!
BIM already is and owners are demanding smarter collaborative DesignBIMBuild. A sustainable end product where they actually get what they pay for rather than the conventional means and methods where competitive bidding where you come in low but the owner ends up paying for it later because the A, E, C & O's Still haven't learn to play well together. I remember there was a little box called citizenship on my grade card back in the day. I always failed that and there was a space for notes where the teacher would add, "Victor needs to learn to play well with others" Seems I'm still working on that these days.
So who wants to end up like the Swiss Watch or the US Auto industry for not hearing Deming? This is not a new concept yet and old one that I suggested back in 05 while at a "BIM" convention at the Global Learning Conference Center. "We need to develop this BIM thing into a method like ISO or QS is to the automotive industry if we are ever going to realize a better end product" Enter IPD.
I don't know what anyone else is going to do but I'm pretty sure of my future so I think my next post on facebook should be "friend me now or Fan me later" don't worry you'll get that in 5…4…3…2..

Trent,  June 17, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

Real quick, I just wanted to disagree with one of your statements, and that is making the contractors seem like heroes in trying to reduce the cost of a building, because that is not their game (for the most part). This push to BIM is because of contractors, the moment they get a bid, they throw as many RFI's and Change Orders at the Architect, that they essentially render him/her impotent because they have so many RFI's to respond to. The GC doesn't want to make a cheaper building, they want a more expensive building, but want to be efficient and cheap about it to maximize their profits. In our business, there are many times sacrifices by the Architect in time, money, costs, plus design to make a building work and get built. In my short career in this business, I have not seen a contractor bite a bullet once, just to see the building get built. Anyway, my Rant is that we need to be careful about glorifying contractors. BIM is in response to the new age of builders not knowing how to build. A good example of this? When was the last time you have seen a new building with the old-style details? Carvings, faces, etc? Every day our buildings are driven from being works of art to boxes. A lot of this comes from Architects knowing that they cant find the skilled labor to accomplish the work, and even if they could, the costs would be too much. So we embraced BIM because it helps us to fix the little human errors, that only a decade ago, the GC would have understood our intentions, or been professional enough to give a call and ask. That was before this day and age where we almost have to detail the method of how to properly swing a hammer to drive in a nail...

Victor D. Ramsey II June 17, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

If you had ever been a GC and received a set of CDs from Architects and engineers you'd know the need for RFIs. If you had ever been an HVAC contractor and seen systems oversized (typical practice) so that they never run long enough to really do what they were designed to do in the first place, have equipment and duct layouts designed and routed with no thought for FM or material waste. Have been the electrician, Data or Technology contractor and end up with your chase "always" right next to an elevator or even been the guy who started out as a carpenter framing houses wondering why 20 years later we are still designing houses with holes in them for venting with all the new technology. Having been on both sides now I still believe the most amicable solution for proper coordination is still going to be a BIM solution. Case in point, while in an IPD meeting one of the contractors said my material comes in four foot lengths to which the engineer responded, "wow, I wish we would have known that years ago" to which the contractor responded "yeah it could have saved us thousands of dollars in wasted steel." With BIM/IPD I am finding that all finger pointing and blame goes away along with the competitive bidding process because what is gained is an education and what is developed is an understanding which promotes and ethical working relationship as opposed to the cut-throat-stab each other in the back mentality. Eventually you won't have guys like me in the field making statements like "whoever designed this did not have to do my job everyday nor ever do FM" or "dumb contractors can't even drive a nail". By the way I can still do carved woodwork, plaster, and drive a nail with the best of em, that is if we were still using hammers. There are tons of craftsman still around only if there were as many Architects/Engineers who had gotten their hands dirty along the way maybe they'd be easy to recognize and more appreciated. I doubt it though…

Anonymous,  June 24, 2010 at 4:22 AM  

More architect bashing...

Why are designers not adopting BIM? I could have sworn seeing a survey saying designers were the biggest early adopters. What has changed?

If we haven't its probably because apps like Revit pretty sluggish at handling even medium sized jobs. What a time waster.

BTW, you should be aware that IPD is meant to replace Design Build as a better procurement method.

Developers are pretty clueless about where the problems are. Hey, they are the ones that pushed D+B, before they realised, taken at the industry level, savings were going to the GC and not them, especially on large projects.

Mike Scatine,  June 24, 2010 at 5:20 PM  

The issue as I see it is that the industry has passed on the most valueble tool...and it's not 3d, it's 2d. Why, because that is all the builder uses to building the structure anyway...right, layout with a tape and pencil???Think about it, it won't take long to figure it out. We builders want a seamless solution that creates 2d lay-over templates that are CAD centric, job specific. That my friends is how to deal with fragmentation and errors and waste in construction. I don't have night vision or anyother vision but common sence. The data is all there, but the product isn't. Why ask the CAD vendors...they'll likely say,"no demand" oh ya just ask the builder if he wants a seamless transion from CAD to template, go ahead, ask yourself if that isn't a game changer!

How come, how come it takes a nobody like me to answer the issues for an industry...Love to hear your comments and remarks.



Anonymous,  June 24, 2010 at 7:01 PM  

I'd like to hear more about templates. How big are they, how are they printed? I bet the labor/mat. saving would outweight the costs.
Do you have a picture of them or are they just an idea? My mind is working overtime on this concept.
ie. you could orginize Green building framing methods, one could advance OVE onsite. Bring it ON!

Victor D. Ramsey II June 25, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

@ Mike,
Are we talking cartoon sets? I'm not following the concept. Builders "that I work with" are currently excited about the fact that they can ask me "can you take me to that area of a drawing/model and because it is a model I can. I am able to give them a much more accurate depiction of the design in those areas while they are able to offer suggestions in design changes earlier because of the use of a model. This is especially important in Process work where mistakes can prove to be VERY costly. You are correct however if you are just building homes or typical commercial projects one could take the stance of "why bother" however when you are contracted to do Hospitals with technology runs, med gas, and millions of dollars in equipment alone typically going in at the last possible moment to realize the latest and greatest technology or working on Process jobs, you'll at least want intelligent P&ID's to go alone with that 2D sandwich. Those are just my thoughts but then the view my angle had been quite skewed.

mike scatine,  June 27, 2010 at 4:43 PM  

To Victor:
What are Cartoon sets? What I mear are 1:1 scale framing templates that you install over the top/bot. walls plates. These would be 2d layout that are seperated becuase their mirror image of one another.

Dose that make since? How do we do it with Revit? Autodesk just released a framing add-on app. would that work?


Anonymous,  June 27, 2010 at 4:51 PM  

One more.
Why bother you ask?
You could create green building right from your desktop.
You would completly aline with the plan.
It would much faster.
Win/door RO would work on site...
Likely more beenies too. I predict you could save 15% overall in layout time/saving from rework and install green building conditions onsite. You can tell I want it.


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