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Friday, July 16, 2010

BIM and Supervision

Today I had the honor of working with a consultant who does nuclear power plant renovations.  He's hired our company to model all of the components within the power generation system and then tie it all into Navisworks, Primavera P6 and use it for maintenance, equipment upgrades and facility management. 

It was quite an interesting conversation and it was pretty exciting to be able to bridge the gap of his years of experience and tie it into the newest of technologies (BIM) to manage the workflow and processes necessary to take a nuclear reactor offline and quickly do all of what's needed to maintain or upgrade equipment.  

During part of the conversation, my client, who's from England, was talking about his responsibilities, what's required and was discussing the project supervision.  I can only attribute what I'm about to say to his accent, but the way the word came out really stood out in my mind.  

su·per·vi·sion  (spr-vzhn)n. The act, process, or function of supervising.
What I actually heard him say was "super vision".  I heard him say it as two words, not one.  When it comes to BIM, what do we get?  Super Vision of course.  The ability to visualize and analyze the project from design to engineering to construction and through facility management.  
Do you have super vision?  Can you see everything in the building with x-ray eyes, look at 2D drawings and know exactly how everything will fit together and know what is missing on the plans or what's going to clash? 

His whole point for hiring us was because of what Revit, Inventor and Navisworks can do to help his team get the job done.  I hope you find all of this as profound as I do, a word so simple and common that can bring a whole new meaning to the power of BIM. I had my BIM vision over 3 years ago and sometimes I feel like the Richard Dreyfuss character from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Meanwhile, during a nearby large-scale power outage, Indiana electrical lineman Roy Neary experiences a close encounter with a UFO on a dark country road and is soon caught up in a police chase of four UFOs. Roy becomes fascinated by UFOs, much to the dismay of his wife, Ronnie. He also becomes increasingly obsessed with mental images of a mountain-like shape and begins to make models of it.
Funny..."begins to make models of it".  Ok.  I'm done now.  You can all go back to your computer screens and continue to draw your colored lines on those very special layers.  I'm going to go call Randy and have a discussion about BIM Super Vision!


Randy Deutsch July 17, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

Gregory -

What I especially like about the play on the word(s) supervision here is the fact that in the early 70's architects walked away from responsibility when they replaced the word "supervision" of the job site intheir contracts with the more innocuous word "observation," thus beginning the marginalization of the profession while filling the wallets of other design and construction professionals who were willing to supervise.

Here we are, several decades later in the age of BIM, and ironically this new acceptance of super vision represents perhaps the first step for architects to regain some of the terrain they had in the past given away.

Thanks for helping to bring this around full circle.


PS Sorry I missed your call - I was out of town and always look forward to our discussions.

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