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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Read my lips...much more BIM.

Sorry I haven't been posting so much the last few days, but I've been sick and super busy.  Maybe the recession has ended because I just don't have nearly as much time as I used to.  Plus, trying to stay on the cutting edge of BIM and keep my company light years ahead of my competition seems to be a little time consuming as well.

Anyway, there's a lot I want to say of late, and some of it is not politically correct.  More of the meaning that there are a lot of parallels to politics and BIM.

You've heard the phrase "read my lips".  I heard that said a few days ago, and my BIM brain came up with "Read my line weights, no new change orders."

From that, my brain moves to Wisconsin.  All this talk about unions and breaking them.

Did you every look up the word 'union'.  I did...and copy and pasted it here for you. What do you know, it's about joining things together, just like BIM.

Definition of UNION

a : an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one: as (1) : the formation of a single political unit from two or more separate and independent units (2) : a uniting in marriage; also : sexual intercourse (3) : the growing together of severed parts b : a unified condition : combination, junction union of excellence and strength>
: something that is made one : something formed by a combining or coalition of parts or members: as a : a confederation of independent individuals (as nations or persons) for some common purpose b (1) : a political unit constituting an organic whole formed usually from units which were previously governed separately (as England and Scotland in 1707) and which have surrendered or delegated their principal powers to the government of the whole or to a newly created government (as the United States in 1789) (2) capitalized : the federal union of states during the period of the American Civil War c capitalized : an organization on a college or university campus providing recreational, social, cultural, and sometimes dining facilities; also : the building housing such an organization d : the set of all elements belonging to one or more of a given collection of two or more sets —called also join, sum http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/union

Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States?  Have you ever read the very first line of the Preamble.  I mean, the very first sentence of the entire basis of the United States.

Well, here it is:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union
 Now, that's very confusing isn't it. Well, for the sake of not pissing off half my audience, I'm just going with the fact that BIM joins everyone together for the sake of the project. 
How about the United States of BIM?  BIM for architects, BIM for engineers, BIM for contractors, BIM for subcontractors, BIM for owners, BIM for facility managers and BIM for owner/operators.  How many states of BIM are there?  How many levels of BIM are there?  How many nuances.  What does Level 300 of the E202 mean to a subcontractor on their first BIM project.  When the owner says they want BIM, do they have any idea what they're really asking for?  How does an architect make more money with BIM when it reduces the amount of time needed to create a set of CDs.

How to we all join the BIM union for a more perfect project?  I guess we need to write a Constition of BIM.

I'll leave you with this.  I saw this photo yesterday in an article.  How much of what happened in Egypt, and now in other countries, was started by access to information.  Look at the picture.  It's amazing at how the technology of information has really tilted the world.  Does information free us from the oppression of lack of information?  Is BIM the process and technology that sets the design industry free?  Will you no longer be a captive of the dark screen and drawing lines all day? 

Image source

Yes, it's a lot to think about.  The freedom of information and the use of information certainly will be the deciding factor in the new world of the AEC industry.

Contractors have Building Information Modeling.
States, utiilities and large companies have Geospational Information Systems.
The architects have Requests for Information.

There's certainly something unbalanced in all of that.

There is no doubt in my mind that it is truly that sharing of information and all of the goodness inherent in properly used BIM that will set us all free.

Note:  None of this post was intended to be a political or personal statement about being pro or anti union.  My father's business was a union contractor.  When I first started working for him, I had to pay union dues.  On the positive side, there was a level of higher quality and pride in workmanship that came with the apprentice program and being taught how to be a craftsman and artisan.  Over the years, things became more political in the union and it was more about more money and less work.  I know we lost jobs because our overall price was higher because of having union labor.  I saw some of those same projects we lost look like crap with lesser quality workmanship.  

Did organized labor create some benefits like job safety, the 5 day work week and other little tidbits?  I'll finally leave you with this photo of a worker on the Empire State Building.  With such little regard for human life and 

Hine, Lewis W., Photographs of the Empire State Building under Construction, 1931. 91PH056.063: A worker hanging onto two steel beams Source:

Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.


Lindsay and Parley February 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM  

Organized labor today is FAR from what it used to be. I'm pretty sure that your post DID tick half your audience off. Your liberally slanted comments are sneaky, but obvious at the same time.

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