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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beyond blueprints: 3-D saves time, money - Boston.com

When you ask yourself why the construction industry has adopted BIM faster than a speeding RFI, it's because it's all about the money

"About 85 percent of a building’s costs happen after construction"

Since the contractors get most of the owner's money, that gives them a lot of cash to invest in BIM software and training. I really don't know how the architectural and engineering industry is going to catch up once the recession ends. If you're sitting on a 2008 or earlier license of AutoCAD or Revit, it's going to cost you $5470 per seat to move up to Building Design Suite Premium. Meanwhile, my phone doesn't stop ringing from contractors wanting to upgrade their Revit and Navisworks licenses to Building Design Suite Ultimate.

It's really so unbalanced that I don't know how CAD architectural firms are going to move into BIM. Plus, there just aren't enough BIM savvy people out there to hire. No money, no software, no resources. I hate to sound like such a downer, but you've really got to start thinking this through before it becomes a reality.

The worst part is that the firms that have already adopted Revit have such a head start on their competition, it means that they'll be swamped with work.

Source: Beyond blueprints: 3-D saves time, money - Boston.com

Sophisticated software is letting builders bring new precision to major construction projects
April 25, 2011|By Casey Ross, Globe Staff

It was the kind of problem that could quickly turn a construction project into a nightmare.

A drainage pipe for a new research center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester was in the wrong place. Left there, it could require that a large hole be drilled through the $400 million building’s foundation.

On any other project, it would have meant a complicated and costly fix. But in this case, the problem was discovered months before construction even began, while university officials were scanning a laser-precise, 3-D virtual model of the building created by the contractor, Suffolk Construction Co. of Boston.

“We just asked them to move the drain line, and it ended up saving us a lot of time and money,’’ said John Baker, a UMass employee overseeing construction of the building, the Albert Sherman Research Center.

THIS IMAGE is from a video produced to show the sequence of how steel would… (Suffolk Construction Co.)

The center is among a new generation of buildings being constructed with computer design technology that is not only changing the construction process, but how the new structures are ultimately used.

In addition to flagging design problems, the modeling software allows builders to accurately predict factors such as how much sun exposure a building will get on specific days of the year. That information can then be used by future occupants to set interior lighting controls and cut energy costs.

“About 85 percent of a building’s costs happen after construction,’’ said Jay Bhatt, an executive with Autodesk Inc., which manufactures the software used to design the Sherman Center. “What we’re doing is connecting the 3-D model to [mechanical] systems in the building, so owners can monitor performance and costs.’’

Modeling software has been available for years, but Massachusetts contractors have only recently begun to use it on major projects.

Among the primary users is Suffolk Construction, which also employed the technology to help build the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, as well as in construction of an expanded hospital and emergency wing at Bay State Medical Center in Springfield.

“You can actually design these buildings virtually and get them perfect,’’ said Peter Campot, an executive at Suffolk Construction. “I was at a future technology conference the other day where they showed a 15-story building in Japan that was built in six days.’’

The Sherman Center, scheduled for completion by 2013, will take a few months longer than that. But the 515,000-square-foot facility, which will contain space for classrooms and medical laboratories, is precisely on schedule so far, according to plans created using the modeling software.

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Anonymous,  May 3, 2011 at 7:18 AM  

The only problem with the scenario where contractors are the BIM implementer is that in order to get the 85% savings you need check your design at the design stage before construction documents go out for bid. The savings are not so significant is the model checking happens simultaneous with the construction. As far as who gets the money, is not relevant to this. All the money comes from the owner, who should be able to require the most effective workflow

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