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Re: Design Checking - Here and Now and Future of Engineering

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Keep in mind that Don, if I remember correctly, does both the design and
general contracting for many of his porjects (according to a description
that I recall him offering).  As such, it might work rather well because
as both GC and engineer/architect, he gets the full benefit of BIM even
though it might take the design side a little more effort, cost, or
potential liability.  For most situations, this may not be the case.  In
most situations, you have seperate desgin firm that will have the
increased cost of hardware, software, and training of a more "advanced"
system not to mention the potential additional work of doing things that
they have traditionally not done, but most clients will not pay them more
for such additional expenses.  And then you would have the GC that might
gain some benefit with potentially little to no additional expense or
effort and yet not have to surrender fee to the design firm.  The point is
that a BIM system (to my knowledge) at least can shift who is doing some
portions of a project and thus who bears the burden on those costs, yet
the money that the client pays to the various parties does not necessarily
shift in the real world to reflect those shifts in the division of labor.
Thus, if you already do all those functions, then as long as there is an
overall net benefit to the entire process from BIM, you are positioned to
benefit from it.  If, however, different people do different aspects, then
while there might be an overall benefit to the whole process by using
BIM, individual companies could lose out big due to the money not
necessarily following the shift in who does what.

And I will also offer that BIM is a tool, just like many other things out
there (i.e. computer structural programs, CAD software, project
coordination websites/software, etc.).  And with any tool, how effective
it is becomes a function of how well the ENTIRE process embraces the use
of that tool and also whether or not it is used correctly.  I have worked
on projects where one of these project websites is used and it is supposed
to make commincation better and help the project move faster.  Yet, it
seems that when I have used such websites (which are great ideas in
theory) on a project, the communication still sucks because putting up an
updated drawing on the website with a few changes that are NOT indicated
in some manner with say revision bubbles or such is essentially not much
better than not telling a thing (playing "hide and seek" with changes is
not what I consider good communication...and it does not matter if you
email me the changes or put them up on some "advanced" project website).
In addition, the project still did not meet deadlines because people could
not make decisions on key subjective decisions of the project.  Point is
that a tool is only as good as you make it in terms of your use.

And let me be clear...I have no objections to such systems not other
wonderful computer stuff.  It is more that how one looks at something can
be greatly affected by one's perspective.  In Don's case, he might see BIM
systems as working really well because the way that he works might result
in him gaining the true benefit from such systems.  On the other hand, a
person that JUST does design and does not do GC work may find that a BIM
system adds too much overhead costs initial to make it financially
feasible at this time even if it could help get some projects that he/she
might not otherwise get and whether or not it would help the overall
construction process of projects he/she is involved with.  And if someone
can't perceive the benefit, then they will not likely go for it.

Regards,

Scott
Adrian, MI


On Fri, 15 Dec 2006, Gary L. Hodgson and Assoc. wrote:

> After reading Jordan's post, I was thinking, as he was, that those
> systems are 10 years down the road for the average firm.
> Then you come along and say that your one man office is into it.  More
> power to you.  I hope you or someone else can elaborate on how you are
> handling it.  Cheers
> Gary
>
> Donald wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > Jordan,
> >
> > 10 or 15 months, maybe, not years.  Your argument is precisely identical
> > to the same argument made when CAD first arrived.  Who hand-draws now?
> > I'm essentially a one man office and I'd NEVER go back. I work on one
> > off, custom homes and also cookie cutter grocery stores.  The two are
> > both small and both love BIM.
> >
> > Spend $3K and 60 days of training and become my consultant. When you get
> > my stuff, the model is already built.  Size the beams and send it back.
> > I adjust the model and send it back to you.  Detail it. Poof, we're
> > done. Its way-cool.
> >
> > --Don
> >
> > ---------------
> >
> > For the majority of us, I don't think it's worth it...yet. That will
> > change. For the biggest projects, and tightly integrated teams, that
> > efficiency point is already here. For the most of us I think it will
> > probably be ten more years, maybe fifteen, before it becomes economical.
> >
> > For some of us, it will be even longer.
> >
> > Jordan
> >
> >
> >
> >
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