Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Is BIM De-skilling our Workforce?

I've been a part of a number of discussions recently on the "abilities" of our team, the basic skillsets of putting together a drawing package. We (I too am guilty of this) have been so focused on developing BIM skills, the understanding and knowledge development associated with BIM that we have missed the bigger picture.  

Deskilling; the term refers to a person becoming less proficient over time.

As I've addressed previously, BIM is just a tool, a process utilizing applications that enables our design abilities to shine. “Tools enable us to amplify our abilities”

Has BIM contributed to the reduction in the knowledge and understanding of how to bring together a drawing package?

Has the focus and development of the digital model (Building Information Model) been a detriment to the need of understanding how we deliver projects?

This is what I have seen lately and has been a key discussion point with my colleagues. My colleagues and I have found a decrease in the ability of our newly graduated staff members to bring together a drawing package, or even the ability to “cartoon” the development of projects drawing package required during the early stages of a project.

Their BIM skills are great, their ability to develop a model is sufficient to accomplish the project tasks required, as is their understanding of the benefits and advantages of utilizing the BIM. However, I’m receiving complaints from the project managers on incomplete drawings, lack of content and having to instruct staff on the basics of compiling a drawing package… and I agree, the models are developed, all the information is there but the sheets are not complete. There is not enough emphasis placed on the need to document the model.

Until we get to the point in our industry where the delivery of the model is preferred over the traditionally required set of “drawings”, the knowledge of how to compile a set of drawings will be crucial in the accuracy and ability for our drawings to portray the information required to construct the project through the delivery of a construction set of drawings (documents). 

So who’s responsible? Is the BIM community responsible for this diminished skill set in favor over another, or is this a result of the demand on the education community to provide graduates with a comprehensive set of BIM skills?

In reality, it is the Industry. What I mean by that is that (as I’ve mentioned numerous times) we are trying to incorporate new technology and related processes which change the traditional process. Ultimately, we are all responsible and we all have a role to play in balancing the skillsets of our upcoming leaders in the industry. Their design skills are fantastic, their comfort of using digital tools is amazing and I’m sure in the near future digital delivery will become the norm until then we still need to provide the contractor with the information he needs to build a building. We are cheating ourselves, the contractor and ultimately the client by not documenting adequately the information we have at our fingertip within the BIM.

We need to bridge the transition from traditional to digital.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Owners +AEC Executives + BIM = New Business

As technology evolves, workflows and delivery methods are changing the way we do business.  Owners are progressively understanding the benefits of adopting BIM and are creating a new business vision and strategies, resulting in a shift, which will require the design team, contractors, and trades to integrate data and digital information with their deliverables. Doing so will add value to the planning-design-construction-operation process resulting invaluable business opportunities and strategies to all stakeholders.  

With all this potential, there are many challenges still to address,  such as financial, contractual and legal matters among others. Our Calgary Regional Session will address these challenges through a series presentations and panel discussions.

Join us in  Calgary on June 13-14, 2018 at the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire
255 Barclay Parade SW Calgary, Alberta for our CanBIM Regional Session.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Autodesk Cloud Services Status

I just found this, actually, a colleague sent it to me (Thanks, Melissa!).
View current status and upcoming maintenance schedule for the Autodesk Cloud Services

This site from Autodesk shows the current and historical status of the Autodesk Cloud Applications.

However take it with a grain of salt, I've received mixed reviews on its accuracy but at least it'll be a good place to check if you're having issues. Make it part of your "checklist" if you're having issues with any cloud applications.

Here are some screenshots:


Monday, 19 March 2018

The Evolution of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality has come a long way in recent years, many Architectural firms have invested in Virtual Reality technology, further utilizing their Design Models. The benefits are numerous, and in some cases surprising. When I first introduced VR into our office in 2014 I want to create a buzz around this technology by having all levels of staff experience VR. My thoughts were to utilize this visualization tool as a design validation tool, having our clients virtually experience the space to gain a better understanding of the design intent, and that worked well, I think most design firms utilize VR for this reason.

What I didn’t expect was the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Project Managers.
Project managers really enjoyed walking through the digital model of their project, they would inspect crucial design area’s and after experiencing the space was able to make improvements and minor tweaks to further improve the design.

Jump to 2018 where Virtual Reality has progressed to the next level, multi-user VR.
In the past Virtual Reality has been a single user experience, no one else was able to interact with you directly within the VR environment. That has now changed, Virtual Reality companies like IrisVR have developed Multi-User platforms where numerous people in a variety of locations can come together in a VR environment to engage and discuss the design.

What a great opportunity to bring together people who are engaged in an international project, working together across great distance.

I recently set up a test of IrisVR’s Prospect (Multi-User platform), so I contacted Sam who is a IrisVR Customer Experience Associate to set up a challenge for him. I contacted my colleagues in Sydney, Australia, San Francisco USA and Stuttgart, Germany and had Sam, who is located in New York to set up a live demo for me.

Here’s some of the feedback I received.

“In general, the experience has me more enthusiastic now more than ever of what VR can do to transform how we think about and approach collaborating!”

“This was an exciting moment when I was able to 'dial in' using Virtual Reality goggles combined with bluetooth headphones to both review and speak directly with the team. The computer wifi was able to keep up comfortably with the call and actions during the review process.”

“The VR Meeting worked really well and it was very responsive. Super easy to set up.”
“You can talk with the other attendees, see where they are looking at, where their hands are and also what they are pointing at.”

“It certainly felt like we were in the same room together.”

If you want to learn more about IrisVR’s Prospect click the LINK here.

I love this technology, anything that further utilized our Building Information Model is great!


Monday, 12 March 2018

CanBIM Montréal Regional Session - April 11-12, 2018

Please join us for our upcoming Regional Session in MontrĂ©al on April 11th & 12th, 2018.
We’ll hear from industry leaders on the latest technology trends, BIM processes and methodologies. We hope you will take advantage of the early bird rate before the deadline on March 15, 2018.
You won’t want to miss this!

Monday, 29 January 2018

The Many Dimensions of BIM

In the design and construction industry, we talk a lot about Building Information Modeling (BIM) which is the process of creating a digital, information-based 3D model of a project. This could include buildings, factories, warehouses, infrastructure such as roads, bridges, mechanical services, structures, and much more.

As we progress with BIM, data becomes more important and a crucial element of the BIM and the project. We can utilize these model elements and information beyond the creation of construction drawings. Using this information, our models can go beyond simple 3D into 4D, 5D, 6D and even 7D.

3D: Modeling
3rd dimension (3D) modeling is the digital representation of the intended design or existing condition. The combination of digital model elements and associated information (data) used during the design phase can be included or associated with the model. These 3D models are used during the design process and facilitate coordination of all consultants’ design models and are also used for clash detection. For existing conditions, 3D BIM is a digital representation of the existing condition, a scan of a building, structure or site.

The model can be utilized for a variety of uses including visualization, early building performance analysis, sustainability evaluation, preliminary cost analysis and the generation of documentation (drawings). Collaboration, clash detection, and design review are all aspects associated with 3D.

4D: Time (Scheduling)
The 4th dimension associated with BIM is time and the management of time including construction sequencing and scheduling. 4D is typically used to show an intended time lapse of the construction schedule; linking model elements, assemblies, and data to a schedule.

For example: Construction sequence of concrete pours and the scheduled delivery of concrete based on the volume and location of the pours in a day.
Scheduled delivery of materials or trades.

5D: Cost (Quantification)
5D is the progression from 4D by combining the cost of the quantities and time. By linking model elements and assemblies along with the schedule (4D) to establish related costs, this model can be used to quantify materials and the cost of construction.

Model-based estimation of construction, estimating the capital costs including the cost of purchasing and installing components or assemblies. The 5D model can enable us to visualize the progress of construction activities and its related costs over time.

For example: Floor finishes based on the room area to quantify how floor finish volume can be used to calculate floor finish cost.
The cost of drywall based upon volume combined with the hourly rate of labor. 

6D: Performance
There is still some confusion in the industry regarding the exact definition of 6D and 7D, and they are often combined. 6D can be utilized for energy modeling and evaluating the proposed design for building performance. It can also be used to measure and validate estimated energy modeling against actual performance.

For example: Using sensors within the building to track building performance by monitoring heating and cooling levels.

7D: Facilities Maintenance and Management
Asset Information Model (AIM), using the BIM to maintain and manage the asset such as a building, equipment, structure, etc. Linking model attributes and data to support facilities management and operation. Used to manage the ongoing “life cycle” cost of the building.

Streamlines asset management over the life of the building and provides a database for ongoing tracking, maintenance and management.

For example: linking the maintenance schedule to a piece of equipment such as a cooling tower or heating pump.
Staff seating map for each floor, manage and track furniture (assets) within the building.

8D: Deconstruction
8D, which is rarely discussed or graphically represented and involves the building “afterlife,” the decommissioning, demolition, repurposing or recycling of a building or structure.

Utilizing the BIM we can understand how best to deconstruct the structure, what materials are involved (and even the quantities), or how best to repurpose the structure.

Graphic by The BIM Jedi

Friday, 26 January 2018

The Value of BIM: Kamloops

Kamloops Satellite Session

Thompson Rivers University

February 13th, 2018

805 TRU Way
Kamloops British Columbia 
V2C 0C8

Technology has been a key aspect of the construction industry for some time now, more and more projects are completed using Building Information Modeling, from small residential projects to large community projects, technology and the management of information in the design and construction industry is quickly becoming the norm.
During this conference we will be looking at a broader aspect of the Value of BIM, from many aspects of the AECOO industry, we will hear how the industry is utilizing BIM and adds Value to the AECOO industry. There is so much more to BIM than designing infrastructure and buildings, the "I" in BIM is where the value lies, the utilization of this "information" impacts all aspects of the AECOO industry from procurement of materials to efficient planning of construction and building operation.

From efficient construction to improving building design and performance, BIM has an impact on our day to day operations and a long-term impact on our industry. BIM plays a significant role in not only how we design and construct but also in how we how we, schedule, and deliver construction projects.