Monday 29 July 2019

Model Integrity Checklist

I wrote a post a couple years ago on Model Integrity and developed a checklist for checking your BIM. Model integrity is becoming more crucial as projects are becoming more complex and model data integrity is a crucial aspect of deliverable quality.

BIM Integrity is a topic I will be writing more on soon, so keep posted! 

I have recently revised this list so I'm re-posting this topic.
 This checklist is part of a protocol to maintain model integrity.

This is a simple checklist where the auditor can verify model content and process making sure that the Building Model is constructed in accordance with your standards and project requirements. 

Verifying Model Integrity periodically throughout the project reduces the risk of incorrect modeling causing misinformation and/or additional unnecessary work.

Validation of the model provides a guide to address any potential model issues, the intention being that the recipients of the model know the file is fit for use and will not require additional work to fit within the project framework. 

This checklist allows for issues to be tracked and resolved in a timely manner as they arise.
An Audit should be carried out periodically throughout a project to verify model content integrity by the Project Model Manager as well as by the BIM Manager.

A copy of this audit is to be kept on file as well as sent to the BIM Manager upon completion.
It's a basic two-page checklist. 
Here's a sample of some of the items:
  • Is the Project Information Data completed
  • Has True North and Project North been established and used correctly
  • Is the Standard Project Browser being used properly
  • Complete spell check (you will be surprised)
  • Is all text in upper case
  • Delete unnecessary Reference Planes and 3D views
  • Purge the "coordination" model
  • Revisions, Site Instructions, C/O’s been completed according to the Standards
  • Are Annotation styles consistent with  Standards
  • Are Dimension styles consistent with Standards
  • Are Drafting Lines being used where the Linework Tool would be better (and Visa Versa)
  • Are Line styles consistent with Standards
  • Is the Level of Detail in the model appropriate for the scope of work
  • Are objects on the Correct Workset
  • Is content all approved by Model Manager
Some of these are pretty basic and common sense but it's always good to be able to check it off and know that it's been done. I'm sure there is much more, please feel free to send me your comments and I'll post them to this blog for everyone to view.
Integrity in Modeling is key to quality, risk mitigation, and general good practice!


Monday 22 July 2019

What’s your Workflow?

Recently I’ve been working on updating my production workflow documentation, this is the documentation of the workflow required to deliver architectural projects, specifically Building Information Model (BIM) projects. A workflow is a roadmap that anyone can follow at any point on the path to project delivery, providing information through a graphical workflow diagram, associated documents, and resources for each phase of project delivery. It is a very clear, precise document that provides staff with a clear understanding of what they need to do. By providing clarity, direction, and purpose the results are improved job satisfaction, increased production (utilization) and greatly improved risk mitigation due to improved quality and clarity of tasks.

An effective workflow is extremely valuable. However, it is only valuable if it is being utilized, communicated, enforced and kept current to meet the rapidly evolving demands of your clients and the industry.

A workflow is an essential tool for any design process, however, I rarely see clear production workflows being used within the AEC industry. This may be because the main focus is on the Architecture of the building and communicating the design intent to the client rather than the production of the Architecture. As a production focused person I’m more interested in how we deliver the design as part of our contractual obligations, our deliverables are fairly consistent, therefore our process and workflows are also fairly consistent. Sure, each project is a prototype and has its own unique set of circumstances and requirements, but the process of production is common and can be based upon the same workflow framework. This lack of workflow framework is where many design firms lose profit and greatly increase risk.

The Solution: Spend time looking at your workflow, go through each step by step process from procurement to handover. You already have the information as you are already delivering projects, it just requires clarification, documentation, and fine tuning so your workflow can perform better.

A high performing workflow  = A high performing project team

Your workflow should include the tools you need to accomplish a task or deliverable, this would include the forms, checklists, documents, best practices and execution plans that clearly describe the expectations and outcomes (deliverables) at each phase, and, importantly, clarification on the project team roles and responsibilities so your team know the “who, what and when” of a project.   
Successfully implementing a workflow requires a change in culture, it demands effective communication and total buy-in from leadership, otherwise, it is doomed to failure. Implementation of an effective workflow requires a sense of urgency by all for it to be adopted successfully and therefore secure your successful future if it is maintained and enforced effectively.

Changing Culture by Changing Workflow

Make your workflow clear and easy to follow, make the resources current and readily accessible. Experience has proven that if it doesn’t work…change it. Often I find that there are too many processes that do not work and too many redundant resources inhibiting success, typically they’re too complex, ineffective or simply out of date. That doesn’t foster change, it inhibits change.

This process is not simple and takes planning, time, effort and investment, but it’s an investment in the sustainability and continued viability of the organization. Recently I’ve chatted with a number of people struggling with this in our industry and I often hear the comment “we're losing our key performers”, and  our best people are leaving, even if we offer an incentive package to stay”, what remains are those that are complacent and are quite happy to maintain the status quo… a process that is broken.

Change the Workflow, Change the Culture

Monday 15 July 2019

Where Has Our Sense of Urgency Gone?!

Are we so risk-averse that we are actually inhibiting our own progress?

We analyze, assess, review, meet, discuss, email, meet again, document… all in the name of due diligence. And then we promptly fail on implementation. We spend so much time and effort ensuring that our next step is the right one we actually fail to take the step!

This is due to the lack of Urgency!

Without a sense of urgency, we lack passion, inspiration, energy and we fail to inspire in others a sense of urgency. Without inspiration people become complacent, lackluster becomes evident in their production and deliverables, efforts to implement new initiatives become half-hearted attempts that are doomed to fail at launch or at best, very poor participation and adoption.

We start initiatives such as implementing a new process or introducing new software and by the time we have completed the “due diligence,” we've lost momentum, enthusiasm and the sense of urgency, all of which are critical to the success of implementation.

I’m not encouraging anyone to start an initiative without looking into the details before jumping in with both feet, you do have to make sure it’s the right fit. However, far too often I see initiatives or implementations fail because there is no sense of urgency, meetings get pushed, information is slow to come in and development of a comprehensive report can take months.

I am advocating for speeding up the process by setting deadlines, milestones and instilling a sense of urgency.

With today’s evolving technology its prudent not to agree to a long-term commitment, if you are not planning to review your position again in 12 to 18 month you are doing yourself, and your company a dis-service (that’s another topic).

Research, review, ask for recommendations and make a decision, then initiate. It will succeed only if you have the belief and the enthusiasm to fully implement the initiative…with your sense of Urgency! 

And I kept this post short so I can get back to some urgent business!

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Efficiency in the AEC Industry – Going Beyond BIM

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry need to realize efficiency in delivery and production, the current in-efficiencies result in poor project performance, loss of profits and increased risk. There are three distinctly separate entities that must come together to perform the function of delivering our built environment projects; A: the Client, B: the Designers, and C: the Constructors. All of which are operating as separate entities, yet entangled at the demand of the project. Some project delivery contract types try to “facilitate” collaboration, but essentially the same can be achieved with the right guidance, thorough simple willingness to collaborate from all stakeholders. The industry is demanding innovation, this has been proven time and time again by the adoption and integration of technology over the past decade. The rate of change required to maintain not only market participation, continued profitability and even competitive advantage is increasing rapidly. The industry is due for a change, not only are our clients demanding changes in time and cost but also social responsibility and market demands for sustainable, cost-effective buildings are ever increasing. Today's customers are more in tune with their needs and wants, which has a significant impact on today’s built environment market. BIM has certainly facilitated this evolution in the AEC industry, improving the design, collaboration, project management, and construction processes, however, the next revolution is upon us. It is time for us to meet the needs.. no, the demands… of our customers. Much like how the smartphone has evolved since 1992 from a personal communicator to today’s intelligent devises, our built-environment needs have evolved from “dumb” building to one that now interacts and meets the technological expectations of today's generation. This is evident in the growing interest and popularity of Smart Cities. Silos are crumbling, disciplines are relying on the exchange of information and data from all aspects (some yet to be defined) of the project delivery process. Cross collaboration and engagement starts earlier than ever before in an effort to meet the clients demands of time, budget and intelligent deliverables. Now is the time to dive deeper into Building Information Modeling, and “mainstream” the already capable functionality and utilization of the Building Information Mode beyond the simple model and data used for construction. This wealth of information is traditionally left on the table after construction, and subsequently underutilized by the client. Today there exists a wealth of programs, utilities, technology and applications that can utilize the BIM during and beyond design, construction, procurement, operation and maintenance, utilizing data that is readily accessible as a result of the design and construction process. The demand is there, expectations of clients are growing as they understand the benefits of utilizing this wealth of readily available information. Our job, as industry participants and representatives, is to embrace this revolution and not let the fear of change prevent us from continued participating in this exciting, evolving industry.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Addressing Affordable Housing Crisis Through Digital Innovation and Technology

Undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges facing Canadians today is affordable housing. 

To address this issue cities will require commitment, investment, and perhaps most of all, innovation. 

The design, construction and operation industries, which have been built on traditional workflows, are poised for disruption. New technologies, digital processes, fabrication and efficient assembly methods are no longer on the horizon, but are already showing us we can design, construct and operate the housing and infrastructure we need, not only faster and cheaper, but more sustainably as well. 

Join us in Toronto to learn more about new methods and technologies that will impact how we deliver affordable housing and cities in the future.

CanBIM announces that registration is now open for the CanBIM Regional Session where we will address the Affordable Housing Crisis Through Digital Innovation and Technology
This event will be held at the Toronto Hyatt Regency on September 25th and 26th 2019.  

For further information visit the CanBIM Events web site: HERE

Registration is now open: Click HERE to register