This book shares a rounded perspective of how BIM and enabling technologies are changing the way we collaborate and distribute information. As an industry, we are constantly facing new challenges in the field of construction. This book will show how many of these challenges are being addressed with cutting-edge tools, leveraged with experience, and a practical application of the “right tools for the right job.” There is a shift happening in the construction management market in the context of technology, and this book serves as a catalyst for more fundamental changes that create positive outcomes.
The first version of BIM and Construction Management: Proven Tools, Methods, and Workflows (Sybex, 2009) by Brad Hardin was written just as the construction industry had largely begun to pay attention to this exciting new tool and process: building information modeling. Since then, the pace and transformational changes that have cascaded through the industry have been remarkable. Now clash detection, 4D sequencing, model estimates, and walk-throughs have become table stakes. Customers are now asking about Big Data, model to prefabrication, life-cycle energy modeling, project partnering approaches, and how BIM can mitigate other risk factors during construction. And still the pace of technology continues to move at an incredible rate.
The focus has now broadened from beyond BIM and the question is being asked, “If BIM can change the construction management business so significantly, what else can BIM do and what possibilities do other technologies hold?” This broader questioning of the tools, teamed with economic challenges, has given rise to a technological renaissance in the construction community. Because of the recession, many firms were forced to refocus and question the best way to deliver construction product to customers under new margin and overhead constraints. The early successes of BIM gave many organizations a starting point to focus on. Some firms didn’t stop at BIM and began taking a deeper look at not only the technology, but the underlying processes that were built around these tools. In this broader examination, there has been a significant push for innovation in construction technology and processes as well as enabling behaviors.
So What’s Changed?
To begin, innovations in technology such as wearable tech, cloud-based collaboration, and the continued removal of hardware constraints have opened many doors for continued impact. Additionally, process innovations such as lean planning and an overall challenging of many of the traditional constructs of the construction industry, such as CPM scheduling, documentation strategies, contract arrangements, and the roles of design and construction teams at large have brought about a refreshing analytical perspective to the way we deliver work. The result has been an exciting view “into the looking glass” of what the future of our industry holds. We may very well be at the point of another paradigm shift in which the analysis of industry norms combined with more informed construction consumers could bring about the next revolution in the construction industry. These customers continue to be less willing to pay for our inefficiencies as an industry. Because of these factors, this movement will focus on results-based deliverables, with technology acting as a baseline expectation instead of an innovation to deliver on the “best value” promise.
Arguably, all industries are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to uncover previously unexplored value potential. The construction industry is no different. Almost daily, it seems that companies and individuals are coming up with an array of potential opportunities for improvement that will surely shape the way we do work for years to come. On average, there are 20,000 applications a month being uploaded to Apple’s iOS store. Technologies like Google Glass, tablets, photogrammetry, mobile applications and a host of other potential hardware and software improvements are beginning to migrate into the way we do business; see the article at http://readwrite.com/2013/01/07/ apple-app-store-growing-by#awesm=~oDoS5C7qwveOnJ. What impact will these tools have? How much safer will they make our jobsites? How do we quickly analyze the value of these tools at a pace that keeps up with the market? Questions like these led us to believe that the construction industry needed a more rounded take on not just BIM and how it relates to construction management, but an overall perspective of what these tools are and the enabling ecosystem that shows a more holistic approach to the way we can improve the design and construction industry.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future….
Because of this broadened focus, this new edition will look at the results desired and show the process of selecting tools to get there. This book will also look at some of the cutting-edge applications that either work in tandem with BIM or operate outside of it, and provide significant value to users during the construction process. Some of these tools may relate to each other, whereas some may not. However, it is important to highlight where information links to other tools and where the gaps are because they
show the opportunities for improvement within our workflows as an industry.
An additional benefit of broadening the scope and context of this work is to better understand best practices on how construction management companies quickly analyze tools as they become available and how to implement the tools that create significant value and identify disruptive ones. Trust is everything. And this book delves deeper into the enabling behaviors and mind-sets that make the use of BIM and technology successful. Significant research has been done on this topic and the better outcomes as a result of teams having the right behaviors as well as better understanding people’s personalities and working dynamics. According to Profitable Partnering for Lean Construction (Wiley-Blackwell, 2004) by Clive Thomas Cain, “Strategic partnering can deliver significant savings, of up to 30% in the cost of construction.” One of the major benefits in BIM is the unlocked potential that comes from having trusted information available early that make for better informed decisions. Similarly, understanding your project partner’s abilities and the ways they work can make for a more meaningful dialogue and ultimately better workflows.
Lastly, this book will introduce the concept of information flow in construction management. While relatively new to the construction management space, flow is something that is critical in the performance of construction projects. If you have a project with good flow, teams distribute and receive information on time, in the desired format, and with clear expectations of the desired outcomes. Without good flow, projects jerk and start like a car without a consistent fuel supply, constantly grabbing at the next bit of information that will allow them to proceed with their tasks, all at the expense of the overall project as someone is consistently waiting on someone else. The goal of the Japanese term Genjitsu is the passing of reliable and accurate data to your fellow team members. The goal of BIM is to ultimately drive waste from the way we deliver construction projects to construction consumers. This book will show the value in information flow planning and how it is accomplished by focusing on passing the right information to project stakeholders rather than volumes of disconnected data.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book was written for those who wish to learn more about better ways to holistically leverage BIM and technology in the construction process. Those who will find this book
useful may be:
- Designers wanting to better understand construction managers’ tools and processes
- Construction managers looking to better understand the ways BIM and technology can be used to create better outcomes
- Subcontractors and project stakeholders looking to find ways to become a more valued player
- Owners and construction consumers who want to be more informed and who wish to create a more successful project and project team
- Students who want to grow their knowledge of BIM and technology in construction and learn how they should challenge the constructs of the industry where there are better ways of workingIn particular, this book is for those who are interested in creating a better paradigm of delivering the built environment.
It is not intended to be the sole definition of how to use BIM on a construction project, nor is it intended to be the definitive “how-to” guide. Rather this book is meant to delineate a way of looking for and delivering value in using BIM and technology. Readers will be shown how to challenge traditional deliverables and thinking, and how best to combine available project information and technology and pull these toward a desired end state.
How to Use This Book
This book is structured, in a linear fashion, similar to how a construction project would progress throughout the various stages until completion. The contents will walk users through tools that may be applied at various points along a project timeline and what the anticipated outcomes and results should be. The tools and processes highlighted are meant to be contextual and the concepts shown are for reference. To be sure, just as this book is printed, new tools are being introduced into the market that may very well improve on some of those mentioned. By reading the chapters in sequence, you should again an understanding of how the tools can work through a construction project, what information is required, what the outputs are, and where that information may or may not connect to other systems.
This book will show how to establish agreed-upon metrics in the beginning of a project to gauge project success from which the team as a whole will be measured. We will show screenshots of various workflows and how some processes work to illustrate interfaces, information required, and level of effort. Lastly, case studies will be used on relevant topics to show real-world examples of the tools and processes in action to further explore the use case and context of the topics within the book.
The chapters in this book are as follows:
Chapter 1: Why Is Technology So Important to Construction Management Chapter 1 has two purposes; the first is to act as a preview of the more detailed contents within the later chapters, as well as exploring where BIM and technology is being applied in construction management. This chapter will show ways BIM is used in construction as we collaborate together to virtually build structures and what impacts the various tools have in the BIM process.
This chapter will cover at a high level the places where BIM and technology can provide additional value. These areas of focus include a linear approach to the project cycle. We will walk through topics such as team engagement, pursuit and marketing, preconstruction, construction, and closeout with many other detailed subpoints such as contracts, scheduling, logistics, and estimating to give further perspective.
Finally, this chapter will discuss industry trends relating to where technology and BIM is headed and show you how to get ahead of the technology curve. The chapter concludes with how to achieve leadership buy-in, strategies to attract and engage the right talent to drive the use of the tools, and the results the industry has seen.
Chapter 1 Why Is Technology So Important to Construction Management?
The Promise of BIM
The Value of BIM in Construction
Where Does BIM Play a Role in Construction Management?
Project Pursuit and Business Development
Planning for BIM Success
Using Contracts in Planning
Analyzing Data in BIM
Designing for Prefabrication
Using Mobile Devices
Knowledge Platform Population
Where the Industry Is Headed
The Evolving Role of the BIM Manager
What Have Been the Results?
Chapter 2 Project Planning
Construction Manager at Risk
Integrated Project Delivery
BIM Addenda (Contracts)
AIA: Document E202