IWMS and EAM are buzzwords!

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology…. EAM and IWMS are “buzzwords”.


To achieve efficient the life-cycle management involved a list of competencies, processes, technolgies…  please add to the list!

  1. Collaborative construction delivery methods
  2. Transparency
  3. Common glossary of terms
  4. Common information exchange formats
  5. Management  “buy in”
  6. A focus upon “life-cycle costs” and/or “total cost of ownership” vs. “first costs”
  7. Metrics, Benchmarks, standardized and detail cost information – “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”.

Achievement of efficient life-cycle management of the built environment requires a fundamental shift in how the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, Owner) sector conduct business.  BIM and Cloud Computing are disruptive technologies that will assist in this “transformation”…which as already begun.. while economic and environmental market drivers will assure the transformation.

Adoption of collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), and Job Order Contracting (JOC) … both decades old… has accelerated, and also are important BIMF - Building Information Management Framework

BIM Technology and Process Road Map
BIM Technology and Process Road Map

change agents.

Via:  www.4Clicks.com – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery solutions for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC ….


Construction Disruption – BIM, Cloud Computing, and Efficient Project Delivery Methods

By Peter Cholakis
Published in the March 2013 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

Emergent disruptive technologies and construction delivery methods are altering both the culture and day-to-day practices of the construction, renovation, repair, and sustainability of the built environment. Meanwhile, a shifting economic and environmental landscape dictates significantly improved efficiencies relative to these facility related activities. This is especially important to any organization dependent upon its facilities and infrastructure to support and maintain its core mission.

The disruptive digital technologies of building information modeling (BIM) and cloud computing, combined with emergent collaborative construction delivery methods are poised to alter the status quo, ushering in increased levels of collaboration and transparency. A disruptive technology is one that alters the very fabric of a business process or way of life, displacing whatever previously stood in its place. BIM and cloud computing fit the profile of disruptive technologies, individually, and when combined these stand to create a tidal wave of change.

BIM is the life cycle management of the built environment, supported by digital technology. While a great deal of emphasis has been placed upon 3D visualization, this is just a component of BIM. The shift from a “first cost mentality” to a life cycle cost or total cost of ownership is a huge change for many. Improving decision making practices and applying standardized terms, metrics, and cost data can also prove challenging. An understanding and integration of the associated knowledge domains important to life cycle management is required, resulting in what is now being referred to as “big data.”

Cloud computing is also a disruptive technology, and it’s one that impacts several areas. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud computing is as follows, “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. The cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.”

It is perhaps helpful to define cloud computing in terms of its benefits. Cloud computing enables far greater levels of collaboration, transparency, and information access previously unavailable by traditional client/server, database, or even prior generation web applications. Multiple users can work on the same data set with anyone, anywhere, anytime, in multicurrency, multilanguage environments. All changes can be tracked to “who did what” within seconds (potentially the best form of security available), and information is never deleted.

The disruptive technologies of BIM and cloud computing will accelerate the adoption of emergent construction delivery methods and foster new frameworks. Design-bid-build, the traditional construction delivery method for decades, is inherently flawed. As a lowest bid deployment it immediately sets up adversarial relationships for involved parties. Owners prepare a solicitation for construction projects based on their understanding of them1, with or without third-party A/E assistance, and in most cases they go out in search of the lowest bidder. Then without a thorough understanding of the owner’s facility, bidders base their responses on the owner’s solicitation, plans, and specifications. Owners typically allow a period of time for bidders’ questions and clarifications; but the quality of this interchange is at best questionable if based solely on a written scope, plans and specifications, and/or a meeting with suppliers.

Design-build, arguably a step in right direction, falls short of bringing all stakeholders together. More responsibility of design and construction is shifted to the contractor and/or A/E. However, the dual level participation structure doesn’t assure the interests of all parties are equally addressed. Furthermore, the design-build process is typically reserved for major new construction projects versus the numerous sustainability, repair, renovation projects, and minor new construction projects typically encountered by facility managers (fms).

Because BIM brings together previously disparate information into a framework that enables decision support, using the technology requires a collaborative construction delivery method. The integration of the domain knowledge and robust processes required to allow fms, A/Es, and other stakeholders to achieve heightened levels of information sharing and collaboration is enabled by methods that include Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC).

Key characteristics of these emergent construction delivery methods include: choices based on best value; some form of pricing transparency; early and ongoing information sharing among project stakeholders; appropriate distribution of risk; and some form of financial incentive to drive performance.

Both IPD and JOC allow, if not require, owner cost estimators and project managers to “partner” with contractors, subcontractors, and A/Es to conceptualize, create, cost, prioritize, start, and report upon projects—in the very early phases of construction.

IPD, JOC, and Simplified Acquisition of Base Civil Engineering Requirements (SABER)—the U.S. Air Force term for applying JOC practices—are practiced simultaneously by a growing number of organizations and supported by digital technologies. These construction delivery processes are embedded within software to allow for rapid, cost-effective, and consistent deployment as well as the associated level of collaboration and transparency.

BIM and cloud computing are disruptive technologies that will accelerate the adoption of emergent construction delivery methods such as IPD and JOC. Construction delivery methods set the tone and level of interaction among project participants and can be viewed as the management process framework. When supported by BIM and cloud computing, the life cycle management of the built environment, and the associated management of big data, can be expected to become commonplace for many construction projects.

1303 profdev a 150x150 Professional Development: Construction Disruption


Cholakis is chief marketing officer for 4Clicks Solutions, LLC, a Colorado Springs, CO provider of cost estimating and project management software. With expertise in facilities life cycle costs and total cost of ownership in various market segments, he is involved in numerous industry associations and committees including the American Society of Safety Engineers, Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, Society of American Military Engineers, BIM Library Committee-National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBS), and National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee.

1 “The Art of Thinking Outside the Box;” Vince Duobinis; 2008.

BIM Requires IPD.

BIM requires some form of Integrated Project Delivery… Period.   Why you say?

Simple.  BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  BIM therefore, requires the integration of multiple knowledge domains, stakeholders and supporting technologies… from strategic and capital planning, through design, construction, operations, utilization, repair, renovation, adaptation, maintenance, and deconstruction.

Efficient project delivery methods such as IPD and Job Order Contracting (JOC) are integral components of efficiently managing the built environment over time.  The help define the specialized framework needed to enable Owners, AEs, Contractors, Oversight Groups, and other Stakeholders share information and collaborate to enable the appropriate distribution of resources needed to optimize the physical and function conditions of the built environments.


Via http://www.4Clicks.com – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software supporting IPD, JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA and featuring and exclusive 400,000 line item enhancement of RSMeans cost data with modifiers and full descriptions as well as integrated visual esimating/QTO, and contract, project, and document management…. all in one application.

3D, 4D, 5D BIM Growth — UK

BIM Life-cycle Managment of the Built Environment Supported by Digital Technology

A recent study by NBS provides a snapshot of  BIM (Building Information Modelling) implementation within the UK’s construction industry.


Conducted between December 2012 and February 2013, a cross section of 1,350 professionals spanning a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry including architecture, engineering and surveying were included.

71%  of respondents to the NBS survey agreed that BIM represents the ‘future of project information’.

39% confirmed that they were now actually using BIM.

Fewer than half of respondents are aware of the different levels of BIM, despite Level 2 being    mandatory on all Government projects by the end of 2016.

74% agreeing that ‘the industry is ‘not clear enough on what BIM is yet’.

Only one-third of those questioned claim to be ‘very’ or ‘quite’ confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

Despite the uncertainty around the subject, the survey once again supported the view that the greater use of BIM is unstoppable with 73% agreeing that clients will increasingly insist on its use, 66% saying the same about contractors and 51% confirming that the Government ‘is on the right track with BIM’.

Of those who have adopted BIM, more than half believe that the introduction of BIM has resulted in greater cost efficiencies whilst three-quarters report increased coordination of construction documents. Improved productivity due to easy retrieval of information and better quality visualisations were other gains.


Via http://www.4Clicks.com – Premier software and service for  cost estimating and efficient construction project delivery – JOC – Job Order Contracting,  SABER, IPD, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, BOS.  Featuring exclusively enhanced 400,000 RSMeans Construction Cost Database.

NIBS – Building Innovation 2013 Conference

I am writing this from Washington, D.C. while participating in the NIBS Building Innovation 2013 Conference.   The buildingSMART alliance conference is part of this gathering under the title “Integrating BIM: Moving the Industry Forward.”

BIM education and practice requires focus upon process and associated return-on-investment.   Robust communication and adoption of standard and/or “best practice” construction planning and delivery methods specific to efficient life-cycle management of the built environment are sorely needed.

It is amazing that Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and “IPD-lite”… the latter being Job Order Contracting and SABER which are forms of IPD specifically for renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction…  are not being brought to the forefront as critical aspects of BIM.    It is the construction planning and project delivery method that sets the tone of any project and ultimately dictate relationships and associated successes or failures.

Collaboration, transparency, and performance-based win-win relationships are necessary components of a BIM-based philosophy.  Yet, these and other critical aspects; including  defensible, accurate, and transparent cost estimating and standardized construction cost data architectures, are neither in  forefront of current thinking nor receiving an adequate allocation of resources.


Far too much emphasis continues to be place on the 3d visualization component aspect of BIM, IFC format pros and cons, and other “technology” areas.


Technology is NOT what is holding back BIM, it is the apparent lack of understanding of … and associated failure to adopt … facility life-cycle management processes… combined and what can only be described as a pervasive “not invented here” attitude.

Many of of our peers are reinventing the wheel over and over again at tremendous cost to all stakeholders…Owners, AEs, Contractors, Subs, Oversight Groups, Building Users, Building Product Manufacturers, …not to mention our Economy and our Environment, vs. sharing information and working toward common goals.

Cloud Computing 101 – The Internet – The Web

Cloud computing and BIM are disruptive technologies that will finally alter the culture and fundamental framework of how the AECOO sector (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owner, Operations) does business.   To appreciate this potential, however, requires a basic understanding of the following terms: The Internet – The Web – Cloud Computing – BIM.

The Internet is the substrate underlying the web and emerged from Darpa-funded (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) work in the 1970s.  The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks   that use the standard protocols, for example,  TCP/IP, to serve billions of users worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks, of local to global scope, that are linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries an extensive range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext   documents of the web (world wide web, www.) and the infrastructure to support email.

The Web  (world wide web, www.) was invented by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire /European Organization for Nuclear Research)  in the early 1990s.  The web is a system  of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet.  With a browser (Explore, Chrome, Firefox…) one can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia and between them via hyperlinks.

Having worked with both, including deploying on of the first truly web-based FM applications in 1998, I appreciate the scope of these two words.  Many, if not most, do not.

Now on to Cloud Computing, the delivery of standards-based computing, applications, and storage as a service to a public or private community of recipients.  It is the the delivery of   a standards-based method of providing service in a wide variety of virtual and physical domains that is a key aspect.   Computers now existing  in our homes, offices, cars, and pockets, and virtual computers exist in the cloud.  Computers have traditionally have worked within data networks as clients;  consuming but not provide services. This is changing rapidly, Computers that live in the cloud provide as well as consume services. This differentiation may be of little importance to many/most businesses whose computers are being “virtualized”, the processed of simply moving data/IT centers off-premises.   In this case, day to day processes, and fundamental business practices are not being affected.

Standards and services, and the unparalleled level of collaboration resulting from integration the Internet, Web, and Cloud Computing are converging to create a wave of change that is  now upon us. 

The cloud is social... on a very personal level.  For example, computers performing services for us live in the cloud, alongside computers that work for other people in the same and within other organizations.  People doing the same, similar, or related tasks in different locations, languages, currencies, etc.   How effectively your computers can work for your depends on how well they provide services accessible to those other computers.  This requires data standards, common processes, common lexicon, …..  If computers and people they don’t use common, robust terms/formats/processes, they can’t provide those services, and so they can’t efficiently, accurately, securely, and transparently do their jobs.

So, what’s cloud computing?  Computers and people working collaboratively and providing enhanced productivity, speed, accuracy, security, and transparency for you.  Everything working together and “playing nicely”, with virtually no bandwidth  limitation within an ecosystem of standards-based services. worth.   Thus, don’t fall for “cloud-washing”, the practice of taking legacy applications and porting them to virtual servers in the cloud.  You gain nothing.   Do your homework and look for standards-based true cloud computing applications that can “play nice” with everyone and deliver a better, faster, and actually fun way of doing work!

Now for BIM.  BIM, building information modeling, is the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.  BIM requires standards, common terms/lexicon, collaboration, cloud-computing, robust processes, efficient delivery methods, and so much more. The below graphics highlight components of a BIM framework.

BIM Framework

Collaboration, Transparency, Accuracy, Process, and supporting Technology – The Keys to Improved Productivity for Building Construction, Renovation, Repair, and Sustainability

Interoperability is a common “buzzword” used whenever you here a discussion about improving productivity with the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owners, Operations) industry sector.  Unfortunately, it is a term associated with primarily with technology, and its usage implies that interoperability from a technology perspective is a major, if not THE major stumbling block to construction sector productivity improvement.  This “assumption” would be blatantly false.  Drastic culture and process are the requirements for mitigating waste within the AECOO sector.

The primary issue that dictates the tone and efficiency of any facility construction, renovation, repair, or sustainability project is process related… and is “the construction project delivery method”.  Assuming capable parties in each “knowledge domain” the delivery method must provide for, support, and monitor collaboration, transparency, and accuracy.   Common taxonomies, cost data bases, etc. play a role, as does supporting technology that embeds and distributes consistent processes.   While its true that cloud computing is an enabler, with its role to support the cost effective integration of various knowledge domains and technology silos; the underlies processes linked to a collaborative project delivery method focused upon life-cycle management is the critical aspect.

Integrated project delivery (IPD) and job order contracting (JOC) – the latter also referred to as IPD-lite as it target renovation, repair, and sustainability vs. new construction – are current examples of proven efficient construction approaches that dramatically alter the “status quo”.

Common taxonomy plays a key role and is also generally overlooked.   For example, cost estimators, even today, primarily rely upon spreadsheets and customized cost databases vs. integrating powerful software packages and standardized cost databases (ie RSMeans).   “Doing it my way” and exclusively using spreadsheets prohibits efficient information reuse, is prone to data and formula errors, and create largely unsupportable databases.   How can multiple cost estimators share information on a project, or communicate with Owners, Contractors, AE’s, Subs, etc… if they aren’t speaking the same language?  They can’t… and they don’t.  And this is just one example of many…across multiple knowledge domains whether it be capital planning and management, maintenance and repair management, building automation systems, procurement, bidding, project delivery, …..

(Figure Source – White Paper on IDDS “Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions”, CIB Publication 328.)

The AECOO sector can’t even begin a discussion about achieving higher levels of interoperability, exchanging BIM models and data, etc., until it shifts its focus exclusively to culture and process change.  We don’t even have a common understanding of BIM, let alone sharing BIM models.  Even today, many view BIM as 3D visualization, vs. life-cycle building management supported by technology!  We need to recognize that design-bid-build (DBB) and even design-build (DB) and the associated “accepted” practices of change orders and lawsuits are contrary to the basic tenants of productivity, collaboration, transparency, and accuracy.

Certainly it is true that our industry is fragmented and relatively slow at adoption of new technology, however, this is due to our culture, and our lack of efficient processes.

via http://www.4Clicks.com – premier software for cost estimating and efficient project delivery – JOC, SABER, IPD, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, IDIQ

What is BIM – Strategy, Process, or Technology ?

BIM is an integration of process and technology to enable the efficient life-cycle management of facilities (the latter including vertical and horizontal physical infrastructure… buildings, roadways, utilities, landscapes, etc.).  BIM is a digital integration of previously disparate processes and technologies to allow organization to better link the built environment to support physical and functional requirements, while at the same time optimizing return on investment and associated impacts upon the environment.  Considerations include design, procurement, construction delivery methods, construction management, condition assessment, repair, renovation, adaptation, utilization, capital planning and budgeting, life/safety, security, and sustainability.

BIM is divergent from the traditional antagonistic and inefficient architectural, design, engineering, construction,  and operations management process which have been responsibility for the lack of overall productivity in these sectors.  BIM is a collaborative process involving all stakeholders/shareholders and is supported by an integral digital framework.  The latter enables rapid, scalable deployment and consistent/transparent deployment and management.


BIM - Integration of Process and Technology to Enable Efficient Facility Life-Cycle Management


BIM requires a structured approach relative to terms, definitions, data architectures across multi-disciplinary knowledge domains to allow for efficient, transparent data sharing and re-use.  Some of the associated, currently silo-based competencies and activities are shown in the below graphic.

BIM requires the integration of currently disparate processes and technologies



Green-Washing and Cloud-Washing – Terms you must know relative to BIM – Not to mention BIM-Washing

BIM is the life-cycle management of facilities supported by digital technology – NIBS.   That said, BIM is critical to sustainability/green as is collaboration and cloud computing.

As BIM, Green/Sustainability, and Cloud Computing are considered “new” and not necessarily  “mainstream”.. and all three are “hot topics”, it’s not surprising that some organizations are engaging in BIM-washing, Green-washing, and Cloud Computing-washing.

These issues are extremely important, thus worthy of discourse.


Here’s an informal poll relative to Green-washing.   The question, asked on Linked-In was “Labels + Certificates = Sustainability. Yes. No. Or?”   The question and responses bring to mind “LEED”… a great marketing tool perhaps, but it’s value remains uncertain, especially when considering long-term/life-cycle aspects.  Also what due labels really mean… who polices product labels?  Is bamboo really green if you consider it is transported halfway around the world.  Is mercury-based lighting sustainable?  Oh and yes…. the Prius and other vehicles have the nasty little batter disposal problem to deals with…



Cloud computing is NOT taking legacy applications and moving them to the cloud via a virtual server.  Cloud computing consists of three tier technology.

Cloud Layers

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Cloud computing is viewed as a means to break down traditional data and process stovepipes.  Cloud computing encompasses four different deployment models, and in these preliminary stages of cloud development, organizations are free to determine which model best serves their needs.  The four models, as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), include: (1) private clouds, for the use of a single agency; (2) community clouds, shared by multiple agencies; (3) public clouds, largely for the public’s use and benefit; and (4) hybrid clouds, facilitating the sharing of data and utilities across two or more unique clouds of any type.

(Peter Mell and Tim Grance, Nat’l Inst. of Standards and Tech., The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing – 2009)

Cloud computing will enable collaborative, secure, and transparent applications and the rapid deployment of robust business process.. both so sorely needed in the AECOO sector (architecture, engineering, construction, owner, operator).

Major Shifts in Information Technology



Ok folks.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.  3D visualization is NOT BIM !!!   The integration all aspects and processes of facility life-cycle management is BIM.   Will all this occur in Revt, Archcad, or some IWMS system… absolutely NOT!    Cloud computing, however, integrated with existng knowledge-domains such as CPMS, Construction Project Delivery (IPD, JOC), CMMS, CAFM, GIS, BAS, ….   now that’s BIM!

BIM Strategy and Framework

Defining the Levels of BIM

Below is a representation of the various “levels of BIM”.  That said, I don’t consider BIM to be anything but ” the life-cycle management of buildings supported by technology”.

The Levels of BIM - BIM Definition
BIM Framework - BIM for FM


via www.4clicks.com – premier cost estimating and project management software for efficient construction delivery – JOC, IPD, SATOC, SABER, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA …