Construction Productivity must be Owner driven – BIM, IPD, JOC

One thing is clear, the construction sector (architecture, engineering, contractors, owners, operators, users, suppliers) has been lagging virtually all other business sectors for decades with respect to productivity improvement.

I believe that the cause is largely cultural, however, any major improvement must be driven by Owners,and/or mandated by governmental regulation.

My reasoning is simple, Owners pay the bills.  Thus as long as Owners remain satisfied with the status quo and/or remain “uneducated” with respect to proven business “best practices” and lean management processes, as well as supporting technologies, economic and environmental waste will continue to be rampant.

Currently, my outlook is somewhat pessimistic.  If one looks at  capability and knowledge specific to life-cycle  facility management from an industry perspective, most has originated with the government sector, followed by higher education, state government, healthcare, process-based industries, etc. etc.    Basically, Owners whose mission is dependent upon their built environment tend to create and follow life-cycle management practices. These are Owners that can’t adopt a “churn and burn”, or “run to failure” approach to facility management.  These sectors can’t easily pack up and move if their facilities and physical infrastructure fail.

That said, even government owners, for the most part, have failed in any sort of department or agency-wide adoption of standardized best practices.  This is true even for  “simple” areas such as facility repair, maintenance, and renovation.  Only the Air Force appears to come close to having any true adoption of robust, proven, best-practices in this regard, as well as associated training, etc., most notably with their SABER construction delivery structure.

In order to effect measurable productivity improvement in the “construction” sector, , I have put together a core requirements “checklist”.

1. Robust Ontology – Cost effective information management and information reuse can only be accomplished with a detailed set of terms, definitions, metrics, etc.  This aspect is also critical to improved strategic and tactical decision support mechanisms.

2. An understanding of life-cycle management of the built environment from a collaborative, best-practices, process perspective as well as associated supporting technologies.  Forget the traditional strategy-design-construction-demolish approach.

3. Commitment to a total cost of ownership perspective including both economic and environmental costs vs. our classic “first-cost” mentality.

4. “Trust but measure” – Owners MUST conduct their own internal cost estimating and associated capital planning and compare these to contractor estimates, with each party using the same  data architecture (examples: RSMeans, masterformat, uniformat, omniclass).

5. Adoption of collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, and Job Order Contracting, JOC, in lieu of antagonistic and inefficient design-bid-built, or even design-build.

6. STOP reinventing the wheel.  Nothing noted here is “rocket science”.  Many, if not most, processes, procedures, and technologies are readily available for anyone who does a bit of basic research!!!   Also, stop with the focus upon BIM from a 3D visualization perspective!  3D tools are great, and add value, however, INFORMATION and PROCESS drive success.

 

BLM2

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

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.

TFM Article – BIM, Cloud Computing, IPD and JOC

Construction Disruption           Peter Cholakis

As they pass the emergent stage, BIM and cloud computing will continue to impact project delivery.
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 (FMers).
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, costeffective, 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.

Cholakis is chief marketing officer for 4Clicks Solutions, LLC (www.4clicks.com), 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 associa- tions and committees including the American Society of Safety Engineers, Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering, Society of American Military Engi- neers, BIM Library Committee-National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBS), and National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee.

 

 

http://epubs.democratprinting.com/article/Professional_Development%3A_Construction_Disruption/1338940/149812/article.html

 

 

 

Is Cloud Computing More Important than BIM?

Is focus upon the 3D component of BIM an unfortunate distraction?

BIM, Building Information Modeling is the ability to create a dynamic information model of the built environment (above and below ground, inside and out, horizontal and vertical physical infrastructure) for use in all real property related activities:  concept,  rapid prototyping, planning, design, engineering, construction, physical and functional condition monitoring and management, financing, capital reinvestment, insurance, facility management, renovation, repair, sustainability, utilization, leasing, valuation, procurement, sale and decommissioning  with appropriate shared, secure, and collaborative information access and use.

The advent of Cloud Computing, combined with the cost to capture, store, and process information  falling to near zero,  is enabling new capabilities for secure, real-time collaboration.

The altered world landscape relative to the built environment is upon us all.  In addition to technology changes that are altering the ways we interact and conduct business on fundamental basis, there are economic and environmental imperatives.   All of which lead to the AECOO (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations and Owner) sector and its stakeholdings needing to collaborate to achieve better, quicker outcome,  at less cost,  and with less risk.

Key challenges to BIM in terms of its true potential, the life-cycle management of the built environment, include:

– The development of uniform standard process, terminology, and technology environments for the new BIG DATA world , encompassing  all  ‘built environment related knowledge domains, competencies, and activities.   

– Clear organization and classifications of information and associated access  rights and rights to use, enabling appropriate, uniform basis intra and international use.

– Workflow-based  Cloud-computing services environments, and plug-ins that are vs.  monolithic traditional software frameworks which are web enabled via virtual server, or even traditional 3-tier web applications such as .NET.   4-tier applications are needed with the ability to link and reuse  information in any manner  relative  to identity/location, building, area, floor, room, occupancy, use, physical and functional conditions,  standardized and actual costs (material, equipment, and labor), et al… – to provide common ‘highly secure’  models for short and long term decision support.

– The acceptance and increased use of collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Job Order Contracting (JOC).  The latter a form of IPD specifically targeting facility renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction projects.

–  AUTHENTICATION, ACCESS CONTROL, COLLABORATION, AND STANDARDS …  4Clicks Solutions is about to release a powerful new Cloud Computing solution called CEASEL. It focuses upon transparent construction cost estimating and efficient project delivery.  Each user to controls their own ‘domain’ and access policies (ie ‘who’ can access ‘what’ data, ‘when’ and ‘how’ ). Data in NEVER deleted and  ALL user access and activities are tracked.. .the best form of security.    “Data independency” and  appropriate access for all asset owners, managers, and service providers is supported.   Project development time is reduced because users don’t need to create an identity store and access control system for each project, and projects, estimates, etc. can easily be updated and re-used.

New authentication methods or new kinds of user credentials can be adopted by upgrading just the authentication service.  Associated contracts,  projects, and estimates don’t need to be re-coded.  Changes to access control policy can be made quicker and more easily because it is consolidated in the one place. 

Dedicated and focused security service leads to better overall security – compared with each organization having a part-time resource for security management. 

Security improvements benefit all projects at the same time. 

Less time and effort is devoted to security administration as administrators only need to understand and use one security framework rather than a different one for each project.

Errors are reduced because there is no duplication of identity data and access control policy.A unified view of identity and access control policy is achieved for each user, without breaching the security of other users.

Simplified , auditing and reporting.

If you are interesting in being a pilot user of this new capability, please contact me directly.

 

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, Construction, Engineering, Architecture and Productivity

Cloud computing is a more than catalyst for change, it is a DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY.  Cloud computing will drive significantly enhanced productivity within the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facility Management Sectors by enabling the consistent deployment of integrated project delivery methods.   Owners, Contractors, Architects, Engineers and stakeholders of the built environment will benefit if they focus upon CHANGE MANAGEMENT and how to best leverage cloud computing.

  1. Collaboration – True cloud computing (vs. cloud-washing, or simply posting legacy application to the cloud) lets users  work concurrently on projects in real-time (milliseconds)… virtually anyone, anywhere, anytime.  Multi-language and mult-currency, etc. can easily be implemented.
  2. Security – Information is NEVER deleted.  This is potentially the best form of security available.   “Who” does “What” and “When” is always tracked and changes can be “rolled back” at any time by authorized administrators.  Furthermore, only changes are transmitted vs. full data sets and even these are encrypted.
  3. IP Protection – Despite all the “hype” to the contrary, it is YOU, the user who determines how, when, and where to publish data.   For example, you can maintain information in your private area, publish as read only to specified members within a private cloud…or publish to all members in a private cloud, or publish information to all members in public cloud and enable rights to use and modify data.
  4. Visualization –  Despite the pervasive misunderstanding of BIM and unfortunate focus upon 3D visualization, DATA visualization and the associated development and implementation of the colloborative life-cycle management of built environment are the benefits provided by BIM.  Cloud computing will accelerate data visualization and transparency among all stakeholders of physical infrastructure and promote performance-based processes.
  5. Agility – Our work and natural environments are changing at an accelerated pace.  Rapid deployment, monitoring,  and the associated modification of processes and policies is becoming increasingly important.  Cloud computing deploys process faster than any other method currently available.   There is no longer a need to rely upon internal “IT” for deployment or applications specific changes.
  6. Mobility – It is neither cost effective, nor efficient to have everyone working in offices or specified work settings.  Resources need to be tapped from multiple locations enabling use of “the best of the best”, and resources with localized resources and/or capabilities.   Cloud computing allows direct, transparent access to local resources while also communicating centralized processes and procedures.
  7. Centralization of Information – While information can be scattered among several data centers, it also can be instantly consolidated to provide global management in support of an organization’s mission as well as associated, efficient local action.
  8. Business Continuity – True, Internet access is required, however, would you rather store your information at your location and risk catastrophic failure, or have your information at multiple locations designed with redundancy, power backup, etc.?

BIG DATA and EFFICIENT CONSTRUCTION METHODS (Integrated Project Delivery, Job Order Contracting), CLOUD COMPUTING, and BIM are here to stay, are you ready?

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

Roadmap
Roadmap
BIG DATA
BIG DATA

BIM Evolution

In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
– Charles Darwin

BIM, the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology, requires a fundamental change in how the construction (Architects, Contractors, Engineers) and facility management (Owners, Service Providers, Building Product Manufactures, Oversight Groups, Building Users) sectors operate on a day-to-day basis.  

BIM, combined and  Cloud Computing are game changers.  They are disruptive technologies with integral business processes/practices that demand collaboration, transparency, and accurate/current information displayed via common terminology.

The traditional ad-hoc and adversarial business practices commonly associated with Construction and Facility Management are changing as we speak.    Design-bid-build and even Design-Build will rapidly go by the wayside in favor of the far more efficient processes of Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Job Order Contracting – JOC, and similar collaborative programs.  (JOC is a form of integrated project delivery specifically targeting facility renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction).

There is no escaping the change.   Standardized data architectures (Ominclass, COBie, Uniformat, Masterformat) and cost databases (i.e. RSMeans), accesses an localized via cloud computing are even now beginning to be available.   While historically, the construction and facility management sectors have lagged their counterparts (automotive, aerospace, medical, …)  relative to technology and LEAN business practices, environmental and economic market drivers and government mandates are closing the gap.

The construction and life-cycle management of the built environment requires the integration off several knowledge domains, business “best-practices”, and technologies as portrayed below.   The efficient use of this BIG DATA is enabled by the BIM, Cloud Computing, and Integrated Project Delivery methods.

Image

The greatest challenges to these positive changes are  the CULTURE of the Construction and the Facility Management Sectors.  Also, an embedded first-cost vs. life-cycle or total cost of ownership perspective.  An the unfortunate marketing spotlight upon the technology of 3D visualization vs. BIM.   Emphasis MUST be place upon the methods of how we work on a daily basis…locally and globally  − strategic planning, capitial reinvestment planning, designing collaborating, procuring, constructing, managing and operating.  All of these business processes have different impacts upon the “facility” infrastructure and  construction supply chain, building Owners, Stakeholders, etc., yet communication terms, definitions, must be transparent and consistently applied in order to gain  greater efficiencies.

Some facility life-cycle management are already in place for the federal government facility portfolio and its only a matter of time before these are expanded and extended into all other sectors.

BIM, not 3D visualization, but true BIM or Big BIM,  and Cloud Computing will connect information from every discipline together.  It will not necessarily be a single combined model.  In fact the latter has significant drawbacks.    Each knowledge domain has independent areas of expertise and requisite process that would be diluted and marginalized if managed within one model.   That said, appropriate “roll-up” information will be available to a higher level model.   (The issue of capability and productivity marginalization can be proven by looking a ERP and IWMS systems.  Integration of best-in-class technology and business practices is always support to systems that attempt to do everything, yet do not single thing well.)

Fundamental Changes to Project Delivery for Repair, Renovation, Sustainability, and New Construction Projects MUST include:

  • Qualifications Based or Best Value Selection
  • Some form of pricing transparency and standardization
  • Early and ongoing information-sharing among project stakeholders
  • Appropriate distribution of risk
  • Some form of financial incentive to drive performance / performance-based relationships