A Primer on LEAN Construction Delivery Methods

While LEAN principles, as defined for production systems,  originated from the Japanese manufacturing industry, LEAN construction delivery methods have evolved to meet the requirements of real property owners and the AEC sector.

bim, building information management for FM

Collaborative “LEAN” collaborative construction delivery methods actually predate the term LEAN!

The term LEAN, is was first used by John Krafcik a 1988 article, “Triumph of the Lean Production System.”   Job Order Contracting, JOC, a collaborative “LEAN” construction delivery method was in place prior to 1988.   In fact, JOC was actively being used by 1988, especially by the Department of Defense, and has evolved greatly since that time. Similarly, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, is also over two decades old.   TPS, the Toyota Production System, which shares some, if not many, aspects with LEAN, evolved initially from 1948 through 1975.

While many view LEAN as a set of tools that assist in the identification and mitigation of waste, its actually a CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, and COLLABORATIVE BUSINESS PROCESS.  L

LEAN construction delivery is a collaborative business process with ongoing iterative improvement and depends upon the efficient involvement and use of multiple competencies and participants.

LEAN  Construction Delivery Methods share the following characteristics:

  1. Early and ongoing collaboration of participants
  2. Focus upon outcomes
  3. Transparency – financial, planning and technical
  4. Value-based procurement
  5. Continuous monitoring – use of key performance indicators, KPIs
  6. Shared risk/reward
  7. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures
  8. On-demand, On-time, On-budget performance
  9. Meeting establish quality levels
  10. Continuous education, training, and improvement
  11. Long-term relationships of participants and service providers
  12. Waste reduction
  13. Flexibility without excessive management and control
  14. Processes supported by, and embedded within “open” technology

Despite the relatively early beginning and clear value of LEAN Construction Delivery Methods, usage is limited to less than 5% of renovation, repair, and new construction.  The principle reason is lack of competency and leadership of Real Property Owners and general cultural barriers across the AEC industry.  While LEAN Construction Delivery can virtually assure over 90% of projects are delivered on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all participants and stakeholders, the AEC industry remains mired in wasteful ‘ad-hoc’ practices.


Another key aspect of LEAN construction delivery is gathering the right team.  Team members must be capable of planning and executing the right things, at right time,  while maximizing return on investment and minimizing risk.

Flexibility is also important, as it  allows construction related efforts to adapt to changing conditions/influences.   It is the shared competency and expertise of all players, and the standardized information accessible by all, that enables superior outcomes.

All concepts associated with LEAN Construction Delivery must be understood, appreciated, and embraced by all participants…oversight groups, management, service providers, and building users in order to achieve associated value.

The cultural, change management aspects of LEAN are equally important to the processes, tools, and technologies.

The discipline required to implement LEAN Construction Delivery is so counter-cultural to the AEC sector and real property owners, that  successful implementation of lean remains major challenge.

A weak understanding of LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods will lead to implementations without value and/or sustained benefit.   In fact, some organizations or even some consultants attempt to use and implement LEAN methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (for major new construction) and Job Order Contracting (for renovation, repair, and minor new construction) as a means to simply bypass traditional procurement procedure, as noted by several independent audits of Job Order Contracts over the past several years.

LEAN construction delivery methods and associated processes should be simple to understand, manage, and execute.  An written operation or execution manual, specific to the contract associated with the LEAN construction method (i.e. a Job Order Contract), should clearly specify roles, responsibilities, deliverables, timing, and outcomes.

Owner/service provider communications must be direct, and there must clearly structured methods to prepare and send requests for work, as well as receive responses.

The project pathway, from concept through warranty period  must be simple and direct.

Lean construction delivery methods enable all parties to learn from their experiences.

Fundamental processes associated with Collaborative LEAN Construction Delivery Methods 
  • Senior leadership is in concert with vision and provides authority to appropriate managers and teams.
  • Pilot programs are the first stage in adoption.
  • Objectives are clearly communicated to all participants (internal and external to the organization)
  • Preparation and planning – remove work can be avoided proactively by design.
  • Mitigation of  fluctuation at the scheduling and operations level – clearly follow and/or stay within quality and output levels.
  • Learn from the outcomes of the processes and improve problem areas (transport, inventory, motion, waiting, defects/rework/change orders.
  • Maximized use of skills, competencies, and capabilities through ongoing communication and understanding what needs to be learned.
  • Mutual respect for every stakeholder’s role, problems, and objectives.
  • Team-centric problem solving – developing and engaging people through contribution to team performance.
  • Assured adequate training levels
  • Focus upon outcomes and value-add work
  • Understanding that the role of tools and technology is one of support only.
  • Shared leadership across all operational levels, especially operational team leaders



The goals of LEAN Collaborative Construction delivery include several possible, if not probable outcomes….

  • Improved quality: Better understanding of client/customer wants, needs, processes, expectations and requirements.
  • Mitigation of waste: Reducing activities that consumes time, resources, or space but do not add any value.
  • Short project delivery times;  Reducing the time it takes to move a project from concept through close out.
  • Reducing total costs: Build exactly what is required, and share cost information throughout the project life-cycle.


LEAN – Lessons Learned

  • Keep it simple…
    • Remember that best value outcomes are the goal.
    • Incremental improvements over time.
  • Remember there is always room for improvement.
  • Trust but measure
    • Performance metrics are REQUIRED
    • LEAN construction delivery can not be  successfully implemented without sufficient aptitude at measuring the processes and outcomes. To improve future results requires and understanding of what is happening now.
  • Focus upon communicating and building the CULTURE of LEAN, without undue focus upon tools.  In fact, be wary of elevating tools beyond their designed use.
  • Understand  problems before deciding upon a solution.
  • Decisive leadership is REQUIRED for LEAN implementation
    • The team makes recommendations, leadership determines what recommendations are implemented.


Construction Abbreviations – A Decent List

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

2-PSS: Two-Part Polysulfide Sealant
2-PUMS: Two-Part Polyurethane Modified Sealant
@  At (the rate of)
&   And
”    Inch; Ditto (which means “same as above”)
#   Number. or Pound
[circle with diagonal slash through it]   Diameter, Round, Phase
A:  Area, Ampere; Acre; Alcove; Compressed Air Line
AB:  Anchor Bolt; Asbestos Board
ABV: Above
AC:  Air Conditioning, Alternating Current, Acoustical
ACC: Access
ACF: Architectural Concrete Finish
ACFL: Access Floor
ACI: American Concrete Institute
ACL: Across the Line
ACOUST: Acoustical
ACPL: Acoustical Plaster
ACR: Acrylic
ACST: Acoustic
ACT: Acoustical Tile; Actual
AD: Access Door, Area Drain
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992
ADAAG: Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural Guidelines
ADD: Addendum; Addition
ADDL: Additional
ADH: Adhesive
ADJ: Adjust, Adjustable, Adjacent
AF: Above the Floor
AFF: Above Finished Floor
AGA: American Gas Association
AGG: Aggregate
AGGR: Aggregate
AIA: American Institute of Architects, American Insurance Association
AIC: Amperes Interrupting Circuit
AIEE: American Institute of Electrical Engineers
AISC: American Institute of Steel Construction
AL: Aluminum
ALM: Alarm
ALT: Alternate, Alteration; Altitude
ALUM: Aluminum
ALS: Acrylic Latex Sealant
AMB: Ambient
AMP: Ampere, Ampacity
AMPY: Ampere
AMT: Amount
AN: Anode
ANCH: Anchor, Anchorage
ANN: Annunciator
ANOD: Anodized
ANT: Antenna
AP:  Access Panel
APPD: Approved
APPROX: Approximate
APRVD: Approved
APT: Apartment
APX: Approximate
AR: Acid Resisting
ARCH: Architect, Architectural
ARS: Asbestos Roof Shingles
AS:  Acoustic Sealant
ASB: Asbestos
ASC: Above Suspended Ceiling
ASCE: American Society of Civil Engineers
ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASPH: Asphalt
ASSEM: Assemble
ASSOC: Association; Associate
ASSY: Assembly
ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials
AT: Acoustical Tile; Asphalt Tile
ATC: Acoustical Tile Ceiling
ATTEN: Attenuation
ATM: Automatic Teller Machine; Atmospheric
AUTH: Authorized
AUTO: Automatic
AVG: Average
AW: Acid Waste
AWG: American Wire Gauge
AWM: Automatic Washing Machine
AWS: American Welding Society
AWWA: American Water Works Association
AX: Axis
B:  Boiler, Bathroom, Bidet
B TO B: Back to Back
B & B: Balled and  Burlapped, Bell and Bell
B & F: Bell and Flange
B & S: Bell and Spigot, Brown & Sharp
B/:  Bottom (of)
BBD: Bulletin Board
BA: Bulb Angle
BAL: Balance, Ballast
BAF: Baffle
BB:  Buffalo Box, Ball Bearing,, Bulletin Board
BBL: Barrel
BC: Broom Closet
BD:  Board, Blow Down (pipe)
BDL: Bundle
BDY: Boundary
BDRM: Bedroom
BEL: Below
BET: Between
BETW: Between
BEV: Bevel
BF:  Board Foot, Back Face, Bottom Face, Both Faces, Boiler Feed
BG: Bag (e.g., of cement)
BHP: Brake Horsepower
BHD: Bulkhead
BIT: Bituminous
BJF: Bituminous Joint Filler
BKR: Breaker
BL:  Base Line, Building Line, Block
BLDG: Building
BLK: Block
BLKG: Blocking
BLO: Blower
BLR: Boiler
BLT: Borrowed Lite, Bullet Tips (Hinges)
BLT-IN: Built-In
BM:  Beam, Bench Mark
BMT: Butyl Mastic Tape Sealant
BN:  Bullnose
BNDG: Bending (re-bars)
BNT: Bent
BO: Blow Off
BOT: Bottom
BP:  Base Plate, Blueprint, Bypass
BPL: Bearing Plate
BR:  Bedroom, Brick, Brass, Boiler Room Branch
BRDG: Bridge, Bridging
BRG: Bearing
BRK: Brick
BRKR: Breaker
BRKT: Bracket
BRS: Butyl Rubber Sealant, Brass
BRZ: Bronze
BRZG: Brazing
BS:  Both Sides, Backset, Bluestone
BSMT: Basement
BT: Bathtub, Bolt
BTR: Better
BTU: British Thermal Units
BTUH: British Thermal Units per Hour
BUR: Built-up Roof
BUZ: Buzzer
BV:  Butterfly Valve
BVL: Bevelled
BW: Both Ways
BWV: Back Water Valve
BYP: By Pass
C:  Courses, Curb, Channel, Degrees Celsius, Clock Outlet, Calcimine
C/C: Center to Center
C TO C: Center to Center
CA:  Compressed Air
CAB: Cabinet
CAD: Cadmium, Computer-Aided Drafting
CAIS: Caisson
CAP: Capacity
CAR: Carpet
CARP: Carpenter
CAT: Catalog
CAV: Cavity
CB:  Catch Basin, Concrete Block,
Cast Brass, Coal Bin
CBL: Concrete Block
CBX: Cast Box Strike
CC:  Cubic Centimeter
CCT: Circuit
CCW: Counter Clockwise
CCTV: Closed Circuit TV
CD:  Cold Drawn, Cadmium
CDS: Cold Drawn Steel
CEL: Cellar
CEM: Cement
CEM AB: Cement Asbestos Board
Cem P: Cement Water Paint
CER: Ceramic
CF:  Cubic Feet
CFL: Counterflashing
CFM: Cubic Feet per Minute
CFS: Cubic Feet per Second
CFT: Cubic Foot
CG:  Corner Guard
CH: Coat Hook
CHB: Chalk Board
CHR: Chilled Water Return
CHAM: Chamfer
CHAN: Channel
CHBD: Chalkboard
CHS: Chilled Water Supply
C.I.: Cast Iron
CI:  Cast Iron
CIN BL: Cinder Block
CIP: Cast Iron Pipe, Cast-in-Place
CIR: Circle, Circular, Circuit
CIRC: Circumference
CISP: Cast Iron Soil/sewer Pipe
CITG: Clear Insulating Tempered Glass
CJ:  Control Joint
CJF: Cork Joint Filler
CK: Caulking
CKT: Circuit
CL:  Centerline, Clearance, Closing, Closure, Class, Closet
CLG: Ceiling
CLKG: Caulking
CLH: Clothes Line Hook
CLL: Contract Limit Line
CLO: Closet
CLP: Clamp
CLR: Clear
CLR OPG: Clear Opening
CLS: Closure
CM: Circular Mil (1/1000 inch),
Center Matched
CMP: Corrugated Metal Pipe
CMT: Ceramic Mosaic Tile
CMU: Concrete Masonry Unit
CMUP: Concrete Masonry Unit Painted
CND: Condition, Conduit
CNDS: Condensate
CNTR: Center, Counter
CNVR: Conveyor
COAX: Coaxial
C.O.: Cased Opening
CO:  Company, Cleanout, Cased Opening, Cut Out
COD: Cleanout Door
CO & DP: Cleanout & Deck Plate
COEF: Coefficient
COL: Column
COM: Common
COMB: Combination, Combustion
COML: Commercial
COMM ED: Commonwealth Edison
COMP: Composition, Compressed
COMPO: Composition
COMPT: Compartment
CON: Construction
CONC: Concrete
CONCP: Concrete Painted
COND: Condenser, Conduit
CONN: Connection
CONST: Construction
CONSTR: Construction
CONT: Continuous, Continue, Control
CONTR: Contractor
CONV: Convector, Convenience
COP: Copper
COR: Corner, Corridor
CORR: Corridor, Corrugate
COV: Cover
CP:  Cathodic Protection, Clothes Pole,  Cesspool
CPE: Chlorinated Polyethylene
CPL: Cement Plaster
CPP: Cement Plaster Painted
CPR: Copper
CPT: Carpet
CR: Chromium (plated), Curtain Rod
CRPT: Carpet
CRS: Course, Cold Rolled Steel
CS:  Countersink, Cast Steel, Cast Stone, Commercial Standard
CSG: Casing
CSK: Countersink
CSMT: Casement
CSN: Caisson
CSS: Countersunk Screw
CSTG: Casting
CT:  Ceramic Tile, Cork Tile,
Cone Tip (hinges)
CTD: Coated
CTR: Center, Counter
CTSC: Communications Systems Terminal Cabinet
CTSK: Countersunk
CTWT: Counterweight
CU:  Copper, Cubic, Coefficient of Utilization
CU. FT.: Cubic Feet
CU. YD.: Cubic Yard
CUR: Current
CV:  Check Valve
CW: Clockwise, Cold Water
CWP: Circulating Water Pump
CWR: Condensate Waste Return
CWS: Condensate Waste Supply
CY:  Cubic Yard, Cycle
CYL: Cylinder
CYL L: Cylinder Lock
D:  Deep, Depth, Drop, Drain
D & M: Dressed & Matched
DA: Double Acting
DB:  Decibel
DBL: Double
DBT: Drybulb Temperature
DC:  Direct Current
DCV: Detector Check Valve
DD: Driveway Drain, Deck Drain
DEG: Degree
DEGC: Degree Celcius
DEGF: Degree Farenheit
DEM: Demolish
DEMO: Demolition
DEP: Dpressed
DEPT: Department
DET: Detail
DF:  Drinking Fountain
DH: Double Hung
DIAG: Diagonal
DIA: Diameter
DIAM: Diameter
DIFF: Diffuser
DIM: Dimension
DISL: Disposal
DISP: Dispenser
DIV: Division
DL:  Dead Load
DMH: Drop Manhole
DMT: Demountable
DN:  Down
DO:  Ditto, or Door Opening
DP:  Dampproofing, Dew Point, Distribution Panel
DPDT: Double Pole Double Throw
DPST: Double Pole Single Throw
DPR: Damper
DR:  Door, Drain, Dining Room
DRBD: Drainboard
DS:  Downspout, Disconnect Switch, Door Switch
DSP: Dry Standpipe
DT:  Drain Tile
DTL: Detail
DVTL: Dovetail
DW: Dumbwaiter, Distilled Water
DWG: Drawing
DWGS: Drawings
DWL: Dowel
DWP: Drywall, Painted
DWR: Drawer
DS:  Downspout
DSP: Dry Standpipe
DX:  Direct Expansion, Duplex
E:  East, Enamel, Exhaust
E TO E: End to End
EA:  Each
EB:  Expansion Bolt
EC:  Exposed Construction
ECC: Eccentric
ECP: Exposed Construction Painted
EDR: Equivalent Direct Radiation
EE:  Each End
EF:  Each Face
EFTS: Expanding Foam Tape Sealant
EG: Edge Grain
EIFS: Exterior Insulation and Finish System
EJ:  Expansion Joint
EJECT: Ejector
EL:  Elevation, Elevator
ELB: Elbow
ELEC: Electrical
ELECT: Electrical
ELEV: Elevator, Elevation
ELP: Emergency Lighting Panel
EM:  Emergency
EMER: Emergency
ENAM: Enamel
ENCL: Enclosure
ENG: Engineer
ENGR: Engineer
ENJF: Expanded Neoprene Joint Filler
ENT: Entrance
ENTR: Entrance
EP: Electrical Panelboard, Explosion Proof
EPDM: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer
EPJF: Expanded Polyethelene Joint Filler
EQ:  Equal
EQP: Equipment
EQPT: Equipment
EQUIP: Equipment
ERP: Emergency Receptacle Panel
ESC: Escalator
EST: Estimate
EVAP: Evaporator
EW: Each Way
EWC: Electric Water Cooler
EW & C: Electric Wiring and Communication
EWH: Electric Water Heater
EX:  Exposed Construction, Exit
EXC: Excavate
EXCAV: Excavate
EXEC: Executive
EXG: Existing
EXH: Exhaust
EXH AIR: Exhaust Air
EXIST: Existing
EXP: Expansion, Exposed
EXPN: Expansion
EXPP: Existing Patched and Painted
EXS: Extra Strong
EXT: Exterior, Extinguish
EXTR: Extrude
F:  Degrees Fahrenheit, Fuse
F TO F: Face to Face
FA:  Fire Alarm, Fresh Air
FAB: Fabricate
FABR: Fabricate
FACP: Fire Alarm Control Panel
FAG: Fire Alarm Gong
FAO: Finish All Over
FAR: Floor Area Ratio
FAST: Fastener, Fasten
FB:  Flat Bar, Face Brick, Floor Box
FBD: Fiberboard
FBM: Foot Board Measure
FBP: Fabric Panel
FBRK: Fire Brick
FC:  File Cabinet, Foot Candle, Fault Current
FD:  Floor drain
FDC: Fire Department Connection
FDN: Foundation
FDTN: Foundation
FE:  Fire Extinguisher
FEC: Fire Extinguisher Cabinet
FF:  Far Face, Finished Floor, Factory Finish
FFE: Finished Floor Elevation
FF&E: Fixtures, Furnishings & Equipment
FFL: Finished Floor Line
FGL: Fiberglass
FGR: Fiberglass reinforced
FH:  Flat Head, Fire Hose
FHC: Fire Hose Cabinet
FHMS: Flat head machine screw
FHR: Fire Hose Rack
FHS: Fire Hose Station
FHWS: Flat Head Wood Screw
FHY: Fire Hydrant
FIL: Fillet
FIN: Finish, finished
FITG: Fitting
FIX: Fixture
FIXT: Fixture
FL:  Floor, Fire Line
FLASH: Flashing
FLG: Flooring
FLEX: Flexible
FLG: Flange, Flashing, Flooring
FLR: Floor
FLUOR: Fluorescent
FLX: Flexible
FM:  Fire Main, Factory Mutual Company
FND: Feminine Napkin Dispenser, Foundation
FO:  Finished Opening
FOB: Free On Board
FOC: Face of Concrete
FOF: Face of Finish
FOS: Face of Studs
FP:  Fireproof
FPL: Fireplace
FPM: Feet per minute
FPRF: Fireproof
FPS: Feet per Second
FR:  Frame, Front, Fire Riser
FRG: Forged
FRM: Frame
FRPF: Fireproof
FRT: Fire Retardant
FS:  Full Size, Far Side, Federal Standards, Fused Switch, Floor Sink
FSCW: Flush Solid Core Wood
FT:  Foot, Feet, Fully Tempered
FTG: Footing, Fitting
FUR: Furred
FURN: Furnish, Furniture
FURR: Furring
FUT: Future
FVC: Fire Valve Cabinet
G:  Gas, Girder, Gutter, Gram
GA:  Gauge, Gage
GAGE: Gauge
GAL: Gallon
GALV: Galvanized
GB:  Grab Bar, Glass Block, Gypsum Board
GC:  General Contractor
GCMU: Glazed Concrete Masonry Unit
GD:  Guard, Grade, Gutter Drain
GEN: General, Generator
GENL: General
GF: Ground Face
GFCI: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupted
GFI: Ground Fault Interrupted
GFRC: Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete
GI:  Galvanized Iron
GKT: Gasket
GL:  Glass
GL BLK: Glass Block
GLB: Glass Block
GLVA: Globe Valve
GLZ: Glaze
GMU: Glazed Masonry Unit
GND: Ground
GOVT: Government
GP:  Galvanized Pipe
GPDW: Gypsum Drywall
GPH: Gallons Per Hour
GPL: Gypsum Lath
GPM: Gallons Per Minute
GPP: Gypsum Plaster Painted
GPPL: Gypsum Plaster
GPS: Gallons Per Second
GR:  Grade, Grille, Granite
GRAN: Granular, Granite
GRND: Ground
GRTG: Grating
GSS: Galvanized Sheet Steel
GSU: Glazed Structural Unit
GT: Grout
GV: Galvanized
GVA: Gate Valve
GVL: Gravel
GYP: Gypsum
GYP BD: Gypsum Board
H:  High
HA:  Hectare
HB:  Hose Bib
HBD: Hardboard
HC:  Hollow Core, Handicapped (better called Accessible”)
HCT: Hollow Clay Tile
HD:  Head, Heavy Duty
HDCP: Handicapped (better called “Accessible”)
HDN: Harden
HDR: Header
HDW: Hardware
HDWD: Hardwood
HDWE: Hardware
HEX: Hexagonal
HGR: Hanger
HGT: Height
HH:  Handhole
HHMB: Hex Head Machine Bolt
HID: High Intensity Discharge
HK:  Hook or Hooks
HKD: Hooked (re-bars)
HL: Hydrant Line
HM: Hollow Metal
HMP: Hollow Metal, Painted
HNCG: Hollow Neoprene Compression Gasket
HOR: Horizontal
HORIZ: Horizontal
HOSP: Hospital
HP:  High Point, High Pressure, Horse Power
HPS: High Pressure Sodium, High Pressure Steam
HR:  Hour
HRS: Hot Rolled Steel, Hours
HS:  Heat Strengthened
HSG: Housing
HT:  Height, Heat, High Tension Duct
HTG: Heating
HTR: Heater
HTW: High Temperature Water
HV:  High Voltage
HVAC: Heating, Ventilating & Air Conditioning
HVY: Heavy
HW: Hot Water, Heavy Wall
HWC: Hot Water Circulating, Heavy Wall Conduit
HWD: Hardwood
HWH: Hot Water Heater
HWR: Hot Water Recirculating Return
HWS: Hot Water Supply
HWY: Highway
HYD: Hydraulic
HYDRO: Hydrostatic
HZ:  Hertz (Cycles Per Second)
I:   Iron, Current (electrical)
IBV: Indicating Butterfly Valve
IC: Interrupting Capacity
ID:  Inside Diameter
IE:  Invert Elevation
ILK: Interlock
IMH: Inlet Manhole
IN:  Inch
INC: Incandescent
INCAND: Incandescent
INCIN: Incinerator
INCL: Incline, Include
INCR: Increase
INFO: Information
INS: Insulate, Insulation
INSP: Inspect
INSTL: Install
INSUL: Insulation
INT: Interior, Internal
INTERM: Intermediate
INTM: Intermediate
INV: Invert
IP:  Iron Pipe
IPS:  Iron Pipe Size
IW:  Indirect Waste
J:   Joist
J-BOX: Junction Box
JAN: Janitor
JB:  Junction Box
JC:  Janitor’s Closet
JCT: Junction
JF:  Joint Filler
JST: Joist
JT:  Joint
K:  Kilopound (1000 pounds), Kelvin (temperature)
KAL: Kalamein
KCP: Keene’s Cement Plaster
KG:  Kilogram
KIP: Kilopound (1000 pounds)
KIT: Kitchen
KM:  Kilometer
KO:  Knockout
KP:  Kickplate
KPL: Kickplate
KS:  Kitchen Sink
KVA: Kilovolt-Ampere
KW: Kilowatt
KWH: Kilowatt Hour
KWHR: Kilowatt Hour
L:   Angle, Left, Length, Lighting Panel, Long, Line
LA:  Landscape Architect, Lightning Arrester
LAB: Laboratory, Labor
LAD: Ladder
LAM: Laminate, Laminated
LAT: Lateral
LAV: Lavatory
LB:  Pound (weight), Lag Bolt
LBL: Label
LBR: Lumber
LC:  Light Control, Lead Covered
LCD: Liquid Crystal Diode
LCL: Linen Closet
LCM: Lead Coated Metal
LD: Leader Drain
LH:  Left Hand
LIB:  Library
LIBR: Library
LIN: Linear
LINO: Linoleum
LIQ: Liquid
LKR: Locker
LL:  Live Load
LMS: Limestone
LN: Length
LNDG: Landing
LNTL: Lintel
LOC: Locate
LOCS: Locations
LP:  Low Point, Low Pressure, Lighting Panel, Light Proof
LPS: Low Pressure Sodium, Low Pressure Steam
LR:  Living Room
LS:  Limestone, Loud Speaker
LT:  Light, Low Tension Duct, Laundry Tray
LTG: Lighting
LTL: Lintel
LT WT: Lightweight
LV:  Low Voltage
LVR: Louver
LW: Light Weight
LWC: Light Weight Concrete
LWDP: Louvered Wood Door, Painted
M:  Meter, Motor, Thousand (brick), Bending Moment
MACH: Machine
MAINT: Maintenance
MAN; Manual
MAR: Marble
MARB: Marble
MAS: Masonry
MAT: Material
MATL: Material
MAX: Maximum
MB:  Mail Box, Machine Bolt, Mop Basin
MC: Medicine Cabinet, Mineral Core
MCC: Motor Control Center
MCM: Thousand Circular Mils (electrical wire size)
ME:  Mechanical Engineer
MECH: Mechanical
MED: Medium
MED CAB: Medicine Cabinet
MEMB: Membrane
MERC: Mercury Vapor
MET: Metal
MEZZ: Mezzanine
MFD: Manufactured, Metal Floor Deck
MFG: Manufacturer, Manufacturing
MFR: Manufacture, Manufacturer
MH: Manhole
MI:  Malleable Iron, Miles
MIKE: Microphone
MIN: Minimum
MIR: Mirror
MISC: Miscellaneous
MK:  Mark
ML&P: Metal Lath & Plaster
MLD: Molding
MLDG: Molding
MM: Millimeter
MMB: Membrane
MO: Masonry Opening
MOD: Module
MONO: Monolithic
MOV: Movable
MP: Metal Acoustal Panel
MPS: Medium Pressure Steam
MR: Mop Receptor
MRD: Metal Roof Deck
MT: Mount, Mounted
MTD: Mounted
MTL: Material, Metal
MTR: Motor
MUL: Mullion
MULL: Mullion
MV:  Mercury Vapor
MWP: Maximum Working Pressure
MWK: Millwork
N:  North, Nitrogen
NAP: Napkin
NAT: Natural
NATL: Natural
NB:  “Nota Bene”  Latin phrase for “Take Special Note”
NC:  Normally Closed, Noise Criteria
NEC: National Electrical Code
NEUT: Neutral
NF:  Near Face
NFWH: Non-freeze Wall Hydrant
NI:  Nickel
NIC: Not In Contract
NK:  Neck
NMT: Non-Metallic
NO:  Number, Normally Open
NOM: Nominal
NR:  Noise Reduction
NRC: Noise Reduction Coefficient
NRP: Non-Removable Pin
NRS: Non Rising Steam Valve
NS:  Near Side
NTS: Not To Scale
O:  Oxygen
O TO O: Out to Out
OA:  Outside Air, Overall
OB: Obscure
OBS: Obscure
OC:  On Center
OD:  Outside Diameter
OF:  Outside Face
OFF: Office
OH:  Overhead
OHD: Overhead Door
OHMS: Oval Head Machine Screw
OHWS: Oval Head Wood Screw
OI:  Ornamental Iron
OP:  Opaque
OPG: Opening
OPNG: Opening
OPP: Opposite
OPP H: Opposite Hand
OR:  Outside Radius
ORN: Ornamental
OSD Open Sight Drain
OS&Y: Outside Screw & Yoke (valve)
OUT: Outlet
OVFL: Overflow
OW: Open Waste
OZ:  Ounce
P:  Pitch, Power Panel, Paint
P. LAM: Plastic Laminate
P SL: Pipe Sleeve
PA:  Public Address
PAF: Powder Actuated Fasteners
PAR: Parallel
PARTN: Partition
PASS: Passage, Passenger
PB:  Pull Box, Push Button, Panic Bar
PBD: Particle Board
PBMT: Preshimmed Butyl Mastic Sealant Tape
PB STA: Push Button Station
PC:  Pull Chain, Piece, Precast Concrete
PCF: Pounds per cubic foot
PCPL: Portland Cement Plaster
PD:  Pump Discharge, Plaza Drain
PDP: Paneled Door, Painted
PE:  Porcelain Enamel, Professional Engineer
PED: Pedestal, Pedestrian
PERF: Perforate, Performance
PERIM: Perimeter
PERP: Perpendicular
PFN: Prefinished
PG:  Pressure Gauge
PH:  Phase, Preheat, Phone
PIV: Pivoted, Post Indicator Valve
PJF: Preformed Joint Filler
PKG: Parking
PKWY: Parkway
PL:  Plate, Plan, Property Line, Plastic Laminate, Plastic
PLAS: Plaster, Plastic
PLAS LAM: Plastic Laminate
PLBG: Plumbing
PLF: Pounds Per Lineal Foot
PLG: Plumbing
PLMBG: Plumbing
PLTF: Platform
PLWD: Plywood
PLYWD: Plywood
PLUMB: Plumbing
PNEU: Pneumatic
PNL: Panel
PNT: Paint
POL: Polish, Polished
PORC: Porcelain
PORT: Portable
POT W: Potable Water
PP:  Plaster, Painted, Power Panel, Precast Panel
PR:  Pair
PRC: Precast
PRCST: Precast
PRE: Prefinished
PREFAB: Prefabricated
PRES: Pressure
PRESS: Pressure
PRF: Preformed
PRFMD: Preformed
PRI: Primary
PRMLD: Premolded
PROT: Protection, Protective
PRSTR: Prestressed
PRTN: Partition
PRV: Pressure Reducing Valve
PS:  Plumbing Stack
PSC: Prestressed Concrete
PSF: Pounds per square foot
PSI: Pounds per square inch
PSIG: Pounds per square inch gage
PT:  Paint, Point, Part, Potential Transformer
PTC: Post-Tensioned Concrete
PTD: Painted, Paper Towel Dispenser
PTD/R: Combination Paper Towel Dispenser/Receptacle
PTN: Partition
PTR: Paper Towel Receptacle
PV: Paving
PVC: Polyvinyl Chloride
PVF: Polyvinylidene Finish
PVG: Paving
PVMT: Pavement
PVT: Private
PW: Pass Window
PWR: Power
QUAL: Quality
QUANT: Quantity
QT:  Quarry Tile, Quart
QTR: Quarter
QTY: Quantity
R:  Riser, Radius, Resistance, Relay Panel
R & S: Rod and Shelf
RA:  Return Air, Registered Architect
RAD: Radius, Radiator
RADN: Radian
RB:  Rubber, Rubber Base, Resilient Base
RBC: Rubber Base (Coved),
Rubberized Bituminous Compound
RBS: Rubber Base (Straight)
RBT: Rabbet
RCF: Raised Computer Floor
RCP: Reflected Ceiling Plan, Reinforced Concrete Pipe
RD:  Roof Drain, Round, Receptacle Distribution Panel
REBAR: Reinforcing Bar
REC: Receiver
RECEP: Receptacle
RECP: Receptacle
RED: Reducer
REF: Refer, Reference, Refrigerator
REFL: Reflected, Reflector
REFR: Refrigerate, Refrigerator
REG: Register, Regular
REINF: Reinforcement, or Reinforce
REM: Remove, Removable
REQ: Require, Required
REQD: Required
RES: Resilient
RESIL: Resilient
REST: Resistance
RET: Return, Retaining
RETG: Retaining
REV: Reverse, Revise, Revision
REV DR: Revolving Door
RF: Roof
RFG: Roofing
RGTR: Register
RGH: Rough
RGH OPNG:Rough Opening
RH:  Right Hand, Reheat, Relative Humidity
RHC: Reheat Coil
RHMS: Round Head Machine Screw
RHR: Right Hand Reverse, Reheater
RHWS: Round Head Wood Screw
RM: Room
RMS: Root Mean Squared
RMV: Remove
RN:  Riser Nipple
RO:  Rough Opening
ROB: Rod Out Basin
ROW: Right of Way
RPM: Revolutions Per Minute
RPT: Repeat (like “Ditto”)
RR:  Railroad
RT:  Rubber Tile, Right
RTR/RR Rubber Tread/Rubber Riser
RVS: Reverse Side
RVT: Rivet
RW: Redwood
RWC: Rain Water Conductor
RWD: Redwood
RWL: Rain Water Leader
S:  South, Sealant, Supply, Sink
S4S: Surfaced 4 Sides
S&M: Surfaced & Matched
S&S: Stained & Sealed
S&V: Stain & Varnish
SACT: Suspended Acoustical Tile
SALV: Salvage
SAN: Sanitary
SB: Setting Basin, Splash Block
SC:  Solid Core, Short Circuit, Self Closing, Sill Cock
SCD: Seat Cover Dispenser
SCFT: Structural Clay Facing Tile
SCH: Schedule
SCHED: Schedule
SCR: Screen
SCUP: Scupper
SCWD: Solid Core Wood
SD: Soap Dispenser
SE:  Structural Engineer
SEAL: Sealant
SEC: Second, Section, Secondary, Security System
SECT: Section
SECY: Secretary
SED: Sewage Ejector Discharge
SEL: Select
SERV: Service
SEV: Sewage Ejector Vent
SF:  Square Foot
SFGL: Safety Glass
SGG: Structural Glazing Gasket
SGS: Silicone Glazing Sealant
SH:  Shelf, Sheet, Shower
SHR: Shower
SHT: Sheet
SHTH: Sheathing
SHTHG: Sheathing
SHWR: Shower
SIG: Signal
SIM: Similar
SJS: Silicone Joint Sealant
SK:  Sink
SKL: Skylight
SL: Siamese Line
SLOT: Slotted
SLV: Sleeve
SND: Sanitary Napkin Dispenser
SNGG: Sponge Neoprene Glazing Gasket
SNR: Sanitary Napkin Receptacle
SNT: Sealant
SP:  Soil Pipe, Standpipe, Soundproof, Single Pole
SPC: Spacer
SPD: Sump Pump Discharge
SPDT: Single Pole Double Throw
SPEC: Specification, Specifications
SPECS: Specifications
SPK: Speaker
SPL: Special
SPLR: Sprinkler
SPM: Sprinkler Main
SPP: Skim Coat Plaster Painted
SPST: Single Pole Single Throw
SQ:  Square
SS:  Stainless Steel, Set Screw, Soil Stack, Service Sink, Slop Sink
SSD: Sub-soil Drain
SSGS: Silicone Structural Glazing Sealant
SSK: Service Sink
SSS: Silicone Sanitary Sealant
SST: Stainless Steel
ST:  Straight, Storm Water
STA: Station
STC: Sound Transmission Class
STD: Standard
STG: Storage, Seating
STGG: Structural Glazing Gasket
STGR: Stagger
STIFF: Stiffener
STK: Stack
STL: Steel
STM: Steam
STO: Storage
STOR: Storage
STP: Standard Temperature & Pressure, Standpipe
STR: Straight (re-bars), Strainer, Structural, Starter
STRL: Structural
STRT: Straight
STRUC: Structural
STRUCT:  Structural
ST W: Storm Water
STWY: Stairway
SUCT: Suction
SUPP: Supplementary, Supplement
SUPT: Superintendent
SUR: Surface
SUSP: Suspended, Suspend
SV:  Safety Relief Valve
SW: Switch
SWBD: Switchboard
SWGR: Switchgear
SY:  Square Yard
SYM: Symmetrical
SYN: Synthetic
SYS: System
T:  Tread, Thermostat, Tee
T/:  Top
T&B: Top and Bottom
T&G: Tongue & Groove
T&P: Temperature & Pressure Relief Valve
TAN: Tangent
TB:  Towel Bar
TC:  Top of Curb, Terracotta
TCLO: Telephone Closet
TCS: Terne Coated Stainless Steel
TD:  Trench Drain
TEL: Telephone
TEL CL: Telephone Closet
TEMP: Temporary, Tempered, Temperature
TEN: Tenant
TER: Terrazzo
TERR: Terrazzo
TERM: Terminal
TGL: Toggle
TH:  Thermostat
THK: Thick, Thickness
THKNS: Thickness
THR: Threshold
THRESH:  Threshold
THRM: Thermal
THRMST:  Thermostat
THRU: Through
TKBD: Tackboard
TL:  Twist Lock (receptacle)
TLT: Toilet
TOL: Tolerance
TP:  Top of Pavement
TPD: Toilet paper Dispenser
TPH: Toilet Paper Holder
TPTN: Toilet Partition
TR:  Tread, Transom
TRANS: Transformer, Translucent
TRAV: Travertine
TRD: Tread
TS:  Time Switch
TSL: Top of Slab
TST: Top of Steel
TSTAT: Thermostat
TT:  Terrazzo Tile, Traffic Topping
TTC: Telephone Terminal Closet
TV:  Television
TW: Top of Wall, Thin Wall (conduit), Tempered Water
TYP: Typical
TZ:  Terrazzo
UC:  Undercut
UH:  Unit Heater
UL:  Underwriters’ Laboratories
UNEX: Unexcavated
UNEXC: Unexcavated
UNF: Unfinished
UNFIN: Unfinished
UNO: Unless Noted Otherwise
UON: Unless Otherwise Noted
UP:  Unpainted
UR:  Urinal
USG: United States Gauge, United States Gypsum Company
USS: United States Standard
UT:  Utility
V:  Volt, Valve, Vinyl, Vent, Ventilator
VA:  Volt Ampere
VAC: Vacuum
VACBR: Vacuum Breaker
VAR: Varnish, Varies
VAT: Vinyl Asbestos Tile
VB:  Vapor Barrier, Valve Box, Vinyl Base, Vacuum Breaker
VBC: Vinyl Base (Coved)
VBS: Vinyl Base (Straight)
VC: Varnished Cambric
VCP: Vitrified Clay Pipe
VCT: Vinyl Composition Tile
VENT: Ventilate, Ventilator
VERT: Vertical
VEST: Vestibule
VF:  Vinyl Fabric
VFGT: Vinyl Foam Glazing Tape
VIF: Verify In the Field
VIN: Vinyl
VIT: Vitreous
VLT: Vault
VNR: Veneer
VOL: Volume
VP:  Vapor Proof, Vent Pipe
VR:  Vapor Retarder, Vacuum Return, Vertical Riser
VRM: Vermiculite
VS:  Vent Stack
VT:  Vinyl Tile
VTR: Vent Through Roof
VWC: Vinyl Wall Covering
W:  West, Width, Wide, Watt, Waste, Water, Water Main
W/:  With
W/O: Without
W&M: Washburn & Moen Gauge
WAINS: Wainscot
WB: Wood Base
WC: Watercloset
WD: Wood
WDP: Wood, Painted
WDSS: Wood, Stained & Sealed
WDW: Window
WF: Wide Flange (structural steel)
WFS: Water Flow Switch
WG: Wired Glass
WGL: Wire-Glass
WH: Water Heater, Wall Hung, Wall Hydrant
WI:  Wrought Iron
WIN: Window
WM: Wire Mesh, Water Meter
WP: Waterproof, Working Point, Working Pressure, Weatherproof
WPR: Waterproofing
WPT: Working Point
WR: Water Resistant, Water Repellant, Waste Receptacle
WRSTP: Weatherstripping
WS: Weatherstripping, Water Stop
WSCT: Wainscot
WT: Weight, Water Table, Watertight
WVNR: Wood Veneer
WW: Window Wall
WWF: Welded Wire Fabric
XH:  Extra Heavy
X HVY: Extra Heavy
X STR: Extra Strong
YD:  Yard
YR:  Year

Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, and Construction Delivery with Robust Business Processes

Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, and Construction Delivery with Robust Business Processes

Real Property Owners, Contractors, Architects, and Engineers are under tremendous pressure to innovate, accelerate project delivery times, and minimize costs.   Also, all parties must implement methods to improve the customer experience of building users.
Many AEC organizations find these objectives difficult to achieve. They remain plagued by low productivity, a low-bid/change-order mentality, and adversarial relationships among all construction project participants.  As a result, building users are unsatisfied, facility management is treated as an expense versus an asset, and sub-optimal performance has become the norm.

Solutions to the above problems have existed for decades.  The are not, however, to be found in technology.   Performance improvements are available via LEAN business process and associated collaborative construction delivery methods.

The reason its hard for Owners, Facility Managers and AEC service providers to optimize operations is that collaboration,  team leadership, and asset life-cycle modeling/management are not areas of  core expertise.   They were generally not part of their formal education, nor their professional training.

Furthermore, the application of LEAN processes to Facility Management and AEC services requires  deep visibility into workflows, tasks, and detailed costs.   The latter is impossible without common terms, definitions, and data architectures, and reliance upon ad-hoc and inefficient manual processes that continuously “reinvent” the wheel, duplicate work, rely upon excessive management and control, and introduce variability.

When core facility life-cycle management processes, players, and systems are not fully integrated and on-board, and competency is not present in each required domain, any measurable improvement in outcomes is extremely challenging.

Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC are examples of efficient LEAN collaborative construction delivery methods than deliver on-time, on-budget, quality projects in excess of 90% of the time.   This level of performance remains unmatched by traditional design-bid-build, CM@R, or design-build. Both have been available for consistent implementation for decades.

Both IPD and JOC require an understanding of the challenges facing both Owners, AEC service providers, and building users.   Better education and awareness is the only viable path forward.    The good news is that both can be supported by technology to enable relatively low cost and consistent deployment.

In short the adoption of collaborative LEAN construction delivery processes and an asset life-cycle perspective lead the transformation from wasteful, unsatisfactory outcomes, to economically and environmentally improved results.

Ad-hoc practices are transformed into information-supported decision-marking that leverages multi-domain expertise and associated analytics,completely transparent, efficient and unified operations, and enhanced satisfaction for all stakeholders.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

Collaborative Job Order Contracting Construction Delivery

job order contracting history

10 steps toward real property stewardship

OpenJOC Detailed Process Diagramjob order contracting



The Problem with the UK’s BIM Strategy

The Problem with the UK’s BIM Strategy

The fundamental problem with the UK’s BIM Strategy is found within the following quotation “digital technology is changing the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure.”(Source: 2015, Level 3 Building Information Modelling – Strategic Plan,  HM Government).

Digital technology can not, and will not, change how the physical infrastructure is planned, built, or maintained.  History has taught us that technology, without a primary focus upon robust, proven processes/workflows and associated outcomes, does little but automate and perpetuate ‘ad-hoc’ inefficient methods.

The exact same situation has occurred here in the U.S., where BIM has stagnated due to an unfortunate focus upon 3D visualization versus building awareness and competency with respect to LEAN collaborative AEC/construction delivery methods.

Despite the obviously limited nature of our economic and environmental resources, the disproportionate level of waste associated with the renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and new construction of buildings and infrastructure (dams, roads, utilities, airports, bridges…) continues unabated.

The barriers to positive change across the Real Property Owner and AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) sector remain strong.   The principle barrier is that Owners lack requisite education and awareness relative to sound life-cycle / total cost of ownership practices, and therefore are are incapable of leading efforts to improve productivity and mitigate waste.

The following aspects of LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methodology, which have been present in Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Job Order Contracting – JOC for decades,  should be the primary teachings of educational institutions and professional training:

  1. Focus upon Outcomes
  2. Collaboration
  3. Financial Transparency
  4. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures
  5. Shared Risk/Reward
  6. Mutual Trust/Respect
  7. Ongoing Monitoring / Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  8. Continuous education, training, and improvement

Note that none of these require technology, although technology would certainly aid in lower the cost of consistent deployment.

10 steps toward real property stewardshipOpenJOC Detailed Process DiagramBIM asset life-cycle competencies


Technical (Source: 2015, Level 3 Building Information Modelling – Strategic Plan,  HM Government)

1. Level 3 A (Enabling Improvements in the Level 2 Model)

a. Technical systems to enable requirements documentation and integrated working (in sector interoperability)

b. Technical systems to enable e-Planning and e-Regs

c. Complete the scope and package work for IFC data definitions

d. Complete the scope and package work for MVD process definitions

e. Update Level 2 dPoW system to support MVD process definitions

f. Define and deliver security capability and guidance

2. Level 3 B (Enable new technologies and systems)

a. Complete the scope and package work for UML (simple interface) definitions

b. Define and deliver Internet of Things data and process standards

c. Create and integrate common “apps” store capability with cross sector teams

d. Improve electronic survey capabilities and services for existing structures above and below ground

e. Deliver geotechnical capabilities

f. Complete tools and controls for “infrastructure” development and operation

3. Level 3 C (Enable the development of new business models)

a. Update Level 2 Classification system to support sematic web

b. Data streams and telemetry integration

c. Integration of security measures and protocols

d. Advanced analytics and algorithms

e. Integration to paperless contracts

f. Integration to people based security

g. Integration across associated sectors

h. Developments required for Semantic contracts (including provenance)

i. Establish and deliver methods to publish outcomes to data.gov

j. Establish cross sector interoperability requirements

4. Level 3 D (Become a world leader)

a. Deliver “English” language dictionary and ontology framework and methods

b. Provide international Internet of Things Standards

10 Steps Toward Real Property Stewardship & Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment

10 Steps Toward Real Property Stewardship

Life-cycle Management of the Built Environment


Efficient life-cycle management of the built environment requires ALL of the following. As a  Real Property Owner, how do are you doing?

  1. Collaborative, LEAN business practices and construction project delivery methods (Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, Job Order Contracting – JOC, …)
  2. Metrics including Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  3. Continuous education and training
  4. Financial transparency
  5. Common terms, definitions, and standard data architectures
  6. Long-term mutually beneficial relationships with service providers
  7. Life-cycle / Total-cost-of-ownership perspective versus first-cost mentality
  8. Best value procurement
  9. Enabling technology that supports processes/workflows
  10. Focus upon Outcomes

10 steps toward real property stewardship

AEC – Best Value & Operational Excellence

AEC  – Best Value & Operational Excellence


As an Owner, Architect, Engineer, Contractor, Building User, or Oversight Group, you can strive for BEST VALUE, OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE, and TRANSPARENCY or maintain ‘status quo’, it’s your choice.

Presuming you want to improve productivity and provide the best possible return on resource expenditure, the first step is to improve your awareness, knowledge, and competency relative to physical asset life-cycle management.

Stop attempting to address problems with TECHNOLOGY, as all you will do is compound existing problems.  Focus upon improving physical asset management competencies, especially the deployment COLLABORATIVE CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHODS.

The single most important consideration when attempting to improve quality, delivery times, and lowering expenditures is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD.

It is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD that sets defines roles, responsibilities, levels of risk, business processes and workflows, information standards, timelines, transparency, and collaboration.

It is the CONSTRUCTION DELIVERY METHOD that sets the overall tone for renovation, repair, maintenance, or new construction projects and determines ultimate success or failure more so than any other single element.

Collaborative construction delivery methods have been implemented for decades are a proven to delivery in excess of 90% of projects on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all participants.  The most notable processes are Integrated Project Delivery, IPD, for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC for renovation, repair, and minor new construction.

Real property owners must become more knowledgeable in these areas and require collaborative construction delivery methods.   As note, technology, such as 3D BIM, will not solve the woes of the AEC and Facilities Management sectors.  The solution is change-management and improving competency.

Characteristics of LEAN Collaborative Construction Delivery Methods

  • Best Value Procurement
  • Early and Ongoing Collaboration
  • Shared Risk/Reward
  • Common Terms, Definitions, and Data Architectures
  • Financial Transparency
  • Mutual Trust and Respects
  • Focus Upon Outcomes
  • Continuous Improvement, Education, and Training
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Job Order Contracting

Asset Comptency ModelOpenJOC Detailed Process Diagram

Job order contacting relationship modeljob order contracting value-based


Facilities Management in the U.S. – R.I.P.

Facilities Management in the U.S. – R.I.P.

If I see another article about how great facilities management professionals (FMers) are, or how misunderstood, I think my head will explode.

Real property owners, aka FMers, simply aren’t doing their jobs.   It they were, physical infrastructure (buildings, roads, bridges, utilities, ….) deferred maintenance wouldn’t be continuing to climb AND construction would not still be one of the least productive industries of all.

Sure, they are good, if not great FMers, but in general, there is are major professional capability and competency issues.

First and foremost Owner must demonstrate LEADERSHIP throughout all aspects of physical asset life-cycle management.  This means they must understand the concepts of asset life-cycle modeling, LEAN collaborative construction delivery, capital planning and management, total cost of ownership, best value procurement, maintenance strategies, utilization and space planning, physical and functional condition assessment and more…

No one can be an expert in the above competencies, but being able to lead teams of internal and external teams IS a requirement for any FMer with a real property portfolio.

Then, of course, you get the folks that say…”Oh, I can just outsource FM.”   Again my head explodes.   Are facilities and infrastructure core to your organization?   And… you are going to outsource their management?  Really?   Good luck with that.

Here’s a list of topics, areas, in which a real property owner should have a working level of competence.  How do your rate yourself?

  • Outcome-focused planning and management
  • LEAN best management practices
  • Collaborative construction delivery methods (IPD, JOC)
  • Share risk/reward
  • Facility Condition Index
  • Adequacy Index
  • System Condition Index
  • Risk prioritization
  • Financial Transparency
  • Common terms, definitions, data architectures
  • Best value procurement
  • Integral contract execution/operations manuals
  • Mandatory collaboration
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  • Performance Audits
  • User & service provider surveys
  • Long term service provider relationships
  • Internal owner cost estimates
  • Plug-in / modular technology
  • Asset modeling

Asset Comptency Model

BIM asset life-cycle competenciesasset life-cycle model for buildings and infrasructure

If you aren’t concerned about FM and AEC service delivery models… you should be.

Owner competency, owner/service provider relationships, and outsourcing trends are alarming at best.

Here’s just a few points to ponder…

  • Owner believe that technology is key to improving the renovation, repair, maintenace, and delivery services and financial transparency.   Well, I have news, if you don’t have sound business process and workflows, not to mention viable strategic and operational plans, technology will just automate you poor practices.
  •  ‘Big data’ and analytics, specifically being able to link data to decision making to improve productivity and service quality is seen as another “game changer”.    Well, two things here.  There IS such a thing as TOO MUCH INFORMATION.   Unless, the information is maintained in standardized formats and in plain english that everyone understands…and its both timely and actionable.   Big data and analytics are worthless.  Again…process and planning MUST come before any attempt to leverage data and/or analytics.
  • Owners are hoping for “culture change” – changing attitudes towards facilities, architecture, construction, and engineering.   They assume changes in the AECOO working/workplace with result  in changes in how people work and communicate – be it through technology or changes to the built environment.   Well, again, newsflash…. Owner MUST DRIVE CHANGE… IT’S UP TO YOU!
  • Increased competition for economic and environmental resources continues… reduced budgets and high expectation of service users are becoming the norm. Despite this obvious trend, real property owners are doing little to change their practices accordingly.
  • Last but not least… and only last, as I am sure you don’t want to read more… it that the trend towards outsourcing continues.  A high percentage of owners outsource more than 50% of their FM services.   Well…. last time I checked, FM is not a commodity, and outsourced service delivery is less efficient than a properly managed owner provided service.    The promises from outsourcing providers of financial savings, better technical expertise, buying efficiencies, and access to management best practices are rarely confirmed… or even measured… and even more rarely fulfilled.  So, again… the rampant trend towards mediocrity, waste, and inefficiency is supported versus mitigated.

Communication, working together as a team and better alignment of strategies and plans are the top areas of focus for most FMers.  However, without proper tools, training, and competencies, most will never achieve measurable positive results.

You don’t believe the situation is dire?

Surveys show that a high percentage of (approximately 50%) Owners don’t feel there is much room for improvement regarding initial request for proposals and briefings, etc.   REALLY?  ARE YOU SERIOUS?

How can that be?   Have they actually read the RFI’s, RFP’s?   Most (60%+) of contractor, engineers, etc. feel their is a LOT of room for improvement relative to Owner RFI’s, RFP’s etc.   This DISCONNECT simply should not exist.    It is another indicator of lack of owner due diligence.

The same percentage hold for questions relative to KPIs, reporting, etc.

What will it take for the U.S. FM and AEC industry to truly adopt innovation and collaborative LEAN business practices?.










10 Ways to Reduce Construction Risk with Collaboration

10 Ways to Reduce Construction Risk with Collaboration

Change orders, lack of timely and accurate information, poor leadership, and a dysfunctional team are the reasons the majority of construction projects end up being over budget, late, and dissatisfaction among all participants.

All of these are address by collaborative construction delivery methods.   No, we are not talking about BIM.   This is the proven process of applying integrated project delivery, IPD, job order contarcting, JOC, or similar construction delivery methods throughout the project life-cycle and well as for on-gong facilities management.

Risk is reduced by sharing information will a project participant from concept through completion.   While the various collaborative construction delivery methods have their own structures, they share the concepts of a written Operations Manual / Execution Plan as well as the following…

  1. Early and ongoing communication of all project participants
  2. Mutual respect and trust
  3. Shared risk/reward
  4. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures (Uniformat/ Masterformat/Omniclass)
  5. Owner leadership without excessive control
  6. Key performance indicators, KPIs and monitoring
  7. Ongoing education and training
  8. Continuous improvement
  9. Focus upon outcomes
  10. Financial transparency

BIM asset life-cycle competencies


standardized cost data

Asset Life-cycle Model, Asset Information Model, and Why BIM Won’t Work

The U.S. tried to foster BIM with NBIMS,  also others in the world tried PAS this and PAS that, and ISO this and ISO that… the issue remains that standards can’t replace knowledge and competency.

At the end of there day BIM represents nothing new relative to the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.  Sure, software firms, and folks that love 3D and make a living from it will tell you otherwise, but the simple truth is that BIM, as we now know it, can not and will not survive.

The fact that BIM is a failure is sad because the world desperately needs to get a grip on how to manage its limited economic and environment resources and built structures are significant in that process.   Furthermore, there are critical life-safety and security issues associated with our crumbling and mismanaged physical infrastructure.

The primary issue is that many facility management and AEC professionals confused 3D visualization with asset life-cycle management.  While 3D visualization is nice tool, is is just that, an individual component in the toolbox.  It’s not even the most important tool.   Large, multi-site, multi-national real property portfolios can be efficiently managed WITHOUT 3D visualization and BIM software as now available.

Thus the pressure by countries, such as the UK to use BIM is misdirected.

Any government regulation should be directly solely at Owners.  More specifically, asset life-cycle management practices and collaborative construction delivery methods (integrated project delivery – IPD, job order contracting – JOC)  should be mandated.  This includes a formalized set up key performance indicators (KPIs), robust lean best management practices, and ongoing education and training.

The methods to eliminate the rampant environment and economic waste endemic to the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, and Owner sectors has been available for decades,  we simply don’t require Owners to do their jobs.

Owners must be required to develop technical and business competencies with respect to asset life-cycle modeling and total cost of ownership, and be able to LEAD collaborative teams of service providers.     Until this happens….   nothing will change, it is indeed as simple as that.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

Asset Comptency Model

Collaborative Construction Delivery = Positive Outcomes


The AEC and Facilities Management  industry is fragmented and unproductive.  While many have looked towards technology as the “silver bullet”, software simply can’t correct poor business practices, lack of requisite skills, and an industry resistant to change.

One need to  look no further than the stagnation of BIM in the U.S. and the U.K. to see that software is not the compass that will navigate the AEC and FM sector towards a higher percentage of quality outcomes delivered in a timely manner and on-budget.

The core elements required to drive the AEC and FM sector toward better outcomes are listed below.

  • Elevated Owner Capability & Leadership
  • Best value procurement
  • Collaborative LEAN management practices
  • Common terms, definitions, and data architectures
  • Mutual trust/respect
  • Shared risk/reward
  • Full financial transparency
  • Fully defined and documented roles, responsibilities, deliverables, and processes
  • Continuous education, monitoring, & improvement


The causal factors for the AEC/FM sector’s problems include…

  • No common language.
  • Lack of defined and consistently deployed procedures and workflows that benefit all participants
  • Obsolete technology… reliance upon monolithic IWMS and/or BIM systems.
  • Focus upon “the weeds”…   forced levels of rigid detail versus common understanding.
  • Costly, inflexible, and/or untimely revision cycle “standards”..(i.e. “ISO”, “NBIMS” …) versus “open” flexible guidelines and crowd sourced and shared knowledge.
  • No minimum level of competency and lack of proper oversight.

The AEC and FM industry lacks coordination due to void of life-cycle based based goals and objectives and an associated lack of focus upon OUTCOMES.  Owners simply lack the capability, competencies, and/or motivation to engage in leadership.


Collaboration, coordination, and improved productivity can only occur within a framework of  goals, competent actors, resources, and activities.  The linkage between the built environment and organizational goals is usually taken for granted or simply not understood, and certainly very rarely proactively managed.

Actors and activities are linked by inter-dependencies which must be formally structured, if not mandated via collaborative construction delivery methods.  strategic facility management and BIMSimilarly competencies in all requisite AEC and FM domains must be required.

Clarity and purpose must be provided by Real Property Owners as well as formal education and ongoing professional training.  While technology has its supporting role, Owner must firmly be in the drivers seat… steering the AEC and FM sectors toward efficient  life-cycle asset management strategies and practices.