BIM and the Role of Neural Networks – AI

(via – leading provider of software and services for efficient construction delivery including cost estimating, project-document-contract management, visual estimating/QTO, exclusive 400,000 enhancement of RSMeans cost data … for JOC, IPD, SABER, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, IDIQ, POCA, BOA … )

There is definately a role for the application of neural networks / AI within the AEC sector.

The technology would  help to support the integrage of disparate data.

That said, it is the lack of awarencess of, and associated implementation of existent robust business processes that is primary issue within our industry.
For example, many FMers don’t appreciate the differences of CMMS, CPMS, CAFM… or the criticality of standardized reference cost data, UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, core benchmarks….FCIs, etc., or COBIE, OMNICLASS, etc.  No do many appreciate the role of efficient construction delivery methods such as IPD (integrated project devliery) and JOC (job order contracting), the later a form of IPD specifically for facility renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction.

Neural networks can parse disparate data (to a degree, they are   about 80% to 99%+ accuarate depending upon source data and specific application, and thus still require human intervention such as manual mapping of “outliers”), FMers would do well to focus upon process, efficient construction delivery methods, etc.

(Source for following paragraph and above image – )

 Neural networks have been used in computer science for speech recognition, image analysis, adaptive controls, software agents, and statistical analysis for some time now. Your input layer [see image above] would consist of multiple models and code standards databases from different sources and phases of a project. This inputs are facets of an aggregate building model, interpreted by a middle layer (algorithms aka secret sauce) which results in the desired output (BIM) for specialized purposes (i.e. design, engineering, FM). They are in no way practical as the software architecture for a BIM authoring application as they are slower and require more computing resources to retrieve data. However, they would be useful for interpreting the relationships between nodes in an aggregate data structure where compute resources and storage space are not an issue… enter cloud computing.

Why Revit is NOT BIM !

If you think Revit is BIM, please stop now.

Revit is a BIM tool, as are similar products from Graphisoft, Bentley Systems, etc. etc.  These tools provide the basic 3d design/rendering/engineering components of BIM (and, yes I know, some additional functionality) and associated object technologies. 

BIM on the other hand is a business process enabling cradle-to-grave life-cycle management of the built environment supported by a variety of techologies, of which Revit is  just “one”.

Those who have spent ten to thirty plus years in the AEC sector know how much a  laggard our industry is versus others when it comes to efficient business processes and supporting technologies.  As a result, the adoption of BIM will REQUIRE fundamental “cultural changes” in AEC business practices.  The basic business foundations of the AEC community must adapt to enable BIM and it’s resulted added value to flourish.

Sure, the risks that come with change are ever present, however, the reward, a productive AEC industry, will benefit everyone… owners, users/occupants, contractors, architects, engineers, software providers, business product manufactuers, and the community at large.

IPD – National study of Integrated Project Delivery method demonstrates efficiencies and cost effectiveness

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and AIA California Council (AIACC) Announce Positive Results in Integrated Project Delivery Case Studies

National study of Integrated Project Delivery method demonstrates efficiencies and cost effectiveness Sacramento, CA (January 28, 2010)

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and The AIA California Council, (AIACC) today announced the results of a joint project focused on real building projects that utilized and implemented Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), during the building process.

IPD is a construction project model in which owner, design professional and builder jointly share a project’s risk and reward. These studies demonstrate the successful application of

IPD in a variety of building types and scales in diverse regions of the country, and are the first installment of an ongoing evaluation process of how the IPD model might be incorporated nationwide to protect against project losses. In particular, all six participants in the study delivered projects on time and within budget using the IPD model, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of its use.

Inefficiencies and waste in the construction industry, coupled with new technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and owner demand for better quality and cost controls, have created a need for a collaborative approach to design and construction. The participants in this project openly discuss the pros and cons of IPD as a collaborative building and design effort.

According to the case studies, advantages of IPD include:

 Owners enjoy improved cost control and budget management, as well as the potential for less litigation and enhanced business outcomes.

 Contractors are provided with the opportunity for stronger project pre-planning, more timely and informed understanding of design, the ability to anticipate and resolve design related issues through direct participation in the design process, construction sequencing visualization to improve methods prior to the start of construction, and improved cost control and budget management.

 For architects and designers, IPD provides more time for design, reduces documentation, allocates more appropriate sharing of risk and reward and improves cost control and budget management.

According to Jonathan Cohen, FAIA, who conducted the study, “There was so much energy and enthusiasm around IPD. These projects were all successful on their own terms and free of serious disputes – that alone is remarkable. What struck me was the level of creativity in the different teams’ approaches. Our industry is learning to innovate by experimenting and applying lessons learned to the next project. This tells me there shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” formula for doing IPD. At the same time there are underlying principles that should not be compromised.”

Based on these initial reports, IPD is proving to be a solution that frees parties from the News Release processes that often weigh a project down. It allows for creativity and innovation in the way stakeholders approach a project – avoiding a ‘one size fits all’ formula and instead, finds solutions unique to the specific building issues. We are excited to continue this research and see if this methodology provides the boost to the bottom line of businesses that are desperately needed.”

About the Case Studies

The six case studies in the report include Autodesk Inc., AEC Solutions Division Headquarters in Waltham, MA; Sutter Health Fairfield Medical Office Building in Fairfield, CA; Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital Expansion in St. Louis, MO; St. Clare Health Center in Fenton, MO; Encircle Health Ambulatory Care Center in Appleton, WS; and Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University in Phoenix, AZ.

All participants were selected based on their compliance with the criteria of IPD, which include:

 Mutual trust and respect among participants

 Collaborative innovation

 Intensified early planning

 Open communication within the project team

 Building Information Modeling (BIM)

 Lean Principles of design, construction and operations

 Co-Location of teams

 Transparent financials

Because the IPD process is new, it was important that all parties agreed to these terms.

Additionally, projects had to be completed in the United States. Finally, Cohen visited all of the projects and interviewed the major participants at length, including one or more representatives of the owner, architect and builder. In most cases, the major engineering consultants, specialty subcontractors, building users and other stakeholders were interviewed, and project data was self-reported by the participants.

Steps have been taken across the AIA to support the use of IPD in future projects. While the projects in the current report were implemented prior to the availability of standard IPD Agreements, AIA Contract Documents now offers several documents specifically for IPD projects, including the C191™-2009, Standard Form Multi-Party Agreement for Integrated Project Delivery; C197™–2008, Standard Form of Agreement Between Single Purpose Entity and Non-Owner Member for Integrated Project Delivery; and C197™–2008, Standard Form of Agreement Between Single Purpose Entity and Non-Owner Member for Integrated Project Delivery.

Information on AIA’s IPD Agreements and other standard contract documents and software can be found at and at

The AIA and AIACC continue to study the ongoing effort to apply IPD as a business model and will document results in future reports. To download the IPD case studies, visit

About the AIA California Council

The AIACC represents the interests of more than 11,000 architects and allied professionals in California. Founded in 1944, The AIACC’s mission supports architects in their endeavors to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more livable communities, sustainable designs and quality work environments. Today, The AIACC is the largest component of the national AIA organization. For more information, visit

About the American Institute of Architects

For more than 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit