1. Owner competency & leadership
  2. Life-cycle asset management philosophy
  3. Best value procurement
  4. Collaborative construction delivery methods (IPD, JOC, …)
  5. Mutual trust & respect
  6. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures….all in plain English
  7. Shared risk/reward
  8. Monitoring via key performance indicators (KPIs)
  9. Ongoing education, training, & awareness buildling
  10. Continuous improvement






Building Information Modelling (BIM) is the integration of disparate competencies, business processes, and technologies to accomplish the efficient life-cycle management of the built environment.

Per the above definition, BIM has not moved from theory to reality to any significant extent. Improving facility and infrastructure construction, management, operations, and sustainability is indeed possible, if Owners provide competent leadership.  

Owners must also recognize the value of collaboration, LEAN management methods, and information-based decision-making.   

The fundamental way in which Owners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Building Users, and Oversight Groups interact must change.   The issue is not, nor has ever been, shortcomings in technology.  The vacuum is one of lack of change management skills and lack of overall asset life-cycle management competency.

Asset life-cycle management, as demonstrated in the figure below, requires an integration of business areas and competencies.

BIM asset life-cycle competencies

The primary driver is actually the construction delivery method.  It is the construction delivery method that contractually defines roles, responsibilities, timelines, deliverables, relationships, and sets the tone for a project from day one.   The construction delivery method can actually REQUIRE COLLABORATION of all participants, right down to the terms, definitions, and information used.

Thus a collaborative construction delivery CONTRACT and its associated OPERATIONS or EXECUTION MANUAL are the detailed road map to completed a significantly higher percentage (90%+) of quality  renovation, repair, and construction projects on-time and on-budget, and to the satisfaction of ALL participants.

Collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery, IPD for major new construction, and Job Order Contracting, JOC, for renovation, repair, maintenance, and minor new construction aren’t new.  The both have proven track records spanning decades.

asset life-cycle model for buildings and infrasructure

OpenJOC win-win

So, why isn’t everyone using collaborative construction delivery methods, and why aren’t 90% of projects delivered on-time and on-budget?   The answer has already been noted… owners are providing the necessary competent leadership, and many players are satisfied with the status quo.




It’s not simply a a learning curve issues,  it’s a culture change.  The multi-party nature, required financial transparency, and sharing of risk and reward is a definite hurdle for many.   Some current owners, contractors, and AE’s, quite simply, won’t be able to make the required transition.

Would it not be nice to stop focusing upon pretty 3D pictures, dated IWMS systems, and other technologies that dictate process and/or embed antagonistic workflows?  As stated previously, technology isn’t the solution, it can however be a crutch, and a problem… if it prevents us from asking the right questions… and dealing with positive change.







LEAN Job Order Contracting – Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, & Maintenance

LEAN Job Order Contracting – Optimize Facility Renovation, Repair, & Maintenance

Optimizing facility and infrastructure renovation, repair, and maintenance requires alignment of organizational strategy and vision both internally and with service providers.

2015 optimized facility renovation and repair

Internally, owners must be skilled at all aspects of managing the life-cycle of physical structures from concept through warranty, with particular emphasis upon LEAN, collaborative best management practices.

Improving operational efficiency and maximizing capital reinvestment can only be achieved if owners demonstrate leadership with respect to developing internal teams and trusted business partners such as architects, engineers, and contractors.

Job Order Contracting is a critical tool with respect to delivering more projects on-time and on-budget versus traditional design-bid-build.  High levels of quality and overall satisfaction can also be achieve via owner implemented and managed job order contracts.

Job Order Contracting is a LEAN construction delivery method that integrates mandatory collaboration of all stakeholders, shared risk/reward, common terms, definitions, and data architectures, transparent pricing via a unit price book – UPB,  global oversight and local implementation, on-demand services, and best value procurement.

Owners and contractors continuously evaluate current overall status, prioritized projects, performance versus budget, quality, and time,  and methods for improvement.

Unlike typical AEC culture, all parties are contribute equally and sacrifice short-term gains for better long-term performance.  Vision and intent of the partnership is shared and goals are clearly defined.  While there is a high degree of trust, all financial, project, and technical information is fully transparent and documented.  Parties are free to deliver in their area of expertise without excessive management and control.  While education and training is both ongoing and mandatory.     All of these factors are principles of LEAN construction management and best practice JOB ORDER CONTRACTING.  They all all involved parties to develop with and for each other with the result being better ways of doing things and mutual, longer term rewards.


standardized cost data

job order contracting


job order contract

IFC, Cobie & Why the Autodesk / Trimble Interoperability Agreement Won’t Matter

IFC, Cobie, Masterformat, Uniformat, Omniclass are standard data architectures critical to efficient construction delivery.

That said, common terms, definitions , and data architectures are just one of several components of collaborative LEAN construction delivery.   Integrated Project Delivery, IPD and Job Order Contracting, JOC are proven collaborative construction delivery methods that deliver more projects on-time, on-budget, and to the satisfaction of all parties.

Until Owners require collaborative construction delivery and are capable of leading the shift toward built environment life-cycle management, all the technology in world will not make a difference.

The reason that BIM has stagnated in the U.S. and the U.K. is obvious….  culture change has yet to occur.

bim, building information management for FM

strategic facility management and BIM

Complete More Construction Project … Faster, On-Budget, and with Higher Quality

  1. Eliminate bid solicitation for each project.
  2. Eliminate detailed plans for each project.
  3. Develop work scope jointly — user and contractor.
  4. Clearly have project described by  tasks, quantities, and unit prices… all in a standard format with a unit price book (UPB).
  5. Fixed fee project proposals generated applying the contractor’s adjustment factor (coefficient) to the unit price estimate.
  6. User accepts, modifies, or rejects contractor proposal upon review.
  7. Project start in days versus months or years.

Welcome to job order contracting…


job order contracting


BIM Strategy – Technology is not the issue – 2014 – Building life-cycle management

Forget 3D visualization,  life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology, BIM, is all about  people, process, and competency-centric technologies.

If your organization is serious about BIM, here are some areas to consider!

– Change management

– Collaborative, efficient, integrated construction project delivery methods – integrated project delivery, IPD, job order contracting, JOC

– Life-cycle strategy vs. first-cost

– Leveraging best-practices, standards, ontologies

– Shared risk-reward


BIM ONTOLOGY – Prerequisite to BLM – Built-Environment Life-cycle Managment

People – Process – Technology are traditionally considered the cornerstones of BIM.  That said, without a robust ontology BIM is virtually impossible.  Life-cycle management of the built environment is not mainstream due to the following factors.

– Need for a a consistent set of terms and definitions as well as associations.  A BIM Ontology enables collaboration and cost effective information creation and ongoing reuse.

– Collaborative construction delivery methods vs. ad hoc antagonistic methods such as design-bid-built.

– Focus upon life-cycle cost vs. first-costs.



Veteran’s Administration – Time to Better Manage its Facilities? Need for Global Oversight and Local Implementation of Robust Business Processes, Transparency, and Collaboration.

The Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) 21 Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) offices oversee 152 VHA healthcare facilities and over 1,220 related community based outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and Vet Centers throughout thecountry. After 16 years, the VISN offices’ expenses had increased over $164.9 million, over 500 percent above the original estimate of $26.7 million.
To this day, however, there is virtually no global oversight, nor implementation of consistent robust business process relative to the numerous facility renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction project performed daily.   As a result, efficient management is impossible.  As a result, proper stewardship, so critical for building users and taxpayers, is at best questionable.
VHA lacks budget formulation and execution controls and reliable staffing and expense data to monitor VISN offices and ensure the effective and efficient use of funds. As a result, VISN offices lacks adequate fiscal controls and accurate information to ensure transparency, accountability, compliance with policies, and the effective and efficient use of funds …. VHA allows its VISN offices to operate independently ….
– VA Office of the Inspector General, Office of Audits and Evaluations
The above audit was concerned primarily with operations expenses and associated cost increases, however, standardized practices specifically with respect to facility repair, renovation, sustainability, and minor new construction would dramatically improve fiscal transparency and simply get more on these important projects done on time and on budget.
Job Order Contracting, using RSMeans cost data, and associated JOC specific technologies have been proven to provide the required levels of transparency, accountability, and productivity.  To date, the VA has not implemented a “best-practice” JOC process across its portfolio.   Isn’t it time?

Improving Construction Productivity – Collaboration and Lessons Learned

Improving Construction Productivity – Collaboration and Lessons Learned

Everyone knows that productivity in the AECOO sector (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operation, Owner) is uniquely poor.  Everyone also knows why.  Stakeholders don’t play together well.  We prefer to sue each other, write up change orders, and hoard information vs. collaborate from day one throughout the life-cycle of a project and/or built structure.

So why don’t we change?  Also an easy answer.   The “culture” of our sector is embedded our minds and it will take a major event to enable change.

The good news is that the “major event” is upon us… its the convergence of cloud computing / social media and driving economic and environmental market factors.  The bad news is that many of us will not be able to make the transformation to our new work day.

What will our new work day look like?

1. Collaborative construction delivery methods.  Current examples being Job Order Contracting – JOC, Integrated Project Delivery – IPD, and Public Private Partnerships – PPP.

2. Robust Ontology – This is a fancy name for a common glossary of terms, definitions, and data architectures.  Current examples being RSMeans Cost Data, UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS, IFC, COBie, …

3. Life-cycle management and approach vs. our current “first-cost mentality”.  There are simply too many resources (environment, economic, and opportunity costs) involved with the build environment to allow for the continuance of focus upon first costs and/or a “churn and burn” mentality.

4. Shared risk-reward.

Surveys clearly show (an example below), that Owner and Contractor satisfaction improve when collaboration is prevalent and focus is upon value.


How do you measure success?

• Quality
• Safety
• On-Time Completion
• Scheduling and Performance of Subs
• Warranty Service
• Responsiveness of Support
• Innovation and Value Engineering
• Responsiveness to Client Needs
• Preventing and Solving Problems
• Contractors Management Effectiveness
• Dispute Resolution
• Level of Trust
• Communication

Forget “BIM”, and Get on Board with BLM – Building / Built Environment Life-cycle Management

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  That said, BIM has been preoccupied with 3D visualization to the extent that many/most feel that Revit, Archicad, et al are all that’s needed to implement BIM.

BLM – Building Life-cycle Management requires fundamental process changes within all participating organizations / stakeholders and the associated integration and use of multiple competencies, processes, and technologies.

Here’s a short list of considerations, features,  requirements, and realizations associated with BLM.


1. A robust ONTOLOGY – While not “sexy”, a clearly defined glossary with robust definitions and associated metrics is the first step. An ontology enables replicable processes, reusable data, information sharing, low cost of decision support, etc. etc. etc.  Enter… OMNICLASS, COBie, MasterFormat, UniFormat …

2. Organizations don’t deal well with change.  Some will succeed, many will fail.

3. Many/most organizations are dealing under an “information scarcity” model, when in reality we are all  in an world of
information abundance.  “Big Data” is here.  Large amounts of data (volume) and it has brought an ever increasing rapid pace of data acquisition, complexity of the data,  structured and unstructured data, multiple data sources.

4. Cloud computing technologies and new storage and indexing strategies are rapidly being developed and deployed to handle volume and velocity of information: Schema mapping, Controlled vocabularies, Knowledge representations, Ontologies and semantic technologies,.

5. Despite the above there remains surprisingly little collaboration within the AECOO sector(s) (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Operations, Owner).  As as result advancements are slow and productivity gains remain elusive.

6. Traditional techniques, processes, and methods…such as design-bid-built, are ineffective/inadequate and giving way to collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), and Job Order Contracting (JOC).


via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software solutions for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, MATOC, SATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, BOS … featuring an exclusively enhanced 400,000 line item RSMeans Cost Database, visual estimating/automatic quantity take off ( QTO),  and collaborative contract/project/document management, all in one application.   Our technology is currently serving over 85% of United States Air Force bases and rapidly growing numbers of other DOD and non-DOD (United States Army Corps of Engineers,  Army, GSA, Homeland Security, VA..) federal departments/agencies, as well as state/county/local governments, colleges/universities, healthcare,  and airports/transportation.  RSMeans Strategic Partner

What’s Really Needed to Make BIM Work.

Building Information Management (that’s right forget the “modeling” distraction), BIM, is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.

What is required to accomplish BIM?

1. Commitment, understanding, and knowledge on the part of all stakeholders – Owner, AEs, Contractors, Subs, Product and Service Providers, and Oversight Groups.

2. Robust, collaborative business practices complete with a well defined ontology, metrics, and methods for continuous improvement.

3.  Open standard technology (cloud computing, GIS, CPMS, CAFM, Cost Estimating, Project Delivery, BAS, Visualization) that embeds and supports life-cycle management processes.

Simple right?  Well actually it is, IF AND ONLY IF, Owners drive the process (they pay the bills, period…not AEs, Contractors, Trades) and Suppliers are willing and capable of working in a collaborative BIM environment (not all will be…FACT).

Now for a few specifics… not in any particular order:

Life-cycle management of the built environment requires the integration of disparate information, parties, domains…etc., each having their own value, contribution, level of permanence, etc. in order to define the scope, schedule,  cost/budget (initial and life-cycle)  budget, performance, value of a project or potential project.

Progress measurement analysis and control  is continuous, as are decision-making and decision-support activities.

Behaviors and domains spans: Organizational, Planning, Budgeting, Accounting, Architecture, Construction, Technology, and Legal.  Change management is likely the most significant barrier to entry for BIM, as other issues are trivial in comparison.

Fundamental life-cycle phases and strategies are applicable:  Analyze (Develop and maintain measurement tools) , Plan (For progress and performance measurement), Execute (design, procure, construct, maintain, repair, renew, adapt, deconstruction, reuse…  track resources, measure progress, track resource, review/report progress … physical and functional aspects).

What “tools” are needed? Well, for starters, a standardized set of the following:

Overall Life-cycle and/or Total Cost of Ownership process and glossary of terms/ontology

Robust, collaborative construction delivery methods (Integrate Project Delivery – IPD, Job Order Contacting – JOC, Private Public Partnerships – PPP)

List of Items and Item Classifications and Parameters (function, measurements, performance, …)

Cost Data Architecture / Cost Classifications / Cost Types  – Materials, Equipment, Labor, Environmental, Life-Safety

Metrics: Physical and Functional and associated Assessment Methods and Criteria