Enabling Efficient Life-cycle Managment of the Built Environment supported by Digitial Technology – BIM – 2014

Technology is not the primary obstacle to efficient life-cycle management of the built environment!

  1. Technology limitations/issues – come from people
  2. Different meanings for the same parts
  3. Economic impacts – based on people
  4. Different values and attributes for same processes
  5. Social Impacts – outcomes for people
  6. Stakeholders (Owners!!!, AE’s, Contractors, Oversight Groups, Business Product  Manufacturers, Users) determine the uses of technology, economic value and environmental impacts

The roadblocks to increased collaboration, transparency, and productivity within the AECOO sector are as follows:

1. Lack of a robust, shared Ontology.

2. Refusal to adopt collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) for new construction, Job Order Contracting (JOC) for repair, renovation, sustainability, and minor new construction projects.

3. Current focus upon first-costs vs. life-cycle costs.

Standardized terms, definitions, metrics and the deployment of “best practice” business process is not rocket science.  Unfortunately too many AECOO participants and stakeholders need build their level of awareness of the above vs. ad-hoc and antagonistic processes such as design-bid-build, or even design-build.  The latter is a good attempt to be IPD-like, but is not IPD.




The development and  application of robust standardized terms, taxonomies, hierarchies, etc. will enable BLM/BIM.  We need to move faster to deal with critical global Economic and Environment realities (global warming, diminishing natural resources, new competitive landscape …).


  • Terms – language
  • Syntax – make deductions from language
  • Semantics – interpretation of languages
  • Taxonomy – classification system
  • Ontology – meaning-making system
  • World Theatre – social system


What Architects and Engineers Can Learn from JOC … and from BIM , eventually.

Architects and engineers need to develop long term relationships with owners built upon trust and performance.

To accomplish this, it’s important that architects and engineers leverage efficient construction project delivery methods to the same degree as innovative contractors and owners.

There is a reason that the first place owners look to reduce cost is the construction delivery method used to obtain construction services.  Project delays, change orders, cost increases, and overall quality are directly linked to the construction project delivery method and associated management processes.

It will be beneficial for architects and engineering  professionals to better understand that traditional’contruction methods –  such as design-bid-build – are not well suited for many projects. For example, design-bid-build doesn’t allow for up-front discussion and understanding by all parties.  More time than not, this lack of upfront communication leads to  discontent, distrust, delays,  higher procurement costs, and  a long list of change orders – all combing to create severe inefficiencies in the construction sector, low productivity rates, and unjustifiably high total project costs.

For new construction, Design-Build and Construction Manager At Risk adoption rates are increasing due to their ability to improve overall project outcomes and reduce costs. However, Job Order Contracting and SABER provide better efficiency gains for AE’s, owners, and contractors for minor new construction, repair, renovation, and sustainability projects.

Relationships, communication, and collaboration affect overall project success or failure more than any other factors.  Since design professional take an owner’s vision and needs to create paper or electronic documents that will enable a contractor to build, repair, or renovate a building or space, it’s only logical that AE’s embrace more suitable construction delivery methods.

Everyone – architect, engineer, contarctor, owner – has a responsibility to their bottom line to help assure construction projects are completed on time, with the highest quality, safely, and at a fair and reasonable price.