Job Order Contract

JOC is a proven, collaborative construction delivery method provides major advantages to Facilities Managers, Real Property Owners, AEs, Contractors, Subcontractors, and Facility Users. Leading Federal/County/State and Federal Government, Education, Transportation, Utilities, and Healthcare institutions leverage Job Order Contracting (JOC)  to complete over 90%  of their numerous renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction projects on-time and on-budget….and to the satisfaction of all participants!

Contractors develop mutually beneficial long term Owner relationships  and more predictable revenue streams.

4BT-CE Cloud Estimating Software and the 4BT JOC Unit Price Book integrate Job Order Contracting best management practices with technology to allow for faster JOC Program development, implementation, monitoring, and continuous improvement.

Job Order Contracting for Owners – allows Owners to create more thorough project scopes, completer more accurate and transparent detailed line item cost estimates and bids, compare and select contractors that can work collaboratively to provide on-demand services, and monitor and reward performance.  Job Order Contracting also encourages the use of local small and minority owned businesses. \

JOC for Contractors and AEs – Job Order Contracting helps Contractors and A/E’s to better understand and build to Owner requirements.  Job Order Contracting provides a platform to develop longer term, collaborative relationships.

4BT delivers unit price book cost data, software, services, and training to support success among Owners, Contractors, Subs, and AEs.

Our team has supported hundreds of  Owners and thousands of contractors in their use of Job Order Contracting.

While a higher level of competency,  experience, and commitment are required to implement successful Job Order Contracts, benefits outweigh any resource needs.   In fact, traditional methods of construction delivery and construction services procurement can not come close to providing the positive outcomes attainable from Job Order Contracting .

4BT is a veteran-owned small business with senior professionals having decades of experience supporting, managing, and providing services for Job Order Contracting. We believe that education, training, and support are critical to the success of any Job Order Contract, and our team thrives in these areas.

We have been involved in hundreds of Job Order Contracts performing  billions of dollars of renovation, repair, and minor new construction works.

Improve efficiency and obtain high quality outcomes through the use of independent, objective, and powerful tools and services.


Job Order Contracting Products and Services


Regional, on-site, and virtual hands-on training and certification for all job order contract participants.   Introductory and advanced classes are structured for all skill levels, as well as refresher courses. Training content is tailored to the participants.
Sample Topics Training Courses:
• Introduction to Job Order Contracting / LEAN Construction Delivery
– Management by Outcomes
– Key Characteristics
– Requirements
• Introduction to Line Item Estimating
• Introduction to Cost Estimating
• ESS Getting Started
• ESS Advanced
• Job Order Contract Execution / Operations Manual Development
• Marketing a JOC Program
– Internal
– External (Contractors)
• Individual Job Order Request / Request for Proposal Process
• Auditing a JOC Program
• How to Create a JOC RFI/RFP
• How to Evaluate JOC Contractors
• How to Create an Owner / Independent Government Estimate
• Job Order Contracting Best Management Practices
– Responsibilities
– Workflow
– Documentation
– Approval Process
– Audits
– Key Performance Indicators
– Small Business / MBE
• How to Create a JOC Estimate – Into & Advanced
– Appropriate level of detail
– Price versus non-prepriced items
– Hand-on Exercises
– Site visit planning
– Content/Documentation Packages
• Owner/contractor communications/documentation
– Inspection reporting
– Deficiencies/corrective actions
– Signoff
– Payment
– Owner/Contractor Negotiations
– Problem-solving principles and Tools

JOC Unit Price Book Cost Data

  • Unit Price Books (UPB) – Locally research construction tasks complete with labor, material, and equipment details, based upon Davis-Bacon wage rates. Custom line items are also available.  All data is provided using common standard term with minimal use of abbreviations.  All cost data is organized by CSI Masterformat.
  • Specifications – Industry standard commercial construction specifications can be provided as needed and are organized by CSI Masterformat. Custom specification development services are available.

Technical support for software and unit pricing is provided via telephone and email.  4BT team member have had experience with hundreds of JOC Programs, thousands of JOC Contractors, as well as Cooperatives providing JOC services (i.e. Allied States, TCPN) in terms of assisting in developing JOC programs, developing unit prices books, providing JOC project/task order line item cost estimates, providing general and detailed estimate reviews, creating and deploying client server and web-based software.

Job Order Contracting is a collaborative LEAN construction delivery method. As such it integrates core characteristics outlined as follows, as well as specified workflows, processes, data architectures, deliverables, and outcomes.

Best value development and deployment of Job Order Contracting requires multi-discipline / multi-trade knowledge, LEAN construction processes, common terms-definitions-data architectures,  leadership and program/project management, and supporting/enabling technology.

Key characteristics of Job Order Contracting and LEAN Construction Delivery include:

• Collaboration
• Mutual Respect & Trust
• Financial Transparency
• Owner Leadership without excessive management & control
• Shared Risk/Reward
• Best Value Procurement
• Common Standard Terms, Definitions, & Data Architectures (UNIFORMAT, MASTERFORMAT, OMNICLASS)
• Continuous Education, Training, & Improvement
• Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) / Audits job
• Written Execution / Operations Manuals (Roles, Responsibilities, Deliverables, Workflows / Standardized Work Processes, Reporting Requirements…)

Additional Job Order Contracting Services

  • JOC Estimating Services
  • Independent Government Estimating (IGE) Services
  • 3rd Party Independent Estimating Auditing Services (formal line item estimate audit, reviews for budget reviews, change order estimate auditing, quantity takeoff, technical evaluations and estimate comparison along with our comments, conclusions and recommendations)
  • Budget Collaboration Reviews
  • Program Management



How to Select a JOC Unit Price Book

How to Select a JOC Unit Price Book– WHITE PAPER


A Common Data Environment in the form of a locally researched detailed Unit Price Book, UPB, significantly improves renovation, repair, maintenance, and new construction outcomes.


A Unit Price Book – UPB – is very important to the quality, integrity, productivity, and transparency of a Job Order Contract.

That said, not all JOC Unit Price Books are the same, and the selection can benefit greatly from a strategic review of the goals and objectives of your JOC Program.

Here are a few items to consider when selecting a JOC Unit Price Book.

Is the UPB locally researched for the cities, counties, states, and/or regions for the JOC area, or does it depend upon location factors? The use of location factors and an associated contruction price book based upon national average costs can introduce gross errors versus having a unit price book locally researched for your specific location(s).

What labor rates are being used and how detailed is the information? All federal JOCs and a growing number of state/county/local JOCs require Davis-Bacon wage rates. Davis-Bacon wage rates are applied differently depending on the location, and the researcher. Some are dependent upon mileage from a central location, others by region, etc. The UPB should incorporate the highest level of detail available and the most recent cost data. Labor generally represents 60% of the total cost of construction project, thus accurate labor information is very important.

Do crews represent real world construction practices? Many of the commonly used price books, even the “leading cost books”, may not have crews that represent your work practices.  This can lead to inaccurate productivity rates and significant errors in construction costs.

Are tasks described in plain English and are terms common to the trade used? Using a UPB can be extremely difficult if tasks are not easily and fully understood. Abbreviations should be limited to units of measure, and even then, used in a consistent manner.

Is a common data architecture used for line item organization? The use of CSI Masterformat for data aggregation helps to assure efficient distribution, modification/updating, and proper use of the UPB in concert with JOC Program procedures and goals. The cost database and associated projects and estimates can be cost effectively created, stored, maintained, and used within a common data environment (CDE) and JOC-specific technology.

Is the size of the UPB manageable? Some UPB providers provide hundreds of thousands of line items. An excessive number of UPB line items can be a detriment. Most JOCs involve common renovation and repair tasks and commonly use less than 30,000 line items on a repeatative basis.  Excessive numbers of line items can slow productivity, introduce errors, and cause confusion

Are line item modifiers used? Modifiers are important as they add or deduct costs from the “parent” line item based upon variables such as quantity, material qualities, etc. Modifiers, on average, account for 30% of the cost a JOC task order.

Are demolition line items present? As JOC Programs focus upon renovation and repair, demolition line item costs are an important component JOC unit price book and most JOC estimates.

Are full training and support services available in multiple levels (introductory, advanced) and formats (on-site, regional, virtual)? Ongoing training and support by senior JOC professionals are critical to program success.

Is the UPB vendor independent from your JOC program? It is critical that any JOC consultant involved in approving individual JOC task orders not be compensated on a percentage fee basis of the project construction cost.  This has been noted as a structure to be avoided in various audits by government agency auditors.

Learn more…

Take your JOC to the Max.jpg

Glossary and Supplementary Notes:

Collaboration – Collaboration among construction project participants and/or stakeholder is critical to assuring a proper definition of the scope of services, and thus mandatory if the estimate is to reflect the expectations of the owners, design, contractor, etc. Achieving the best possible outcome for the estimate and the overall construction project, is dependent upon the processes involved in gathering accurate information in a timely manner. Employing the actions and philosophies associated with continuous improvement and LEAN best management practices adds to the overall success as well.

Contractors – Detailed, unit price, line item estimates are used to bid jobs and also done by general contractors and construction managers to validate bids from sub-contractors.

Detailed cost estimate – A forecast of construction cost, prepared on the basis of a detailed analysis of materials and labor for all items of work.”– 13th edition of the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice

Material, Equipment, & Labor – A detailed, unit cost, line item construction cost estimate involves a review and understanding of the scope of work of the associated project, including all possible factors and risks. Materials, labor, and equipment costs are provided in the highest level of granularity.

Owners – Real property owners and/or facilities managers responsible for life-cycle management of the built environment. Detailed, unit price, line time estimates are required by public agencies for most JOC/IDIQ construction projects. If the project exceeds a specified dollar threshold, an independent owner estimate must also be created (also called an independent government estimate – IGE). Line item estimates are also used to create and validate construction budgets.

Productivity – Earned value work accomplished, generally represented as a percentage. Construction productivity can be affected by multiple variables; labor composition, skill level, weather, work flow, site access, materials availability, etc.

Required Skills – Field experience at construction sites is extremely important, as is the only way to gain a true appreciation of processes, risk factors, and other variables that can impact a construction project. The ability to review and interpret construction drawings, work with cost estimating formulas and technologies, and the ability to communicate information to disparate disciplines and audiences are also vital.

Process Tasks – Processes associated with creating a line item construction cost estimate include the following:

Full definition of the scope of services requires several considerations, such as:

  • Estimate preparation
  • Validation of contents and assumptions
  • Estimate reconciliation (if multiple estimates are required for a project)
  • Documenting and presenting the estimate
  • Identifying inclusions and exclusions
  • Defining the basis to be used for pricing (construction cost databases and/or unit price books – UPB, unit price guides, subcontractor quotes)
  • Presentation of line items as bare costs or inclusive of overhead and profit
  • Classification system to be used, i.e. CSI MasterFormat, Uniformat II, WBS, etc.
  • Format of the estimate (summary level, detailed level, price vs. non pre-priced items, associated formulas, source of each line item).

The above information is via Four BT, LLC – Best value provider of JOC solutions: Unit Price Books, Technology, support, training, and professional JOC services – 4BT.US

Learn more…



Job Order Contract Digital Management

Job Order Contract Digital Management

The 7 basic steps of job order contract program implementation

Real Property Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors,

Sign up for a one-on-one web session to learn more about independent, objective, transparent, compliant, and best value Job Order Contract Program Management supported by digital technology.

The content of the session will be up to you, but include any of the following ….

JOC workflows,  documentation, unit price books, resource requirements, key performance indicators (KPIs) and  of course technology implementation tools.

Focus will be upon new opportunities to improve productivity, resulting in a higher number quality projects delivered on-time and on-budget.

Learn more…

Connect, Share, Learn, Solve, Lead

job order contracting case study

• Simplify JOC management activities

• Maintain Job Order RFPs, Job Orders, Estimates, Reviews, and Documents… all in one place

• Comply with JOC best practices and audit requirements

• Assure you are always using the right coefficient and unit price book (UPB)

• Always use the most current information


OpenJOC is a Trademark of Four BT, LLC. Building in Cloud is a Trade mark of Lemsys S.r.l
Four BT, LLC
5430 LBJ Fwy Ste. 1200
Dallas, TX 75240
Mail: info@4BT.US
Website: http://www.4BT.US


Job Order Contracting viable for Federal Preventive Maintenance – NJDOT

job order contracting case study


Based on the evaluation conducted, NJDOT believes Job Order Contracting is a viable alternative to the established, standard Federal Preventive Maintenance Contracting method. The quicker procurement process in general for JOC Contracts, as well as allowing for the addition of new structures throughout the term of the JOC Contract without the need for procuring additional contracts, are time and cost saving qualities beneficial to the Department. In addition, the increase in efficiency of the JOC Contracts does not compromise the quality of work or direct cost of work within the Contracts, as both are comparable to that of the established standard Federal Preventive Maintenance Contracts.
It is believed that for every new contractor that is awarded a JOC contract, there may be a learning curve in getting acquainted with new software and pricing methodology. However, once learned, NJDOT anticipates receiving from new contractors the same expediency and responsiveness of current JOC contractors.
NJDOT sees JOC as an efficient and effective procurement method that should be employed further.

Via http://www.4BT.US – Best Value, Independent, and Objective Job Order Contracting Solutions

Source –

Top 10 Lean Construction Basics


The application of LEAN to construction is a focus upon best value for all project participants.   The core aspects of LEAN have been deployed for decades through collaborative construction delivery methods such as Integrated Project Delivery – IPD (for major new construction) and Job Order Contracting – JOC (for renovation, repair, maintenance, sustainability, and minor new construction).

Core Aspects of LEAN Construction

  1. Collaboration
  2. Best value procurement and execution
  3. Shared risk/reward
  4. Continuous improvement
  5. Key performance indicators – KPIs
  6. Mutual respect
  7. Ongoing education and training
  8. Common terms, definitions, and data architectures
  9. Technology that supports rather than dictates process
  10. Focus upon outcomes

top 10 lean construction delivery basics

LEAN construction requires new ways of interacting on a day to day basis.  For some, the required changes in culture, workflows, and general dynamics are difficult to achieve.

Owners must lead the LEAN construction process and do so without excessive management and control.  In order to lead, however, owners must first grasp and become “LEAN competent”.

The shift to LEAN construction is  virtually required in order to improved productivity, quality and to reduce economic and environment waste.

While some will argue that “Every situation is unique” and there is no standard application of LEAN, core characteristics are and requirements for LEAN do exist.   In short, consistency in process deployment is critical and can easily live within an environment of continuous improvement.  LEAN processes are built to adapt based upon the competency and communication of participants.

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.


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



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




  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.