Cloud Computing, Construction, Engineering, Architecture and Productivity

Cloud computing is a more than catalyst for change, it is a DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY.  Cloud computing will drive significantly enhanced productivity within the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facility Management Sectors by enabling the consistent deployment of integrated project delivery methods.   Owners, Contractors, Architects, Engineers and stakeholders of the built environment will benefit if they focus upon CHANGE MANAGEMENT and how to best leverage cloud computing.

  1. Collaboration – True cloud computing (vs. cloud-washing, or simply posting legacy application to the cloud) lets users  work concurrently on projects in real-time (milliseconds)… virtually anyone, anywhere, anytime.  Multi-language and mult-currency, etc. can easily be implemented.
  2. Security – Information is NEVER deleted.  This is potentially the best form of security available.   “Who” does “What” and “When” is always tracked and changes can be “rolled back” at any time by authorized administrators.  Furthermore, only changes are transmitted vs. full data sets and even these are encrypted.
  3. IP Protection – Despite all the “hype” to the contrary, it is YOU, the user who determines how, when, and where to publish data.   For example, you can maintain information in your private area, publish as read only to specified members within a private cloud…or publish to all members in a private cloud, or publish information to all members in public cloud and enable rights to use and modify data.
  4. Visualization –  Despite the pervasive misunderstanding of BIM and unfortunate focus upon 3D visualization, DATA visualization and the associated development and implementation of the colloborative life-cycle management of built environment are the benefits provided by BIM.  Cloud computing will accelerate data visualization and transparency among all stakeholders of physical infrastructure and promote performance-based processes.
  5. Agility – Our work and natural environments are changing at an accelerated pace.  Rapid deployment, monitoring,  and the associated modification of processes and policies is becoming increasingly important.  Cloud computing deploys process faster than any other method currently available.   There is no longer a need to rely upon internal “IT” for deployment or applications specific changes.
  6. Mobility – It is neither cost effective, nor efficient to have everyone working in offices or specified work settings.  Resources need to be tapped from multiple locations enabling use of “the best of the best”, and resources with localized resources and/or capabilities.   Cloud computing allows direct, transparent access to local resources while also communicating centralized processes and procedures.
  7. Centralization of Information – While information can be scattered among several data centers, it also can be instantly consolidated to provide global management in support of an organization’s mission as well as associated, efficient local action.
  8. Business Continuity – True, Internet access is required, however, would you rather store your information at your location and risk catastrophic failure, or have your information at multiple locations designed with redundancy, power backup, etc.?

BIG DATA and EFFICIENT CONSTRUCTION METHODS (Integrated Project Delivery, Job Order Contracting), CLOUD COMPUTING, and BIM are here to stay, are you ready?

via – Premier cost estimating and efficient project delivery software for JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA, …


LEED, Sustainability, and the Federal Government – Report Card – 2012

The Federal agency scorecard relative to 2009 Executive Order the government to meet energy, water, pollution and waste reduction targets is now available.
Green, yellow or red values were assigned for seven (7) metrics, with no overall score.Oddly the Department of Energy scored to “reds” for poor reductions in fleet petroleum use and poor progress in developing sustainable buildings.

The EPA and GSA score all greens… which is curious at best.  The GSA, for example doesn’t even have a centralized, efficient project delivery method for facility renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction projects, despite the fact these processes are readily available.  Further the GSA has yet to get control of its inventory and related efficient use of space.

The Department of Homeland Security and Office of Personnel Management scored poorly, while the Army Corps of Engineers curiously scored the worst, with red marks in all categories.  The latter, in theory, has the technical expertise to effect change, put apparently continues to suffer from management issues.

The Scorecards:

Develop Agency Sustainability Plans

Under Executive Order 13514, Federal agencies are required to develop, implement, and annually update a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan that describes how they will achieve the environmental, economic, and energy goals mandated in the Executive Order. Agencies must prioritize actions based on a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer. The plans are updated each year, reviewed by CEQ and approved by OMB to ensure that actions are carefully aligned with resources, Administration priorities, and the Federal budget process.

In furtherance of the Administration’s commitment to transparency, the annual Sustainability Plans are publically accessible. Each year after the plans are approved, the agencies post them on their websites. On October 31st, 2011 the agencies released their second annual Sustainability Plans.

Click on the links below to view individual agency OMB Sustainability/Energy Scorecards for 2011:

Department of Agriculture Department of the Interior
Department of Commerce Department of Justice
Department of Defense Department of Labor
Department of Homeland Security National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Department of Education National Archives and Records Administration
Department of Energy Office of Personnel Management
Environmental Protection Agency Smithsonian Institution
General Services Administration Social Security Administration
Department of Health and Human Services Department of State
Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Tennessee Valley Authority Department of Veterans Affairs
United States Postal Service (Not Available at this Time)

via – Premier  cost estimating and project management software for efficient facility renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction project – JOC – Job Order Contracting – SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA ….

Now if all the Departments and Agencies would realize that life-cycle facility management is the path to sustainability…

Public Law 111-308 – Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act – FBPTA – Recommend Training

A great start, however, would benefit from more focus upon efficient construction delivery methods such as Job Order Contracting – JOC, and IPD – Integrated Project Delivery- PCholakis


Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act

Curriculum -­‐ June 2012                                                                                   



In accordance with the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act 2010 (FBPTA), the below curriculum is recommended relating to facility

management and the operation of high-­‐performance buildings.


We fully recognize and acknowledge the outstanding existing programs found throughout industry, government and academia. And we highly recommend that ALL Federal departments and agencies with the funding and ability to pursue these certifications and degrees do so. Our job is to implement the stated and implied goals of the FBPTA. The courses will be mapped to the core competencies they represent and credit for completion will be requested through our web-­‐tool being developed with OPM for For example Energy 101 requires taking an exam and getting a certificate of completion.


We would like to thank our partners within the Federal government, across industry, within academia and those people who provided public comment, for their invaluable contributions the development of this initial Program to implement the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act. We look forward to working with all of you to address issues, both planned and unforeseen, and applying the lessons learned to next year’s annual core competency and curriculum updates.


Curriculum Development Background:


Legislative Intent:

Taxpayer investment in Federal facilities must be protected and leveraged through the cost savings involved in maximizing building performance. Achieving this level of performance requires a government-­‐wide program that stresses training and continuing education in the implementation of industry best practices and lifecycle operations and management. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Report-­‐ paraphrased   


Law requires an annual update of this curriculum, allowing it to evolve over time. This release represents the results of significant consultation with representatives from Federal departments and agencies, relevant professional societies, industry associations and apprenticeship training providers, as well as academic subject matter experts. 


The evolution of this final recommended curriculum began with research into the following and other sources:

o     Degree curricula at academic institutions, like Cornell, Ferris State, Georgia Tech, The City College of New York, Community College of Philadelphia, and even international programs, like the one by Conestoga College in Ontario, Canada

o    Curricula like the ones required for the Department of Defense’s Facilities Engineer level I-­‐III

o    The University of California’s Extension program curricula which leads to a Facility Management Certification

o    Curricula required by many of the outstanding industry training providers for their certifications






Working with DOE’s National Lab Subject Matter Experts, we developed a comprehensive curriculum was developed that followed the indentified core competencies and provided for thorough knowledge in all aspects of the management and operations of high performance buildings. The following criteria was used to evaluate the developed curricula:

1.   It must align with, and compliment the identified core competencies

2.   It must provide knowledge, skills and abilities, that if applied, would have significant impact on goal of the FBPTA

3.   It must have a high probability of being accepted and utilized on a government-­‐wide basis


We shared the proposed curriculum with personnel and their supervisors in the field and we found that most Federal facilities operators and managers were already struggling to complete their existing department or agency curricula. Most efforts to complete existing requirements were either unfunded, or under-­‐funded. Further, few Federal facilities and operations departments had the luxury of planning and training -­‐ finding themselves operating in continuous “breakdown maintenance” mode with both aging facilities and retirement eligible staff they could not afford to replace. Thus, our recommended curriculum, no matter the potential for impact and the desire to utilize it, still represents a

recommendation, and must compete with the unfunded requirements and mandates of personnel struggling with the prioritization of the “most critical broken equipment” and the “most unmet requests”. As such, the likelihood of a comprehensive curriculum requiring significant expenditures of time and money being accepted and utilized on a government-­‐wide basis is minimal at best.


Given this fact, and in consultation with field personnel, the curriculum that has the highest probability of being accepted and utilized is one based on the highest impact aspects of the identified core competencies that can be offered through distance learning at no monetary cost to the organization. “Opportunity costs” of personnel taking training rather than repairing the “most critical broken equipment” or responding to headquarters’ data calls still require management, as they do with any training program.


Thus, we have developed the below curriculum broken into (6) recommended courses for those personnel working in our facilities in positions requiring “hands-­‐on” O&M, energy management, design, safety, water efficiency, sustainability and performance measures; and (6) recommended courses for those who manage and support the aforementioned personnel at the higher headquarters levels. The recommended courses build upon the most impactful core competencies. For example, under the Core Competency Area for Facilities Operations, Maintenance and Engineering, the Core Competency, Best Practices and Innovations, performance number two requires knowledge of DOE/PNNL “Retuning Project”. While going to the cited website gives you the “knowledge”, taking the recommended course, delivers the knowledge, skills and abilities that will be required to transform the our current Federal facilities operations and management paradigm, to one of “continuous retuning” -­‐ a paradigm shift that represents the potential of saving between $700million and $2.1billion per year in electricity alone. The recommended curriculum targets maximum impact at minimum cost.







Large Facility/ Stand-­‐alone Facility/Cantonment Area(s)


Course Name



Operations, Maintenance, and Commissioning


Building Retuning Training


Optimizing Operations and Maintenance (O&M)


Energy 101


The Principles/Process for Conducting a Life-­‐Cycle Cost Analysis


Implementing Deep Retrofits




Management/Higher Headquarters


Course Name



The Integrated Design Process


Achieving Sustainable Site Design Through Low Impact

Development Practices


Achieving Energy Security in Federal Facilities


Advanced Metering Solutions for Federal Agencies


Selecting & Evaluating New & Underused Energy Technologies


Federal Renewable Energy Project Implementation: From RFP

to Project Closeout


 Via: – Premier Cost Estimating and Integrated Project Delivery Software – Job Order Contracting – JOC, SABER, SATOC, IDIQ, MATOC, MACC, POCA, BOA