Design Build Boom : AECOM acquires Tishman : #BIM

I have suggested among others that the optimum work flow could be architects focus on the design, not construction docs or the BIM, but the design and then consult during the actual engineering and BIM process, that way it minimizes redundant efforts especially in regards to BIM creation.  This process also would suggest the rise of design/build firms.  AECOM just took a huge bite out of that apple when terms were disclosed yesterday that they agreed to acquire Tishman for $245 Million Dollars creating a design/build behemoth.  Strategically, vertical integration is a double edged sword.  Positively, you have control of costs and quality and capture every last dime a developer was intending to put into the project.  Negatively, you have to feed the beast and can you really be that good at all disciplines?

On a side note, I was speaking to an integration specialist at Bentley who told me AECOM was a Microstation shop.  This may be because back in the day the US Government was using a lot of Microstation and AECOM gets the majority of their work from the public sector.  Tishman, and I am only speculating here, was most likely Revit.  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) used Revit at World Trade and Tishman was on as construction.  Quick google search shows they still seem to use it on current projects.  Future projects and technology they use could be a proxy for the industry.


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  1. #1 by Steve Wagner on January 2, 2011 - 12:27 pm

    You are not well informed. AECOM has been involved in design-build for a number of years with their divisions McClier Corporation and The Austin Company. They consolidated McClier & Austin in 2005. This is a niche division that has not had a strong impact on the AEC industry as a whole. $245M is a small amount for AECOM to pay for Tishman. At one time, Tishman was a significant player. It must have been reduced to little in this economy.

  2. #2 by Jim Foster on January 6, 2011 - 8:59 am

    My point was Design/Build will gain even more traction as a business model and used this as a data point, not sure this is the same case as being ‘uninformed’

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