Posts Tagged design build

Global BIM in Abu Dhabi : Solving the same problems

Reading a recent article in Construction Week I found it remarkable, but perhaps not surprising that the construction industry there is using the same analogies and facing the same issues we here in the US.  Within a week Gerhard Hope of Construction Week posted two articles one titled, ‘MEP Contractors Still Wary of BIM‘ and ‘Design, Build, and Maintain‘ which promotes the use of BIM to solve construction, regulatory and maintenance issues.  The jist of the first article is that the MEP contractors were giving up on BIM because generally it’s a lot of work.  However, there were some great quotes.

It means you do all the thinking and engineering before anyone starts building the structure or installing services. It has the big advantage of being able to plan ahead, and not find a major issue on the third floor, for example, that is going to stop work for a couple of months while somebody works out what to do.

One of the things about construction is that it is really a team activity, involving thousands of people on infrastructure projects, for example. A major change that has come about is the need for all professionals to work much closer together. I think BIM is certainly one of the ways that this can happen. We embraced BIM several years ago, in fact, on the Dubai Metro project, and we carried that forward on our metro work in Makkah and Calcutta, using the same methodology.

David Crowder  – Atkins MEP Head of Department – Middle East and India

If you have a fast-track project with a lot of problems to fix, ultimately it all comes back to the quality of the documentation you started out with…BIM is a major advantage to the main contractor, because they are not fiddling around hacking out the structure, or changing the finishes, or lowering ceilings – all the things we know and love in the construction industry. Instead we generate all the drawings fully coordinated in the BIM environment

Steven Anderson – Atkins: Design Systems Manager – Middle East and India

Companies who are able to respond positively to these changes are the ones who are going to survive through these difficult times, as opposed to the dinosaurs, those companies which can only operate in a traditional business model. This will lead to a healthier marketplace and an industry as a whole.

Kevin Mitchell – Buro Happold : Director

And with Abu Dhabi still on the scene it was reported that Tekla ‘Shapes Abu Dhabi’s Pairs Sorbonne University‘ Also Tekla and Autodesk had announced last month a ‘collaboration to enable better BIM workflow‘  This announcement though sounds like two kids in the principals office who agree not to fight on the playground anymore.  Obviously Autodesk want people to use Revit Structure, and anecdotally I hear most people say they use Tekla when going from design to fabrication, so what that collaboration will look like is anyone’ s guess, but the market must have been calling for something but what it’s mostly calling for is integration.

People are frustrated.  Frustrated that construction seems inefficient.  With Technology that does not talk to each other.  With doing the same thing 15 times because of the myriad of design / documentation packages out there do not talk to each other.  That more problems are not figured out digitally instead of physically in the field where it costs infinitely more.  The people want to use the best tool for the job and have that data act freely and unencumbered with other tools.  However, with BIM (Building Information Models) we are a lot closer then we used to be and its a global phenomena.

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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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