Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Nanotech & Photosynthesis




My oldest daughter once suggested connecting all the roots of a field of corn to the electric grid and harvesting the suns energy. It looks like she and the rest of the millennials may have been onto something!

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, say that by combining nanoscale materials with bacteria, they have opened the door to a new way of designing systems that could efficiently turn carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight into useful organic compounds—similar to what plants do through photosynthesis. Down the road, they say, the system could become a commercially viable way to produce high-value chemicals like drug precursors used by the pharmaceutical industry, or to store renewable energy in the form of liquid fuels.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Precision GPS Now Affordable




A team of engineers working out of the University of Texas recently developed a software program that enables the GPS antenna in a regular cell phone to accurately determine its location down to the centimeter.
Centimeter-accurate GPS systems aren’t new. They’ve been used for 20 years in agriculture and surveying. Experimental self-driving cars like the one being developed by Google also rely on them. But these systems use fancy, dinner plate-sized antennas that can cost anywhere from $1,000 to over $3,000 with receivers that are even pricier, Humphreys says. “If we want to see autonomous or even semi-autonomous vehicles go mainstream, we need a cheap way to provide centimeter or decimeter-scale accuracy.”
Advances in this arena, like others on the technology front and those in the lean construction environment, provide hope that the AEC industry can compete in the knowledge economy on a global scale.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Space Exploration in West Texas




The article linked below describes the launch and successful recovery of a reusable rocket by Jeff Bezo's company, Blue Origin. Van Horn, Texas is 120 west of my hometown of Fort Stockton. Exciting times.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Smart Built Culture Answers




I presented a Smart Built Culture lecture today for Barie Hasib's WIN with BIM webinar series. The registered attendees asked a number of insightful questions which I promised to answer in writing on the blog. The questions and answers are set forth below.

If you have the opportunity to attend one of the WIN with BIM webinars I highly recommend it. David Philps, my good friend Ralph Montague and  Andy Hamer have all presented all with other BIM experts. More are scheduled throughout the year so don't miss the opportunity to learn from those in the trenches!

Also, if you have any questions regarding efforts within your organization to adopt a smart built culture please don't hesitate to contact me. 

QUESTIONS FROM REGISTERED ATTENDEES
Smart Built Culture Lecture
Hosted by BIM REC
James L. Salmon
Presenter

What does IPD look like now and what will it ultimately look like? I have seen IPD-light and IPD-like projects, both more successful than traditional contracts. What is preventing IPD wide spread use?

Commitment to Value

The AEC industry is committed to waste based business models and most stakeholders think they can make more money delivering planning, design and construction services under the old school model. The transparency imposed on the old school model by BIM and VDC causes great angst among those trying to hide the ball.

What is the economic model behind IPD that ensures the client gets best value but removing inefficiency, i.e., in an economic sense, what keeps the supplier "honest"?

Value v Waste

Value based business models, open books and transparent, open and honest communications.
IPD only works if those delivering planning, design and construction services expect to EARN a profit by adding value AND the owner is willing to PAY for the value received. If those delivering the services expect to EXTRACT profits from waste and inefficiency – i.e. because another stakeholder made a mistake – then your IPD project runs off the rails. Similarly, if the owner fails or refuses to pay for real value that is added, providers will rightly become disgruntled.
Negotiating a new generation compensation model that rewards providers for delivering value is a critical component of a good IPD agreement.

How do you convince firms to execute IPD contracts if they have resistance?

Trust.

Firms that passionately believe in their ability to deliver value are eager to sign IPD agreements.  Firms that doubt their ability to deliver value are reluctant to sign IPD agreements. Firms that passionately believe in their ability to EXTRACT profits from the failure of others on construction projects will never sign an IPD agreement.

Most resistance to signing IPD contracts comes from firms in the last category and it is highly unlikely those firms will ever sign an IPD agreement.

Even firms that believe passionately in a value based business model will be reluctant, however, to sign an IPD agreement with other firms because experience tells them somebody will screw them.  And they are right.  The key is to convince all the potential players that the legal framework through which the project is delivered is one that can collect the stingers from all the scorpions. That requires TRUST, the rarest resource in the AEC industry.

How to organise and run design charrettes [for a BIM platform and in an IPD environment] ?

Incrementally

Start with Katy’s Castle Workshops then move on to Charitable Doll House Events, then to Charitable Community Projects, then Pilot Projects and finally a real live Small Commercial Projects and the Real Projects on a regular basis.

How to model and evaluate (calculation/estimation/simulation) various lod stages in an open BIM approach?

A Lean Loop

Subject the modelling and evaluation process to a continuous improvement cycle. Capture institutional knowledge, share it and improve upon it.

What legal issues should we expect to find when choosing BIM and IPD? Is IPD the best delivery process when we speak about BIM projects?

The legal pitfalls encountered by designers operating on a BIM platform in an IPD environment include all the traditional legal issues with a few extra twists.

First, the scope and nature of the intellectual property associated with the BIM raises a different set of questions and concerns than those encountered in a 2D world. 

Second, the level of detail in the BIM and required of the designer tends to morph or become a moving goal post depending on what the BIM is expected to do and when.

Third, BIM is definitely emerging as the new standard of care in AEC and it won't be long before lawyers begin beating designers over the head with virtual renderings created on high end BIM platforms and arguing the designer should have used those tools and processes.

Best practices to transfer data not involved in IFC standards? (Survey, electrical namespace...) Could you suggest CAFM platforms (or just interfaces) with I/O Revit and/or AutoCAD integration?

Open Source BIM.html

My hope is that Bill East’s COBie tool and IFC will result in a common formatting and labeling schema from which the basic data can be hovered up onto a centralized open BIM.html data platform that can be mined by a variety of apps and tools.

The AEC is way behind other industries in the drive to master BIG DATA and we need to take advantage of our obsolescence by leaping over pitfalls that entrapped other industries. Countries on the African continent successfully leapfrogged our 18th Century banking system and went straight to electronic banking on cell phones. China is doing something similar with medical records and medical services. Construction should leverage BIG BIM – on an Open Source BIM.html platform – to leap frog from spread sheets to a web based data repository that can be searched via algorithms rather than by columns and lines.

The data flowing through the aqua duct is a miniscule portion of the BIG DATA available on the web and the AEC industry ought to focus on new generation apps and software tools that mine that data on an as needed basis. As I put it during the presentation, owners should be armed with a digital asset that creates and streams the right Variety of data in Volumes delivered at a manageable Velocity that enables the owner to extract real Value from that Verified data. In short leverage V5th .

Why is it very difficult to convince people to implement BIM for construction projects? What would most suitable benefits from BIM for a Construction Company?

Lack of Trust

Most enterprises are comfortable operating a waste based business model designed to EXTRACT profits from the failed Design-Bid-Build delivery model prevalent in the industry. The elephant in charge of the subconscious mind – where momentous decisions are made - doesn’t change unless something catastrophic occurs.

Constructors that adopt BIM enjoy immediate increases in efficiency and productivity and gain the ability to track key metrics from project to project more easily.  Constructability, material take offs, improved coordination between trades and the ability to leverage just-in-time delivery of construction materials are among the low hanging fruit available to general contractors and trade contractors.

When and who initiates discussion for doing BIM/ IPD on a project?

Visionary Leaders

Every stakeholder in the AEC industry that intends to remain in business needs to initiate the discussion in-house. Once a firm has a handle on BIM & IPD in-house engagement with key clients and crucial collaborative partners is the next best step.

Why has BIM not focused upon the most critical aspect... collaborative construction delivery methods?

BIM is only half the arch

BIM is set of tools and processes designed to carve blocks that make up the left side of the arch. Collaborative construction / lean construction / construction management / cultural change are all tools and processes – collectively (CM)X - that

How can the AIA E203-2013 BIM guide help the process?

These are good templates from which to begin negotiations.

Is there a difference between IPD contracts and IPD BIM delivery systems?

Yes.

An IPD agreement memorializes the rights, duties and responsibilities of the parties. As with any legal agreement, it serves as the mechanism whereby the parties’ legal relationships are established and adjusted.

An IPD / BIM delivery system is made up of an array of tools and processes used by stakeholders in the AEC to plan, design and construct facilities and or infrastructure. As with any system, the culture in which it is deployed matters a great deal and impacts the system as much or more than the tools and processes deployed within it.

BIM is well established in the Architecture/Building industry. How widespread is the implementation of BIM and IPD in the Civil/Transportation industry? Can you talk about some case studies about how BIM has been utilized on a Civil/Transportation project and quantify the benefits gained over traditional project delivery?

DOT in Arizona

The Department of Transportation in Arizona adopted BIM and modified their procurement rules and regulations to allow IPD Lite.

D-9 ripper dragged through a 10” gas main in Wyoming

Turn of the century clay sewer pipes in San Antonio

Moving less dirt less often

Modernizing residential infrastructure and delivering it just in time

Do you recommend that the Architect manage the VDC-BIM process in the Validation and Design Development stages of a project?

Leadership Baton

BIM and IPD leadership baton constantly changes hands.  Leader is the entity / person with the requisite skill set and experience to ensure success of a given phase of the journey.

Is there an international body tasked in global BIM implementation?

No.

The buildingSMARTalliance seemed poised to for the role but has not fully delivered.

A combination of practical grassroots leadership combined with visionary leadership from governments and the C-Suite leaders of leading AEC firms.

A smart built culture makes sense but what about local building knowledge and construction. Will global BIM culture, somehow destroy our diverse and rich culture of building? As a BIM specialist, I find the methodology urgent and needed within the construction market. What about the technical side of this way of working? Only for technicians or also for owners and other people in general? Should BIM be more "easy" to use in order to reach more professionals?

Local Rules

Construction is like real estate, it’s all about location, location location. A smart built culture must, ultimately, be deployed on A project in A specific location.  Sure, the team may be global but the materials and labor must be sourced locally.

SMART BIM is the goal.

Smart BIM should be like the Web; Easy peasy lemon squezzy.

I don’t know jack about Revit.  And I couldn’t model a dog house on Dassault Systems CATIA platform. Nor can I model steel connections in Tekla.  But I know people who can use those tools.
When you log onto the web to reserve a flight you don’t care what makes Travelocity or Priceline work. You just want to type in your destination, the dates you have to travel and in return you want a list of flights. Once you have the list in front of you, you may need to sort by price – if price means best value – by departure time if that’s more valuable to you than price, etc. The digital asset we hand of to the owner of a building should allow that owner to interface, in simple way, with that smart building. Think Apple meets Google.

We always talk about BIM is needed for future, but still a lot companies are reluctant to embark on BIM due to the cost of investment and limitation of the software and process to help them adopt BIM. Do you have any advice?

Bite the Bullet

BIM & IPD are coming and those that don’t adapt will die.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fix the SYSTEM to Fix the PROBLEM - More Deming



Problems are myriad in construction.  Draw a three foot circle in the center of any random job site in the country, stand a 5th grader of average intelligence in the circle for 3 hours and he or she will report more failure than you could fix in three lifetimes. But the problems so identified are primarily red herrings.

Deming contended fixing the SYSTEM fixes the PROBLEM. And construction, like manufacturing when Deming was doing his work, needs a SYSTEM fix.

An example.

During a visit to a general contractor's job site the project manager spent the entire visit bragging about the company's new onsite inventory management system. The company spent significant time, energy and money formulating, perfecting and implementing the new inventory management system. In other words they struggled mightily to FIX a PROBLEM that manifests itself on virtually every construction project as a direct result of the broken SYSTEM the built industry utilizes to plan, design and construct facilities and infrastructure. That SYSTEM is called Design-Bid-Build and almost every government on the planet insists on mindlessly procuring facilities and infrastructure under that asinine SYSTEM.

A lean logistics colleague, a Deming disciple from the manufacturing arena, asked the young project manager, "Why manage the PROBLEM of excess materials on site when you could just ELIMINATE the problem completely?" His query back, "How could you do that?"  "By switching from the typical piece-meal construction materials delivery SYSTEM," [Which we all know is sacrosanct under Design-Bid-Build] "to a just in-time delivery SYSTEM," she explained.  

"Oh, that won't work in construction," he said. "because construction involves building a unique facility in a unique location and it would be like herding cats to coordinate all those deliveries."

Image result for facepalm


The good news for the young man is that is EXACTLY what her company, Stangate Management, Inc. does for construction clients.

The moral of the story? It is foolish and wasteful to tackle a PROBLEM without identifying its root cause because the vast majority of the time your will be better off fixing the SYSTEM instead.

That Deming was sharp cookie wasn't he? And that Margaret Del Favero of Stangate Management is no slouch herself.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

A Little More Deming



Deming contended fixing the SYSTEM fixes the PROBLEM. And construction, like mfg when Deming was doing his work, needs a SYSTEM fix.

During a recent visit to a general contractor's job site the project manager bragged about the GC's new job site inventory management program. The company spent a significant amount of time and energy formulating, perfecting and implementing the new program. My lean logistics colleague, a Deming disciple with StanGate Management, a Cincinnati based construction supply logistics firm, asked him why the company was managing the problem when it could ELIMINATE the problem by changing from a piece-meal construction materials delivery SYSTEM to a just in-time construction materials delivery SYSTEM.

My contention is that the legal SYSTEM in construction is broken and that broken legal SYSTEM exacerbates every PROBLEM that manifests itself in construction. Implementing a smart built culture requires a new legal SYSTEM and the new legal SYSTEM will solve many of the problems in construction.

Design-Bid-Build is a waste based delivery SYSTEM that supports and enables waste based business models.

Integrated-Project-Delivery is a value based delivery SYSTEM that supports and enables value based business models.

Which SYSTEM are your lawyers vested in?


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Lecture on Deming's Quest




As regular readers know I'm teaching portions of the masters level BIM Strategy course at Middlesex University in London. My next lecture will focus on Deming and his quest for continuous improvement. The lecture connects threads of thought pioneered by Deming and others to the lean construction processes applied by forward thinkers in construction today. The excerpt below captures Deming's thoughts on systems and forms the core of the lecture.

Deming viewed organizations as systems. Defining a system as a network of interdependent components striving for the same goal, Deming envisioned systems in which everyone gains, from shareholders, to customers, suppliers, employees, the community and the environment. Deming analogized to an orchestra to illustrate the concept, noting, “An orchestra is judged by listeners, not so much by illustrious players, but by the way they work together. The conductor, as manager, begets cooperation between the players, as a system, every player to support the others. There are other aims for an orchestra, such as joy in work for the players and the conductor.”

Viewing an organization as a system compels consideration of internal and external connections and interactions and eliminates silos. An integrated approach achieves real success by improving the quality of its products and services, to raising the entire esprit de corps of a company.

Is the system that makes up your organization healthy? Is it ready to deliver planning, design and construction services collaboratively in an integrated trust based environment?

Soon Collaborative Construction will announce a new initiative that focuses on solutions to the core problems faced by built industry professionals that want to operate in a trust based environment that supports and rewards BIM enabled planning, design and construction services in an IPD environment. I will keep readers informed as the initiative unfolds.
 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


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Thursday, February 26, 2015

More Climate McCarthyism from Science Deniers




Science Deniers and well paid advocates of Anthropogenic Global Warming / Climate Change freaked out last week because the evil Koch brothers - among others - provided $1.2 million in funding to Willie Soon, a prominent skeptic of AGW.  The Guardian hyperventilated this headline "Work of Prominent Climate Skeptic Funded by Enery Industry" and the excerable Democratic representative from Arizona, Grijalva, quickly fired off a letter to 7 other prominent Climate Skeptic inquiring, "Are you Now or Have you Ever Been a Climate Skeptic"

This high dungeon by these Ass Clowns would be funny if it were not actually having its intended effect of chilling debate and driving real scientists, like Roger Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado out of the field.  Peilke, one of those named by the excerable Grijalva's as a Climate Denier, wrote a blog post title "I am Under Investigation" detailing the incident in which he proclaims his intention to abandon the field to these fools.  I hope he does not, but his frustration is understandable.

Why the Science Deniers who advocate reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 - which would require the US to cut carbon emissions from 6 billion metric tons to approximately 1.2 billion metric tons, a per capita emission rate last experienced in the US in 1905-1910 - are flinging poo and rocks in the glass house of research funding is beyond me.  At least one journalists, Henry Payne in the article "Global Warming: Follow the Money", honed in on glass house argument.  Maybe these McCarthy style witch hunts will prompt more such investigations and the media will delve into the source of funding for the Science Deniers who advocate reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 in hopes of slowing global warming by about 1.0 Degree Celsius over the next 100 years while they simultaneously agree that neither India nor China intend to commit economic suicide by depriving millions of their citizens of access to Hans Rosling's Magic Washing Machine.

I've always argued that Liberty, aka private property rights, Capitalism and Cheap Energy raise more people out of poverty than anything else.  And Hans Rosling's discussion of the Magic Washing Machine reinforces that argument. Let's hope the Science Deniers and the McCarthy style supporters fail in their latest efforts to stifle scientific debate.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Designing for the Internet of Things




Professor Rodolphe el-Khoury has been selected as the new Dean of Architecture at the University of Miami.  He presented at the TEDx conference in Toronto where he discussed the concept of Designing for the Internet of Things.  Interesting thoughts.


Lots if interesting thoughts.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3D Printer Prints Houses in China




More grist for the 3D Printer mill and the never ending uses of concrete.

A Chinese company uses a 3D-printer to print houses for rapid assembly in China.  Printing components from a mixture of sand, concrete and glass fiber, all materials processed from common construction waste, the process holds promise.

The commercial 3D printer used is over 6 meters tall and 32 meters long.

The video isn't the most slick production you'll ever see, but it will be of interest to most. 

 


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV


Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website