Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Legal Agreements Matter


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

This post was adapted from a comment I made in iPda's new bs BIM Group discussion.  iPda is a new venture that provides cutting edge BIM Consulting Services and the bs BIM Group is a LinkedIn Group that is focused on BIM Servers and use of the same to facilitate IPD.  The comment below was in response to another poster who mentioned the use of Design-Construct agreements used in Australia and New Zeland.
 
The problem lies with traditional transactional legal agreements. Those instruments force key stakeholders who ought to be coordinating and collaborating closely into silos where they work - far too often - in isolation. There is a fundamental difference between a traditional transactional agreement and an integrated or collaborative agreement. Transactional agreements CREATE legal relationships out of whole clothe among strangers who rely on the Court System to adjust those legal relationships when disputes arise. By contrast, integrated or collaborative agreements ARISE OUT OF trusted business relationships among parties who leverage advanced alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to adjust their legal relationships when disputes arise.

It is very difficult to achieve Integrated Project Delivery within a traditional legal framework because those agreements tend to pit the interests of the parties one against another and key stakeholders retreat to their silos to perform work that ought to be completed in a collaborative and cooperative environment.

Think of integrated or collaborative agreements as the keystone that supports an arch upon which IPD can be built. The image below will give you a graphic visual for the concept.  The blocks on the left side of the arch are carved using BIM / VDC tools and software while the blocks on the right side are carved using lean tools and business processes like the Last Planner System, lean supply chains and logistics, etc. When trusted business partners enter into an integrated or collaborative agreement they spend a lot of time building that arch together. Traditional transactional agreements CREATE legal relationships and are not tailored to serve the keystone role. Integrated and collaborative agreements are. 





The Design&Construct instruments from AU / NX andthe UK served as the catalyst for the Design-Build movement in the US and, ultimately, inspired Will Lichtig - Sutter Health's lawyer - to draft the first Integrated Form of Agreement for Integrated / Lean Project Delivery. The Sutter Health IFOA then served as the model for the ConsensusDOCS 300 Series, the AIA's Integrated Project Delivery Guide and the AIA's so-called transistional IPD Documents. This new generation of legal instruments are critically important to the process of IPD but are, unfortunately, largely untested and not quite ready for prime time.

That said, owners - especially large institutional owners - are beginning to demand BIM to FM, which will require integrated agreements in the private sector and integrated procurement laws and regulations in the public sector. Sophisticated owners want their planners, designers and constructors to hand off digital assets that function as Integrated / As-Built BIM Models. Such digital assets can then be used to increase the efficiency with which a facility is operated and maintained throughout its life cycle, something far more valuable than saving a few dollars during design and construction. I highlighted this issue in a recent post here in which I analyzed an ENR article titled, "Aligning Data for the Life Cycle."

Lack of interoperability among BIM software programs is hindering the BIM to FM process, but the design professionals in this forum are making great strides towards overcoming the technical hurdles, while the new generation of legal instruments will provide needed structure and support. BIM Servers operating on a common neutral IT backbone ala the internet will - I think - be the best long term solution to the technical challenges. A BIM xml "language" that leverages IFCs and COBIE standards will enable designers and facilities managers to achieve BIM to FM. Again, the deisgners commenting in this forum are well on their way. 


James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Monday, April 25, 2011

RIAI Practice Committee for BIM Presentation and Survey

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Below is a link to another excellent BIM presentation that deserves a broader audience.  The video was produced by Ralph Montague of ArcDox - a leading BIM Consulting Group in Ireland - the Chairman of the RIAI's new Practice Committee for BIM.  Collaborative Construction will be posting a more substantive review of ArcDox' work in Ireland later this week, but for now enjoy the BIM presentation.

If you are an architect based in Ireland be sure to take the survey so the RIAI can obtain baseline data regarding BIM use there.  That information will be valuable as IPD, BIM and Lean tools are adopted throughout the construction industry in Ireland over the next few years.




James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Energy Infrastructure Required

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Higher energy prices may be hear to stay.  The blog post linked below cites and analyzes a Financial Times story that needs to be carefully considered. 

The gist of it is the Saudis are "investing" $125 billion - or 30% of the GDP - in programs intended to appease the masses and stave off revolutions of the kind seen in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East.  These new "programs" reek of entitlement and socialism just like the failed Ponzi schemes we fund in the US.  To sustain such programs the Saudi Royals will need to see higher oil prices if they intend - and the DO intend - to live in the style and manner to which they have become accustomed. 

Financial Times Story Analyzed

Read the whole thing, but keep the chart below in mind as you do.



When 94% of the oil reserves are controlled by NATIONALIZED OIL COMPANIES and the remaining 6% is controlled by multiple private firms it is farcical to argue, as many do, that private oil companies and "speculators" are controlling the price of oil.  Thus the price of oil is controlled, almost exclusively, by those with a vested interest in feathering their own nests.  For a variety of reasons, the GOVERNMENTS that control 94% of the oil reserves in the world are going to push for higher prices.

Eventually, policy makers in Washington D.C. will clue into these facts and the power of private enterprise will be unleashed to solve this problem.  It will take a few years but the problem can quickly and easily be resolved if the United States will place ITS OIL & GAS RESERVES in play.  The United States has ACESS to more oil and gas reserves than the Saudis and Iran combined, but we have, to date, REFUSED to tap those resources.  If oil prices reach and stay above $150 we should utilize those resources.  While many in the green movement will lament the continued use of fossil fuels they do seem to be the best option at this time.

Nuclear power should, of course, play a bigger role but hysterical voices in the environmental community make that option virtually impossible.  Gas - rather than oil and coal - is a great alternative, but it too is now under attack by environmentalists across the country.  Wind, Solar and other renewables, while promising, are just that and no more at this point.  Even with heavy subsidies Wind and Solar have proven too expensive and too unreliable.  Breakthroughs are being made, but we haven't found the silver bullet yet.

Meanwhile, we need to upgrade our energy infrastructure and embrace the reality that fossil fuels must be used to ensure lower energy costs until renewable technologies become competitive.  Currently, energy prices represent a little more than 6% of the average families budget.  Every major recession in the past century has been accompanied by a rise in energy prices above the 6% threshold.  If we want to drag this economy out of the doldrums we must start producing cheap and reliable energy in the US.  Right now that means oil, coal and gas and we shouldn't be shy about using it. 

If you are concerned about the environment and you want to reduce the worlds carbon footprint you should support efforts to reduce energy costs because China, India and other developing nations are NEVER going to support the restrictions on THEIR energy production that would be required to make a difference.  The US would be better served to tap our own vast resources of oil, coal and gas and leverage those resources in an environmentally responsible way to reduce energy costs and continue to promote and support renewable energy technologies.

In doing so, this country will have to upgrade and improve our existing energy infrastructure.  That would lead to a boom in the commercial building industry, which would benefit the economy as a whole.



James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another CFL Bulb Article of Interest


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Here is another CFL Bulb article as a follow on to the earlier post below.  This article details certain research indicating the gases surrounding hot CFL bulbs may cause cancer.

Given the propencity for plaintiffs lawyers to comission "studies" to support the law suits they file - the autism "caused" by vaccines fraud being Exhibit A - I'm skeptical.  In fact, claims that cell phones, microwave ovens, PCBs, etc. etc. cause cancer remind me of George Carlin's bit where he reported the FDA had determined that salivia causes cancer, but ONLY if swallowed slowly over a very long period of time!

That said, the rush to ban incandesent bulbs and replace them with a technology that has not been fully vetted is proving problematic.  I did receive a thoughtful comment on the defetive CFL Bulb post below from a reader in Arizona.  He says:

It appears that a couple of mfgrs from China, some of these sold through some of the discount warehouse chains are the primary culprits. Most all of these are screw base lamps. When we specify LEED credited fixtures they must have the 4-pin base to prevent a user placing a traditional "A lamp" incandescent lamp as a replacement. These 4-pin lamps are installed by contractors and are manufactured by the reputable folks like GE, Phillips and the like.
 
As to the performance, I haven't seen any supporting documentation recently that shows if the lamps are truly performing as they are supposed to. If I come across something along those lines, I'll be sure to pass it along.



James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now you see it; now you don't - another quantum computing advance



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Here's a link to a mind boggling advance in quantum computing.  A team has successfully transported information, in the form of light, that existed in two states at the same time, allowing it to be destroyed in one spot and recreated in another. This is a major step towards quantum computing as it allows a computer to read a 0 and a 1 simultaneously rather than consecutively.

Frankly, I'm not smart enough to understand this in any detail, but if it works the sky will soon be the limit for computing power.  I started following these developments several years ago when it all sounded like sheer science fiction.  Today's story confirms we are getting close and closer to a sci-fi reality.

Now you see it; now you don't

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Clear Solar Panel Technology on the Horizon


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

After the Debbie Downer post this morning on CFLs I thought I post a positive green story.  In the article linked below another break through in solar technology is described that would be very beneficial to the commercial real estate industry.


Link to Article

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

CFL Bulbs Not Meeting Expectations

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are not living up to the hype.  CFL bulbs have been touted as a "green alternative" that is superior to incandescent bulbs, but there is mounting evidence the performance of CFL bulbs has failed to meet expectations.

It appears the useful life of CFL bulbs is far shorter than advertised, they cost too much and don't really reduce one's carbon footprint to the degee promised.  In addition, they appear to be a fire hazard.

Design professionals - especially interior designers and lighting specialists - who are responsible for specifying bulbs should proceed with caution in this arena.  In the report linked below the most disturbing fact is the number of fires associated with CFL bulbs that fail.  If this trend continues there is a real risk that a significant number of consumers will be injured.  If that happens, plaintiffs lawyers will sue everybody involved.  If the foreign manufacturers - mainly in China and India - are not easily reached design professionals and others may become targets.

Design professionals should not to over promise energy savings relative to their designs and should proceed with caution on this front.  The article linked below contains more information.

CFL Bulbs Failing


James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Thursday, April 14, 2011

IPD Round Table Survey


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Collaborative Construction has crafted a survey to accompany the launch of the Second IPD Round Table series.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey as it will help us make the IPD Round Table series better.

IPD Round Table Survey

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nice BIM Presentation

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Below is a Youtube BIM presentation from Darren Tims with Rice Daubney, a major architectural firm based out of Sidney, Australia.  In the presentation Darren tells the story Rice Daubney's adoption of BIM, the benefits the firm has garnered and a description of how the firm works in BIM.  Stories of these kinds are becoming more and more common.



James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Avatars leading IPD Meetings?


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Keeping with the advanced technology theme alluded to in the Open Source / Closed Source post below, the article linked below discusses the potential uses of Avatars as a mechanism for increasing an individuals productivity.  Currently, many "gamers" deploy Avatars online as participants in Second Life and Warcraft.  The use of Avatars in online meetings will likely expand as we push the technology envelope.  It will be interesting to see if the Construction Industry takes advantage of tools like these over the next decade or two.

The Construction Industry is woefully behind that Manufacturing Industry when it comes to automation of planning, design and fabrication processes, but small nimble companies intent on increasing the efficiency with which they provide planning, design and construction services have the opportunity to leap to the fore of the technology front.  The deployment of Avatars may become an important piece of the technology puzzle.  Use of Avatars in marketing and education is quickly becoming a realistic option.  As technologies improve the use of Virtual Conference Rooms by advanced Avatars, as described in the linked article, will only expand.

It will be interesting to see whether the new generation of leaders in the Construction Industry leverages tools like these.

Can 3-D Avatars Attend Mutual Meetings?


James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Monday, April 11, 2011

Open Source / Closed Source Databases

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Readers who follow this blog and individuals who have attended Collaborative Workshops hosted by Collaborative Construction know that we are agnostic when it comes to software solutions.  The goal of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is to arm the planners, designers, constructors, owners and other stakeholders with business processes and technical tools that will increase the efficiency with which the services related to the creation of capital projects are delivered.  Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a critical business process utilized by stakeholders to increase efficiency in an IPD environment.  The "i" in BIM is critical and one of the most fundamental questions an integrated team must ask is where will project related information be stored?  "BIM Servers" are being considered by software sellers and major institutional owners as a mechanism for storing project related information.

Many in the AECO Industry see a battle looming - vis-a-vi BIM Servers - between proprietary, closed source databases and open source "cloud based" databases.  At Collaborative Construction we anticipate both solutions will be widely utilized in the AECO Industry and different aspects of each system will be exploited on an as needed basis.  Closed source databases offer the possibility of walling data off from the prying eyes of competitors and the need for such protection will, in many instances, outweigh the benefits of an open source system.  However, building walls and hiring the talent necessary to create hardware and software behind walls is more expensive than doing so in an open sourced environment and we expect open source BIM Servers to proliferate in the cloud.

Regardless of which approach is taken, functional BIM Servers will enable high quality information exchanges on an inter-disciplinary basis across software platforms over the life cycle of a capital facility.  Such actions which will ultimately increase the efficiency with which planners plan, designers design, builders build, owners operate and maintenance personnel maintain.  This can, of course, be accomplished in a closed source environment or in an open source environment.  The trade offs between the two business models are not fully appreciated at this time.

As food for thought, below is a link to an article describing this disparate approach to database creation by Facebook and Google.  Facebook is taking an open source approach and Google is keeping its database behind the curtain.  Take a few minutes to read the article and think about how the two competing business approaches will impact your company as the AECO Industry moves towards the adoption of BIM Servers.  How will you access and utilize data housed on an open source platform v. a closed source platform?  You will encounter both over the next 10 years and you need to know how you will proceed.

Facebook v. Google - Open Source v. Closed Source Databases

Let us know what you think.

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Monday, April 4, 2011

Collaborative BIM Breakfasts Return to Cincinnati


 
 Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Beginning May 5, 2011, Collaborative Construction will be hosting monthly Collaborative BIM Breakfast meetings with Benjamin Yocum and Heather in the private dining room in the basement of the American Book Building located at 300 Pike Street, Cincinnati Ohio 45202.  A map is linked to the address.  Parking for the American Book Building is available in the lot under the I-471 Overpass.  Turn left at the end of Pike Street - the American Book Building will be on your left - and you will see the parking lot on your right.  The entrance is about 200' down 3rd Street.  Copy down your license plate number because you will need it when you sign it at the front desk.  BYH is located on the 5th Floor of the American Book Building.  The map below depicts the location of the American Book Building - balloon A - in the Downtown Cincinnati area.



We will meet in the private dining room in the basement of the building.  A full service cafeteria is located in the basement of the American Book Building that serves a light breakfast menu.

Meetings will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the agenda will be loosely tied to the Second IPD Round Table Series agenda as Collaborative Construction  and BYH will be hosting that series in Cincinnati and James L. Salmon will present the Second IPD Round Table series topic at 9:30 a.m.  Collaborative BIM Breakfast attendees are welcome to stay for that presentation if they like.

Collaborative BIM Breakfast meetings will take place on the FIRST Thursday of each month and will be held in conjunction with the IPD Round Table series presentations.  Continuing education credits will be available to attorneys, architects, engineers and project managers.  Collaborative Construction and BYH will be working with the Ohio Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, AIA, Ohio SEA, PMI, ACI, ASA and CURT to ensure members of those organizations receive continuing education credit for participation.  Individuals who wish to receive 2 hours of continuing education will need to pay a fee of $25.00.

Collaborative Construction and BYH are excited about the synergy of combining Collaborative BIM Breakfasts with the Second IPD Round Table Series.  Owners, planners, designers, constructors, trade contractors, suppliers and others are invited to attend.  The purpose of both events is to prompt conversations regarding the intelligent and effective use of IPD, BIM and Lean processes, while bringing like-minded BIM and Lean enabled firms together in a positive learning environment.

If you have any questions please contact James L. Salmon.

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

BUILT - BIM to FM

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Collaborative Construction has been asked to contribute content to AUGIWorld, the online magazine distributed to Autodesk users around the world.  The subject area of the columns will be BUILT - BIM to FM, and we will be looking to partners and co-authors to assist in generating these columns.  The first article will define Collaborative Construction's vision of the BUILT environment and will map out a series of articles related to efforts to deploy IPD, BIM and Lean processes in that environment. 



The image below summarizes the Collaborative Construction vision, and reveals the myriad of "Building Blocks" that need to be described and explained in the columns.


To simplify and unify the message we intend to draft a series of feature articles that track the topics explored in the Second IPD Round Table series over the course of the next year.  Accordingly, entities that sign up to host that series may be well positioned to contribute to an AUGIWorld column.  Please contact us if this is something you are interested co-authoring an article.

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Aligning Data for the Life Cycle


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

ENR published an excellent article on March 7, 2011 titled "Aligning Data for the Life Cycle."  Collaborative Construction has analyzed the article and posted an online presentation detailing that analysis.  The link above takes you to ENR's subscription site.  If you have subscription I would encourage you to download the article and distribute copies around your office.  If you don't have a subscription you should consider one - ENR is an excellent resource.

To access Collaborative Construction's analysis of the article follow this link - BUILT - BIM to FM - and let us know what you think.  Our take on the article is that more and more institutional owners are demanding BIM to FM and more and more planners, designers, constructors, trade contractors and owners' representatives need to do what is necessary to meet those demands.  We will have more on this topic in the April 2011 edition of the Collaborative Construction Newsletter.

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International