Wednesday, June 29, 2011

IS BIM the new Standard of Care for Designers?


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

As many who follow this blog know I've argued for years that BIM is the new standard of care by which design professionals will be judged.  I have always been hesitant to say that very loudly due to fear my colleagues in legal professional will use it as a cudgel to beat my former design clients about the head and shoulders.  In light of the "BIM Lawsuit" reported by Nadine Post in ENR - linked here last month - I can no longer sit idle.

Accordingly, I agreed to the publication of statements by me related to the Standard of Care issue earlier this month.  You can read the article, BIM Emerging as Construction's Legal Standard of Care as published on For Construction Pros website.

I've been quietly consulting on behalf of attorneys interested in leveraging BIM for several years now, but the case referenced in this article is the first instance in which we hired a BIM expert to model 2D drawings in order to highlight errors in those drawings.  The use of what I would call Forensic BIM will rise dramatically as lawyers recognize the value of 3D models in complex construction cases.

Design professionals - and to a lesser extent on professionals in the construction industry - will find BIM to be a double edged sword.  On the one hand, as the ENR article illustrates, the use of BIM in a silo can lead to liability if other team members are not familiar with BIM while the failure to use BIM altogether may result in liability premised on a failure to meet the new standard of care.

Delivery of BIM enabled planning, design and constructions services by an integrated team will reduce the risk of liability by all stakeholders as BIM use takes place in a collaborative environment outside traditional silos.  If readers have any questions they should feel free to call.

 
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

BIM Breakfast Scheduled in July

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Planning for the Second IPD Round Table series is underway and BIM Breakfast participants are welcome to join the discussion.  The focus will be on Public Private Partnerships and leveraging IPD, BIM and lean processes in the oil & gas industry.  The next Collaborative BIM Breakfast is scheduled for 7:00 a.m. next Thursday July, 7, 2011.

We will meet on the MAIN FLOOR of the American Book Building located at 300 Pike Street, Cincinnati 45202.  Once all are present we will move downstairs, get breakfast and grab a table.  This is an intimate small group meeting and we delve into the nuts and bolts of IPD, BIM and lean processes in detail.  Bring a friend or a client and join us!

For those who drive, turn RIGHT on to Pike Street near the end of 5th Street as it leaves downtown Cincinnati and follow Pike Street STRAIGHT until it dead ends into Third Street.  The main entrance to the American Book Building will be on your LEFT as you go down Pike Street towards Third Street.  At Third Street turn LEFT and go about 200' and then turn RIGHT into the parking lot beneath the I-471 On-Ramp Overpass.  Jot down your license plate number and record it at the front desk and you will not be charged for parking.

Organizations whose members have a stake in the AEC Industry are encouraged to forward information about the Collaborative BIM Breakfast meetings to their members and to encourage those members to attend.  The breakfast meetings and any subsequent IPD Round Table discussions are designed to stimulate cross disciplinary conversations among like minded professionals interested in integrated project delivery (IPD) building information modeling (BIM) and lean business processes.  If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.

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

Shale Gas - Short Carbon Chains to Long Carbon Chains


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

The most intriguing thing to me about the shale gas boom is the potential to "refine" natural gas - a short chain hydrocarbon - into a variety of long chain hydrocarbon products.  I've long argued for the use of renewable energy resources on the grounds that we REALLY need to preserve our oil and gas resources until we unlock the secrets of the vast energy reserves.  Advances in nanotechnologies always stuck me as the most likely mechanism for doing so.  While nanotechnology may ultimately carry the day old fashioned refining techniques - reversed and applied to natural gas - may well preempt much of the hand wringing over "peak oil" that has dominated the conversations related to sustainability for the last several decades.

Shell has opened two massive refinerie that feature what I call "reverse refining" processes.  In the energy industry the process is called gast to liquid or a GTL process.  The Pearl Plant in Qatar and the Bintulu Plant in Malasia both utulize the technique to convert natrual gas feed stock into liquid fuels, paraffin and other refined petroleum products with higher profit margins and more specialized uses than raw natural gas.

The Shell Pearl Plant, planned, designed, constructed operated and maintained purusant to a fully intergrated joint ventrue agreement between Shell and Qatar took almost 7 years to construct.  54,0000 employees worked 77 million hours constructing the plant without a single serious accident!  Shell has a wealth of information about the plant on the web,  You can follow the Shell Pearl Plant link and peruse the website at your leisure.  The image below is an aerial view of construction in 2010.



Shell's Bintulu GLT Plant, like the Pearl Plant, is a join venture.  For an excellent report summarizing the scope and nature of the Bintulu GLT Plant take a look at Robert Rapier's excellent article in Consumer Energy Report titled Inside Shell's Bintulu GTL Plant.  As Robert notes in the excerpt below, the joint venture was a great success.

The plant is actually a venture composed of four shareholders: Shell (72%), Mitsubishi (14%), Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia (7%), and Sarawak State (7%).


The plant was originally completed in 1993 with a capacity of 12,500 bbl/day at a cost of $850 million. That is a capital cost of $68,000 per daily barrel, more expensive than a conventional oil refinery but far less than the costs often cited for coal-to-liquids (CTL), biomass-to-liquids (BTL), or any number of alternative fuel technologies. The plant has since expanded to the present capacity of 14,700 bbl/day and the total investment is over $1 billion.

While Shell is scaling these processes up - and gaining economies of scale - my thought is the right integrated team can scale the system down and add real value in key regions impacted by shale gas plays.  I expand a bit on these thoughts in Collaborative Construction's June Newsletter and will revist the idea in a future post here.



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, June 26, 2011

Shale Gas - WSJ Article "The Facts About fracking"

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

The article linked below purports to reveal "The Facts about Fracking".  This is another shale gas related post that should be tucked away in your memory.  The economic development angle is the key to the shale gas plays from my perspective. 

As recently as 2000, shale gas was 1% of America's gas supplies; today it is 25%. Prior to the shale breakthrough, U.S. natural gas reserves were in decline, prices exceeded $15 per million British thermal units, and investors were building ports to import liquid natural gas. Today, proven reserves are the highest since 1971, prices have fallen close to $4 and ports are being retrofitted for LNG exports.


The shale boom is also reviving economically suffering parts of the country, while offering a new incentive for manufacturers to stay in the U.S. Pennsylvania's Department of Labor and Industry estimates fracking in the Marcellus shale formation, which stretches from upstate New York through West Virginia, has created 72,000 jobs in the Keystone State between the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011.

The economic development aspect of the topic will be explored in more detail in coming weeks.

The Facts About Fracking


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, June 21, 2011

Shale Gas - Chinese Buy into South Texas Oil & Gas Field

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

There are some very interesting economics at play in the Eagle Ford Shale play unfolding in South Texas.  The article linked below describes a deal between China's CNOOC and Chesapeake Energy, an early player in Shale gas plays around the country.  Chesapeake gobbled up thousdands of oil and gas leases bu needs capital to develop those leases in a timely manner.

Enter CNOOC a company owned by the Chines government.  As the article from the San Antonio Express explains:

"From the Chinese perspective, this is a golden opportunity for them. They have identified shale resources in China, but they don't have the knowledge or technical expertise to go after those resources," said Ken Medlock, a fellow at Houston's Baker Institute and adjunct professor in Rice University's economics department.
McClendon disputed that notion, saying hydraulic fracturing is now "off-the-shelf technology" available to anyone.
Also underlying the move is China's need to find new energy sources and the technology to develop them to feed its expansive economic growth.


Energy consumption in the world's most populous nation has doubled in less than a decade, and the International Energy Agency reported in July that China surpassed the U.S. in total energy used in 2009.
China has increasingly been looking to the Americas for raw materials it needs to sustain the boom. As private investment dwindled with the global financial crisis, the cash-flush Chinese went on a regional shopping spree.

SA Express 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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why the engineer's calculations matter!

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Physics are physics, and when somebody makes a mistake bad things happen.  Just wanted to post something light hearted that conveys the importance of careful planning.  Nobody was hurt - as far as I know - in the crane fail video linked below, but that isn't always the case.



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

USGBC and LEED Standards Under Attack

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

In 2009 I lamented the fact that high performance building standards and similar certification regimens are forcing stakeholders in the construction industry to pound round green pegs through square brown holes.  In our collaborative workshops I routinely warn designers and constructors not to over promise when it comes to green results.  The article linked below describes litigation filed against USGBC over its LEED program and highlights many of the risks I alluded to in the green peg square brown hole post.

Continued caution is warrented in this arena, but there are also substantial opportunities associated with these increasing demands for leaner, greener more efficient facilities.

USGBC LEED Lawsuit 


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, June 13, 2011

Shale Gas - Where is it and how should we develop it?

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

The map below shows the extensive reach of shale gas formations in the US.  At Collaborative Construction we are working to put together integrated teams capable of delivering planning, design, construction, operations and maintenace services to key stakeholders involved in these gas plays around the country.  We are particularly interested in helping governmental entities in these locations procure planning, design and construction services from entities capable of delivering fully functional digital assets to those governmental entities that will empower intelligent and efficient operations of the facilities and infrastructuctrue delivered for generations to come.  I grew up in West Texas during the oil boom and I see extensive opportunities and pitfalls here.



South Texas is booming, as is western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, West Virginia and North Dakota as well as parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.  Of course New York has issued a moratorium on fracking so none of the vast shale gas reserves in western New York are yet being tapped.

Governmental entities in these boom areas will have the need and opportunity to upgrade a variety of infrastrucrure in their communties and integrated teams capable of planning, designing and constructing such infrastructure intelligently and efficiently can positively impact lives, the economy and the environment.

Anyone interested in joining such an intergrated team should contact Collaborative Construction.


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, June 9, 2011

Shale Gas - Economic Boon or Environmental Disaster?

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Natural gas enjoyed a short a run as an acceptable "green energy" source in the early 2000s but has, of late been criticized by many environmentalists.  To determine its viability as an energy source the risks associated with exploration, estraction, production, transportation, delivery and use must be balanced against the detrimental effects of those activities.  In the law, when pursuing or defending a products liability claims, lawyers often ask jurors to balance the utility of a product against the risks associated with the use of the product.  I view the query regarding the risk / benefit analysis of natural gas as an energy source in much the same way.

Rather than argue the pros and cons of the issue in depth myself I am simply going to post links, with brief comments, to sources arguing the pros and cons and leave it to the readers of the blog to self-educate on the topic.

The first item I will link to is an editorial published in USA Today titled "Fracking' with care holds key to energy future" which argues the economic benefits outweigh the environmental risks.  The USA Editorial Board argues:

"This technique [fracing] has brought a surprising amount of new gas production from states as disparate as Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania — enough combined with conventional supplies to last perhaps 100 years at current consumption rates.
That's game-changing, wildly underdiscussed news. Gas now meets only about a quarter of the nation's energy needs, much of it for home heating and industrial use. But if estimates of shale gas reserves are correct — and they seem to just get bigger — gas could begin to displace oil as a fuel for vehicles and might even help unseat coal as the nation's dominant fuel for generating electricity. Price pressures would ease; dependence on unstable supplies of foreign oil could decline."

The following video accompanies the editorial.
 

 
USA Today published a piece at the same time that argued we should, "Ban Fracking Now."  The author, Josh Fox, has also produced a documentary titled "Gasland" in which he advances the argument set forth in his editorial.  Below is a trailer for the documentary.



My view is these vast reserves of gas shale will be developed regardless of the merits - or lack thereof - of Mr. Fox's documentary because the economics of these shale gas plays are too compelling to ignore.  In the coming days I will link to more resources and comment further on the economic realities of these gas plays. 

Meanwhile, I will leave readers with the following thoughts.  If significant gas plays are inevitable in 32 countries around the world and in the US wouldn't it be prudent to inject a bit of IPD, BIM and lean thinking into the process?  Wouldn't the communities, contractors, suppliers, landowners and others who are touched by the development of these shale gas resources benefit from access to fully functional digital assets associated with the developments in their communities?  Those of us who want to see integrated project delivery, BIM and lean processes weilded for good have an obligation to step to the plate in these communtiies and deliver on the promise of these innovative new bsuiness processes.

The energy industry has significant experience utilizing virtual design and construction tools and this represents a golden opportunity to lead by example in the communities where these shale gays plays are unfolding. 

Again, I will post more on this topic soon.
 
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, June 7, 2011

Shale Gas - An Introduction

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

This is the first in a series of shale gas posts.  These posts will focus on opportunities for the use of integrated project delivery, virtual design and construction and lean processes in planning, designing, constructing and maintaining the infrastructure associated the development of natural gas resources found in shale formations around the world.

Advances in technology and extraction methods have rendered recoverable vast reserves of gas trapped in shale formations around the world.  Combining advances in the use of Fischer-Tropsch techniques to convert natural gas feed stock to liquid fuels and other valuable products with the revelation of these vast oil and gas reserves has fundamentally changed global landscape both politically and economically.  Successfull recovery will depend on completion of substantial infrastructure in each market.

The US Energy Information Agency (eia) comissioned an analysis of 48 shale gas basins in 32 countries containing 70 seperate shale gas formations and the report, authored by Advanced Resources International and released april 5, 2011, revealed 5,760 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas in those 32 countries.  The US has 862 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas.  In 2010 technically recoverable gas resoureces, largely excluding shale gas, were estimated to be 16,000 trillion cubic feet.  The report published by the eia April 5, 2011 adds 6,622 trillion cubic feet - over 40% - to that estimate for a total of 22,600 trillion cubic feet.  The report does not address oil in those shale formations, does not provide any analysis of any shale formations in Central Africa, does not address shale formations in North and South Africa, or in Russia or Central Asia.

The report indicates, "The development of shale gas plays has become a "game changer" for the U.S. natural gas market."  The same will soon be true globally.

Natrual gas is cleaner than coal or oil and is far more abundent and reliable than solar, wind and other green energy options.  Nuclear has a huge black eye due the tsunami in Japan and the revelation of these vast untapped reserves of shale gas represent an enormous opportunity.

Responsibly developing these resources will spark much needed economic growth both domestically and internationally.  Stakeholders involved in these shale gas plays will benefit from the use of integrated project delivery, virtual design and construction methods and lean business processes of all kinds.  International players like Shell, Exxon and BP understand the value of these innovative business processes and have experience deploying thse tools in the planning, design, construction, operation and maitenance of complex energy industry infrastructure.  Smaller players in the industry as well as strategic alliances and coallitions will benefit from integrating these processes and will earn huge returns on innovation.

Followers of this blog, readers of the Collaborative Construction Newsletter and members of Collaborative BIM Advocates are well positioned to form teams capable of delivering integrated services to stakeholders invovled in development of shale gas resources.  This Shale Gas series will highlight the opportunities.

World Shale Gas Resources:  An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States

The link takes you to a 7 page summary of the report.  When you click on the link took to the right side of the page and you will see a link via which you can download a complete PDF copy of the 365 page report.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


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, June 6, 2011

IPROBLUE Technologies Making Waves

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about IPROBLUE Technologies Mobile Engineering Apps and indicated I thought the company was onto something.  Turns out I might have been right.  Below I've linked to an ASME article in which IPROBLUE Tech's David Homes is quoted and the market niche the company is carving out appears primed to explode.

“Counting only the two major platforms in the mobile space today, iOS and Android, there are more than 500,000 apps available these days,” says David Homes, director of technology at IPROBLUE Tech, which develops mobile engineering solutions. “This is a market that pretty much just started in July 2008, when Apple launched the App Store and made it an accessible platform for developers to self-publish there.”


Later in article Homes comments on the future of the market:

By 2015, the mobile app market is expected to be worth $25 billion dollars (up from $6.8 billion in 2010), according to a report by TechCrunch. “With the new tablets on the market, the rate of new mobile application is expected to increase big time during 2011,” says Homes.

These are the kinds of advances that will enable integrated team members to deliver IPD, BIM and lean processes more effectively.  Be sure and read the whole thing.

ASME 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

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Collaborative Workshop Topics

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Collaborative Construction offers a series of collaborative workshops related to IPD, BIM and lean processes.  The list below reflects a few of the topics Collaborative Construction covers in those workshops.  Typical workshops run a full day with a morning lecture and an afternoon of interactive team building exercises.  Abbreviated versions of the collaborative workshop presentations listed below are presented online as part of the IPD Round Table series and many topics are now being explored in detail in the BUILT - BIM to FM section of the AUGIWorld Magazine each month.

If you or any of your collaborative partners are interested in having Collaborative Construction provide in-house training on the topics listed below or if you are interested in forming an integrated team or a strategic alliance of collaborative partners capable of delivering a particular scope of work on a specific project in an integrated environment please call.  Meanwhile, please share information about Collaborative Construction's ability to provide these collaborative workshops with you colleagues.


Level 1 Seminars & Workshops

  • Introductory Session - What are the moving parts of IPD, BIM and Lean
  • Integrated Agreements - What they are and how they work
  • Project Delivery Models - What delivery models are most common and what works 
  • Trust Based Team Building - How to build effective integrated teams
  • Strategic Alliance Contracts - What are they and how do they work
  • ROI on IPD, BIM and Lean - If you aren't measuring it how can you manage it?
  • Dispute Resolution - Adjust legal relationships outside the court room
  • Collaborative Insurance - Mitigating and managing risk effectively
  • IPD Incentive Programs - Reward collaborative & cooperative behavior
  • Joining Agreements - Bringing suppliers, consultants and trade contractors on board
  • Collaborative Workshops - What integrated teams and owners need to know
  • IPD, BIM and Lean Consultants - What are the relevant skill sets?
Level 2 Seminars & Workshops

  • Introductory Session – Why Functional Digital Assets Matter
  • What Owners Want – Decisions Accessing Valuable & Informative Data Systems
  • Return on Innovation – What does IPD, BIM and lean really give owners?
  • Owners Want it All – What kind of RFPs and RFQs help them get it all?
  • Integrated Teams – How does an owner form and train integrated teams?
  • Trust Based Relationships – Why do they matter and how do I build them?
  • Laddered ADR – What it is, how it works and why it matters
  • Cluster Teams – Integrating an entire scope of work
  • Strategic Alliances – Forming integrated teams to pursue traditional work


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