Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Robot Alert!


I'm fascinated by advances in the medical and manufacturing arenas.  The story excerpted and linked below touches on both.  I envision some really exciting advances in construction and maitenance methods when we bring these technologies to bear on the built industry.  I can imagine robots cleaning, inspecting and reparing duct work, electrical lines and conduit and building envelopes among other things.
Blake Hannaford, a University of Washington electrical engineering professor involved with the Raven project, says UW researchers built the original Raven for telerobotic surgery study back in 2005. Now, they’ve developed a new version, Raven II, which is smaller, has more dexterity in its hands, and can hold surgical tools during operations. UW researchers also created software to work with the Robot Operating System, a popular open-source robotics code, so labs can easily connect the Raven to other devices and share ideas.
Notice how these guys are utilizing a "popular open-source robotics code, so labs can easily connect the Raven to other devices and share ideas."?  Novel heh?

Read more: How Raven, the Smart Robotic Helper, is Changing Surgery - Popular Mechanics

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James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV

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Cell 512-630-4446
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Marginalized BIM


My friend and colleague Peter Cholakis, with whom I have co-presented in the past, has a post up related to the marginalization of BIM.  Here's the LINK.  Readers should feel free to chime in in the comments, Bob Smith and I have both done so.  As I mentioned in my comment, I think the solution to "marginalized BIM" is an effective IPD Procurement Program that owners can use to procure BIM enabled infrastructure from integrated BIM enabled teams capable of operating in an IPD environment.

I apologize to regular readers if you feel I'm beating a dead horse, but this is, I think, the next critical push if IPD, BIM and lean processes are to be widely adopted.  Owners must recognize the wide ranging benefits of BIM and must adjust their procurement methods to enable them to acquire planning design and construction services from BIM enabled teams - which in turn will delivery the BIM enabled infrastructure owners want - if IPD, BIM and lean processes are to be widely and rapidly adopted.


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, February 28, 2012

The State of IPD & BIM from the Owner's Perspective


Randy Deustch has published another good article.  Titled "The State of IPD & BIM:  an Owner's Perspective" the post includes Randy's interview with Clay Groser and Dawn Naney of Symphony, LLC.  Prior to starting Symphony Clay and Dawn served as owner's representatives for BJC Healthcare out of St. Louis.  The interview tackles IPD and BIM from the owner's perspective but does not explore the need to revamp the procurement process which seems to be a sticking point among the owners - especially public owners - with whom I have discussed IPD and BIM solutions over the past few years.  The insights provided by Clay and Dawn are valuable and interview, summarized on Randy's blog, is worth your time.

I've sent Randy a copy of my Wicked IPD Procurement article scheduled to be published in the March issue of AUGIWorld Magazine in the BUILT - BIM to FM section.  Let's all continue to advance the ball.

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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Bad Luck Defined




Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert Heinlein


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James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Summary of Services and James L. Salmon's CV
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Monday, February 27, 2012

BIM Certification by AGC


The topic of BIM Certification has reared its head in a number of conversations I've had with clients recently.  It looks like the AGC is aggressively responding to the market with an examination titled, "Certificate of Management - Building information Management" that you can sign up and take for around $500.  The link takes you to the AGC web-page with more information, including the study guide linked below.

This is a great step, as owners can now reference completion and passage of the this examination as a qualification for members of integrated teams that provide BIM related services.  I will download the guide, review it and post thoughts regarding the information contained in it later.

AGC's CM-BIM Candidate Guide

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Collaborative Construction
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Friday, February 24, 2012

Re-Thinking Lean Thinking


Professor Peter Hines has published an interesting white paper in which he advocates re-thinking the lean principles set forth by Womak and Jones in their book Lean Thinking in 1996.  Hines argues for a holistic approach - not a word that lends itself to precision or crispness of thought - and lists eight components of lean thinking he believes should be considered.

Classic lean theory has never fit well into the construction work flow process, something the Lean Construction Institute has done a lot to remedy, and Hines' white paper is worthy of review.  In a nutshell Hines argues the old lean concept of specifying value, identifying the value stream and ensuring value flows so that customers can pull vale on demand is too narrow. Hines argues for a list of eight lean principles: as purpose, process, people, pull, prevention, partnering, planet and perfection. 

Broadening the scope of lean beyond it's roots in manufacturing will benefit lean advocates and enterprises seeking to adopt it as tool.  Recognizing the role of people and the planet and the variables associated with human behavior and the environment are two things we in the construction industry know must be addressed.  Partnering across disciplines to impact supply chain and other off site issues is another big one.

Below is  a link to the Lean Business website where you can download a copy of the article if you register.

The principles of the lean business system



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Get Your Head Out of the Sand!


Lenders, insurers, sureties and others with a financial stake in complex construction projects who learn to leverage BIM stand to reduce risks exponentially, increase profit margins and may help launch a revolution in the delivery of BIM enabled infrastructure globally. 

Owners – both public and private – planners, designers, constructors, lenders, insurers, sureties, and other stakeholders on complex infrastructure projects need solutions to a myriad of problems associated with the procurement, operation and maintenance of infrastructure. 


An effective IPD Procurement Program can be a first step to delivery solutions to those problems. 




Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
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Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Fake But Accurate - Really?


Following release of the emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia I wondered how the global warming advocates would respond.  I've litigated a number of cases over the years involving the EPA, the US Army Corps of Engineers and other regulatory bodies that rely on the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as an authoritative and scientific source for their rules and regulations.

The scientists whose emails were released by CRU, and who were intimately involved with the IPCC, made statements in those emails that called the integrity of the science they were conducting into question.  If you have not read the emails you owe it to yourself to track down a copy and read them.  Summaries of a few of the emails, with direct links to the actual emails can be review HERE.  If you believe global warming, now known as climate change, is caused by carbon dioxide and and that climate change will, in the future, cause global disasters then you need to know what advocates of your position have said.

Against the backdrop of the hacking / release of the CRU emails a new drama is unfolding.  The Heartland Institute, located in Chicago, stands accused of being "anti-science" after  documents from the organization and, apparently, forged a memo based on information in those documents that purportedly show the Heartland Institute, among other things, funded an effort aimed at "dissuading teachers from teaching science."  The article excerpted below sheds additional light on the sad episode and I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Peter Gleik, the former Chairman of the American Geophysical Union's Task Force on Scientific Ethics and an advocate of global warming / climate change, contacted a Heartland Institute staff member, pretending he was a member of the Heartland Institute Board, and convinced the staff member to send him certain Heartland Institute documents so he could prepare for an upcoming board meeting.  Separately, Gleick claims to have anonymously received an undated Heartland Institute memo - follow this LINK for a paragraph by paragraph analysis - purportedly describing Heartland's climate strategy.  Gleick has confessed to obtaining the documents under false pretenses, stating in a HuffingtonPost blog:


At the beginning of 2012, I received an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute's climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute's apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

Given the potential impact however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.


Gleik's Confession


Advocates of climate change like Gleick are discrediting themselves, environmentalists and others who support the use of sustainable infrastructure around the globe.  He has now resigned his post as Chairman of the Task Force on Ethics.  But more is needed.  Those of us who passionately support sustainable solutions must speak out or we too will be discredited.  The environment is important.  The climate is important.  Mankind impacts the environment.  Mankind impacts the climate.  Decisions related to how best to deal with those impacts must be made on the basis of the best science available, not on the basis of fraud and propaganda.

Fallout from Gleik's actions will be felt far and wide.  Below are excerpts from an article by Robert Tracinski are likely just the tip of the iceberg.  Tracinski, editor of the Intellectual Activist Daily is an ardent opponent of widely accepted views on global warming and climate change.  False memes like the one promoted by Gleik arm opponents like Tracinski with a wealth of ammunition.


Note one other thing: how this fraud self-consciously tries to recreate every aspect of the Climategate scandal, projecting those elements onto the climate skeptics. Climategate had: a) an insider who leaked information, b) private admissions of unscientific practices, like misrepresenting the data to "hide the decline" in global temperatures, and c) discussions of attempts to suppress opposing views. Further scandals that followed on from Climategate included one more element: d) using material from non-scientists in activist groups to pad out scientific reports for the UN.

The fake Heartland memo tried to re-create all of this. It was posted to the Web by someone who called himself "Heartland Insider." It contains admissions of things like opposing the teaching of science. It includes discussion of attempts to exclude global warming alarmists from the media, particularly an attempt to oust a fellow named Peter Gleick, described in the memo as a "high profile climate scientist," from his Forbes blog, because "This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out." And it describes a program to hire a "paid team of writers" to "undermine the official United Nation's [sic] IPCC reports." So this has all of the elements of Climategate, but in mirror image.

But it is all a lie. It took bloggers mere days to spot the document as a fake and less than a week to find the person who posted it and the other Heartland documents. He turns out to be...Peter Gleick, a climate scientist who is president of the left-leaning Pacific Institute. It's actually kind of pathetic, when you think about it. What gave Gleick away was the little touch of self-aggrandizement, the fact that he couldn't resist over-inflating the significance of his Forbes blog. In his own mind, clearly, he is the one man whose bold opposition keeps the Heartland leadership awake at nights.

So the "leaker" wasn't an insider, Heartland has not been exposed as anti-science, and it is not conspiring to silence opposing voices. In fact, days before the documents were posted, Heartland had asked Gleick to participate in a debate, and he refused the invitation. Oh, and those "paid writers" who were supposed to "undermine" the UN climate reports? They were actually a team of distinguished scientists who were compiling their own independent climate research.


Read the whole thing and ask yourself how and why the debate has gone so far off the rails.  If sunlight is the best disinfectant it sounds like we need to shine a lot of sunlight on the science surrounding global warming.  What is so sad is that admirable and worthy environmental and sustainability goals are impacted by these Charlatans.

Fake But Accurate?

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Collaborative Construction
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Round Green Peg in a Square Brown Hole


Large institutional organizations, both public and private, which own manage and maintain large infrastructure portfolios also consume planning design and construction services in volume.  Most of those owners are keenly interested in procuring high performance buildings.  Doing so under a traditional Design-Bid-Build procurement model involves pounding a series of Green Pegs, the sustainable / high performance specifications, through a series of Brown Holes, represented by the antiquated procurement mechanisms that force stakeholders to operate in a series of silos.

Owners - and their partners in the built industry - are exploring alternatives to the traditional Design-Bid-Build model with renewed interest as they discover how difficult it is to hammer these round green pegs through the square brown holes at the top of each silo.  While CM at Risk, Design-Build and P3s are all popular nothing enables institutional owners to procure BIM enabled infrastructure like a coherent and effective IPD Procurement Program.


James L. Salmon is wrapping up the next installment for the BUILT - BIM to FM series in AUGIWorld Magazine, an article titled, "Wicked Procurement Programs - IPD and BIM Unleashed" which will be published in April.  The article explores the issues involved in planning, developing and transitioning to an IPD Procurement Program.

Job Order Costing (JOC) is another procurement model institutional owners might want to explore.  JOC is a close cousin - probably even a kissing cousin - to IPD that has been used extensively since the 1980s.  It originated with the US Air Force and has evolved successfully.  It will be explored in more detail in the future here and in the BUILT - BIM to FM series in AUGIWorld Magazine.

If readers know of clients that might be interested in such programs please contact James.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The History of Fracking

Below is a timeline detailing the history of fracking, the controversial technique associated with production of natural gas trapped in tight shale formations.  The timeline provides insight regarding expanded efforts to regulate fracking.

We must be good stewards of the environment.  What we shouldn't do is secure and tighten a tourniquet around the neck of our economy to satisfy the demands of environmental extremists.

Abundant and affordable energy will do more to alleviate poverty and spur economic growth than anything else.  The realization an additional 6.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is recoverable globally resets the Geopolitical Energy Chessboard and fracking is the primary mechanism for extracting that gas.  Nations traditionally held hostage by OPEC - including the US, China and India - realize these natural gas reserves will free their economies.  Many smaller nations recognize the shift as well.  In short, the existence of these reserves will prompt their development.

Accordingly, those of us who favor sustainable development need to understand the tools and processes whereby those natural gas resources will be discovered, extracted and transported.  Opposition to environmentally  harmful processes is appropriate, but the focus needs to be targeted.  Those who target fracking need to understand the history detailed below and would be well served to support the use of IPD, BIM and lean processes in the energy industry rather than seeking to cut off production in the US and Canada via oppressive regulation of fracking and opposition to things like the Keystone Pipeline.

These resources will be developed.  The question is whether environmentalists will have a rational and persuasive voice at the table or will instead, rely on hyperbole and propaganda of the kind reflected in the documentary "Gasland".  I encourage readers to develop rational and persuasive arguments that will impact inevitable production positively rather than raging against the machine.

I hope you find the timeline informative.

1947: First well receives hydraulic fracturing treatment to stimulate natural gas development (Grant County, Kan.).
1950s: Hydraulic fracturing is used for the first time in Canada (Cardium oil field in central Alberta).
November 1974Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is signed into law. Establishes new standards and regulations to protect underground sources of drinking water (USDW). Despite having been utilized commercially for a quarter century, hydraulic fracturing was never considered for regulation under SDWA.
June 1986: SDWA is amended to regulate more than 100 specific contaminants. Hydraulic fracturing, now commercially utilized for nearly four decades, is never considered for regulation.
1980s/early 1990s: George Mitchell successfully combines horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing to “crack the code” of the Barnett Shale in north Texas.
1994/1995: The Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation (LEAF) petitions the EPA to withdraw approval of Alabama’s underground injection control (UIC) program, arguing that the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) required that the federal EPA regulate hydraulic fracturing. Then-EPA Administrator (and later President Obama’s climate czar) Carol Browner responds with a clear message: “EPA does not regulate – and does not believe it is legally required to regulate – the hydraulic fracturing of methane gas production wells under its UIC program [under the Safe Drinking Water Act].” In that same letter, Browner says there was “no evidence” of hydraulic fracturing contaminating ground water.
August 1996: SDWA is amended once again to emphasize sound science and standards. Hydraulic fracturing is not considered for regulation.
1997: LEAF appeals EPA’s position (in LEAF v. U.S. EPA) on Alabama’s UIC program, arguing once again that the Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane.
1999: In response to the LEAF decision, the State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama promulgates new rules and regulations on hydraulic fracturing, which the EPA approves one year later. LEAF appeals the Board’s new regulations to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court ultimately sides with the EPA and the State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama, agreeing that the state’s regulatory system is an “effective program to prevent endangerment of underground sources of drinking water.”
2000: EPA initiates its own study of hydraulic fracturing. At less than 0.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of production, natural gas from shale accounts for roughly one percent of America’s total natural gas production.
August 2002: EPA releases a draft of its study of hydraulic fracturing, which affirms that the technology does not pose a risk to drinking water.
June 2004: EPA completes its four-year study on hydraulic fracturing (which began under the previous administration), concluding that the technology poses only a “minimal” threat to water supplies and that there are “no confirmed cases” linking hydraulic fracturing to drinking water contamination.
July 2005: The U.S. Congress passes the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (signed in August by the President), which includes a provision codifying that Congress never intended for hydraulic fracturing to be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (as also evidenced by decades of precedence.) Also in 2005, Range Resources drills the first wells in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania (three of them, in fact).
September 2008: The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) sends a letter to Mike W. Markham in Weld County, Colo., after Mr. Markham expressed concern that nearby natural gas production could have contaminated his drinking water. After extensive sampling and testing, COGCC finds “no indications of any oil & gas related impacts” to Mr. Markham’s well.
June 2009: U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Jared Polis (D-Colo.), and Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) introduce the FRAC Actin Congress, which would rewrite the intent of the Safe Drinking Water Act (and upend the effective, state-based regulatory regime currently in place) to put control of hydraulic fracturing squarely in the hands of the U.S. EPA. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduces companion legislation in the Senate. Interestingly, Colorado’s Governor at the time, Bill Ritter (D), accused Rep. DeGette of trying to create a “new and potential intrusive regulatory program” with the FRAC Act. Ritter further noted that states, including Colorado, have already “responsibly addressed” hydraulic fracturing. State regulators from across the country, meanwhile, defend the safety record of hydraulic fracturing.
August 2009: Initial testing of local water supplies in Pavillion, Wyo., by the EPA reveals the presence of a “tentatively identified compound,” or TIC. Earthworks blasts out a press release saying EPA has linked hydraulic fracturing to water contamination, even though the EPA made no conclusion or statement about the origin of the TIC, nor did it make any declaration that public health was in danger. A staffer with EPA says the possible contamination could be traced to household items, mentioning cleaning solvents specifically.
February 2010: Steve Heare, director of EPA’s Drinking Water Protection Division, says: “I have no information that states aren’t doing a good job already” with respect to regulating hydraulic fracturing.
March 2010: Under direction from Congress, the EPA initiates yet another study of hydraulic fracturing. The focus of the study is specifically on potential water impacts (despite dozens of state regulators saying hydraulic fracturing does not contaminate water.)
June 2010: The state of Wyoming approves a rule to require disclosure of the additives used during hydraulic fracturing. Later that month is the HBO premiere of the film Gasland, which, among many other things, attempts to rewrite much of the history of hydraulic fracturing. The film includes footage of one Mike Markham from Weld County, Colo., lighting his tap water on fire, which the film links to nearby gas drilling, despite the 2008 letter from Colorado regulators clearly and scientifically denying such a link.
October 2010: The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) releases a document debunking many of the inaccuracies in Gasland, including notably the “flaming faucet” scene.
December 2010: Arkansas adopts new rules to require disclosure of additives used during hydraulic fracturing.
February 2011: Pennsylvania updates its regulations to include disclosure requirements for hydraulic fracturing fluids.
April 2011: The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) officially launch FracFocus.org, an online disclosure website for the additives used during hydraulic fracturing. To date, the industry has uploaded more than 11,000 wells to the searchable database. That same month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) releases a report that finds natural gas from shale accounts for 23 percent of total natural gas production in the United States, increasing from 0.39 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in 2000 to 4.87 tcf in 2010. Democrats on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, despite using “no scientific data” to support their most frightening conclusions, release a reportsummarizing the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. The report says nothing about actual water quality, nor does it provide appropriate context relating to concentration levels.
May 2011: During a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says, “I’m not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” Michigan regulators announce new regulations that include, among others, a provision to require disclosure of the additives used during hydraulic fracturing.
July 2011: The city of Fort Worth, Tex., releases results from a study looking at health impacts near natural gas exploration and production sites in the Barnett shale. The study “did not reveal any significant health threats.”
September 2011: Montana begins implementing its new disclosure rules for additives used during hydraulic fracturing.
October 2011: Louisiana’s rules for hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure go into effect (see page 3064 of this document).
December 2011: EPA issues a draft report on water quality in Pavillion that, despite no independent scientific review, alleges that hydraulic fracturing was “likely” the cause of water contamination in the area. Numerous state officials and regulators criticize the report as inherently flawed. Meanwhile, Colorado implements new rules requiring disclosure for hydraulic fracturing fluids, and Texas regulators approve their own disclosure law. Both Colorado and Texas utilize the FracFocuswebsite for implementation of their laws.
January 2012: In his State of the Union address, President Obama issues strong support for developing natural gas from shale, noting that his administration will “take every possible action to safely develop this energy” in order to create “more than 600,000 jobs” by the end of the decade. “The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy,” the President added.
February 2012: Two months after releasing its draft report on Pavillion, the EPA backtracks its initial (and inflammatory) claim that hydraulic fracturing “likely” caused water contamination. At a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, EPA Region 8 administrator Jim Martin says: “We make clear that the causal link [of water contamination] to hydraulic fracturing has not been demonstrated conclusively,” adding that EPA’s draft report “should not be assumed to apply to fracturing in other geologic settings.” President Obama, in his FY 2013 budget, requests additional funds for the EPA to expand its own mandate for its hydraulic fracturing study, a mandate that goes beyond what was authorized by Congress. Two days later, during a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says of hydraulic fracturing (subs. req’d): “From my point of view, it can be done safely and it has been done safely.”

Source

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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, February 21, 2012

Federal Egg Patching Programs - Humpty Dumpty & the Feds


I laughed out loud when I read the quote below.

The real political division in American today is between those who think the old days can come back if the government does the right things (tax rich people; pump enough money into state and local government, health care and the higher ed industry; raise tariffs high enough and sprinkle enough subsidies on enough industries to protect and rebuild the manufacturing sector) and those like Via Meadia who think that Humpty Dumpty can’t be put together again, no matter how many of the king’s horses and king’s men set up federal egg patching programs.
While analysis of the failed blue model of government - aka the nanny state - lies at the heart of Professor Mead's essay, I couldn't help but think of my recent Humpty Dumpty posts and grin wryly in support of his thesis.  In the built industry, we deploy egg patching teams every day.  Ocassionally those teams are federally funded, but often they are funded by state and local governments and even private owners.  There is a tremndous amount of waste in our system too.

Professor Mead continues:
Automation and outsourcing will combine to limit employment opportunities and income levels for most accountants, lawyers, architects and even some types of medical specialists. (X rays and CAT scans can be read as easily in India as at the local specialist’s office, and given the exponential improvements in software, many other medical processes will become susceptible to outsourcing and automation.) There is no sacred dictate from on high mandating that design work and research need to be conducted in North America by people of European descent.
Ouch! Now he's really hitting close to home.
The built industry, like our government, needs to jettison failed processes and adapt a new generation of tools that enable us to delivery BIM enabled infrastructure.  Further, if we intend to do so using integrated team capable of operating in an IPD environment on cross disciplinary BIM platforms, the jettisoning likely needs to begin now.

For those who are interested the entire article is linked below.

Beyond Blue - Jobs jobs jobs


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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Collaborative Construction
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Shale Oil Pushes US Production North of 6.0 Million bpd


The massive shale gas reserves - in the US and elsewhere - have pushed the price of natural gas lower.  The same cannot be said of oil prices which continue to hover around $100 per barrel.  At that price, oil & gas companies can afford - and at the low prices for natural gas cannot afford not to - explore extraction of oil from tight shale formations using the horizontal drilling and fracking techniques developed to extract natural gas. 

The US consumes just about 20 million bpd of oil and many in the industry believe that by 2015 over half of that demand can be satisfied with domestic oil and oil from Canada.

Oil and gas booms have fueled economic development around the globe for over 100 years and it looks as if we are on the verge of a similar phenomenon.  Ironically, horizontal drilling and fracking techniques were developed in response to artificially high oil and gas prices promted, in large part, by governments subsidizing alternative energy and restricting oil and gas development. 

Regardless of the reason for the boon, those of us interested in sustainable development and the use of IPD and BIM to deliver BIM enabled infrastructure need to step to the fore and lead.  Infrastructure can be delivered faster, better and cheaper using IPD and BIM and the resulting BIM enabled infrastructure - which has been googlized - can be operated and maintained more intelligently and more efficiently over time.  Bring these tools to bear on the energy industry will exponentially improve the environment, reduce energy use and enhance our ability to transition to alternative enegry resources in an intelligent and orderly manner.

Link to Article.  

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
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Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
JamesLSalmon@gmailcom
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

Monday, February 20, 2012

Shape Memory Materials


The use of metals and other materials that "remember" their shape has a number of interesting uses in the construction industry, not the least of which is earthquake resistant infrastructure.  The article excerpted and linked below describes research at Georgia Tech into the use of these materials.

Georgia Tech researchers have developed a model that combines thermodynamics and mechanical equations to assess what happens when shape-memory alloys are subjected to loading from strong motion. The researchers are using the model to analyze how shape-memory alloys in a variety of components — cables, bars, plates and helical springs — respond to different loading conditions. From that information, they can determine the optimal characteristics of the material for earthquake applications.
Built industry stakeholders who expect to take advantage of these kinds of advances need to understand and exploit the value of IPD and BIM.  Deploying advanced solutions in the real world requires careful and close coordination between creators, manufacturers, suppliers, transporters, owners, contractors, designers and others.  Those efforts, of course, benefit for IPD and BIM.

Read the whole thing

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Public Procurement of IPD


A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post on public options for procuring planning, design and construction services in an IPD environment on a project specfic basis.  In March, AUGIWorld Magazine will publish a longer analysis of the topic I've written which expands the concept beyond the project level. The tentative title is "Wicked Procurement - IPD & BIM on Steroids".

For governmental entities to procure, operate and maintain infrastructure across entire portfilios those entities must adopt comprehensive IPD procurement methods.  This article tackles the topic in depth and the check list below identifies a few of the key features of an effective public IPD procurement program.


ELEMENTS OF AN EFFECTIVE PUBLIC IPD PROCUREMENT PROGRAM


1. Align Interests. Align the business purpose of your IPD procurement program with the business purpose of the infrastructure you intend to procure. Align your interests with the interests of your partners in the built industry. Align their interests when and where you can.

2. State Your Business Purpose. Public entities which procure planning, design and construction services need to ensure the infrastructure being procured has a viable business purpose.

3. Seek Sustainable Infrastructure. Infrastructure that is sustainable – both environmentally and economically – empowers government and its citizens to achieve great things. Unsustainable infrastructure becomes an albatross around their collective necks.

4. Exploit the Loopholes. Restrictive regulatory and statutory procurement rules need not be a barrier. Treat the laws, rules and regulations as an opportunity to innovate. Loopholes exist. Find them. Exploit them. Use them to the tax payers’ advantage for once!

5. Create Target Cost Templates. Develop a template for assessing the cost of procuring, operating and maintaining sustainable infrastructure. In-house staff and trusted designers create similar templates already. Tap and use those resources.

6. Know Your BIM. Owners need fully functional digital assets to operate and maintain sustainable infrastructure. Quiz your operations personnel. Pick the brains of your older maintenance staff. Know what you need to operate and maintain sustainable BIM enabled infrastructure.

7. Communicate Your BIM Needs. Tell your partners in the built industry what you want and why you want it. Don’t demand BIM in a vacuum.

8. Know Your Partners’ Capacities. Know what kind of BIM your partners in the built industry produce; know what they can deliver; know what they cannot deliver; know what they will deliver; know who they will deliver it to; and know whether it is compatible with your FM system.

9. Demand Integrated BIM. Don’t be bamboozled by built industry partners who insist integrated BIM is impossible. Those not ready for prime-time need to get ready.

10. Encourage Innovation. Host a series of workshops for your industry partners at which you communicate your needs, explore their capacity to deliver and agree on a path forward.

11. Wicked Procurement Guidelines. Announce your intention to adopt IPD and to require integrated BIM. Publish Wicked Procurement guidelines that layout the business case for procuring, operating and maintaining sustainable BIM enabled infrastructure from integrated BIM enabled teams capable of delivering in a BIM enabled IPD environment.

12. Craft an RFP for IPD. Once you know what you want and what your industry partners can deliver vis-a-vi IPD & BIM work with those partners to craft an RFP that enables your organization to call for bids from integrated BIM enabled teams.

13. Craft an RFQ for IPD. The new RFP for IPD should be accompanied by an RFQ that details the skills required to be a member of an integrated BIM enabled team capable of delivering sustainable BIM enabled infrastructure in a BIM enabled IPD environment.

14. Analyze the Metrics. Leverage the vast river of information rich data flowing through your existing procurement, operations and maintenance processes and compare IPD, Design-Build, Design-Bid-Build, with P3 and other procurement models to identify the best mechanisms for delivering the best value in light of the business purpose of the sustainable BIM enable infrastructure you procure.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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, February 14, 2012

Saving Humpty Dumpty


I've received several positive emails regarding the Humpty Dumpty analogy and I thought I would ride that horse just a little further.  In the Humpty Dumpty Information post I pointed out the myriad of ways stakeholders can indiscriminately toss Humpty Dumpty over the wall.  Below is a link to an article I wrote for the BUILT - BIM to FM section of AUGIWorld last June.  Scroll down to pages 45-47 for the article titled "What Owners Want".  The article is part of a series on functional digital assets.

What Owners Want

Here's an excerpt:

Functional digital assets enable Decisions based on Accessible, Valuable, and Informative Data Systems (DAVIDS). Timely intelligent decisions add value to an enterprise. Decision makers with timely access to valuable and informative data make better decisions. Functional digital assets empower leaders to make quicker more well informed decisions. This increases success.


Decisions drive our lives and good judgment is the hallmark of excellent leadership. Excellent leaders want accurate information more quickly. Providing leaders – on an enterprise level – with access to valuable and informative data is common in the military and manufacturing arenas. Even there, however, tapping facilities or infrastructure based knowledge while making decisions is not the norm. In the AEC Industry many are just beginning to recognize the value of functional digital assets and the power those assets have to improve decisions and add value to an enterprise.
Again, this is one article in a series on functional digital assets.  Anyone interested in having a copy all the articles in a single PDF should contact me.  The Wicked Series is available in a similar format.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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

West Texas in Living Color


I grew up on a ranch in West Texas so the video linked below really struck a cord with me.  I suspect a few readers will relate to the wide open spaces and those of you who are city dwellers may feel compelled to get out and see the country at some point.

Wyman is a bad dude.  He lived in a dugout on the high plains in West Texas one year so that he could get closer to the subjects of his photography.  He's now employed full time as an official photographer for the state of Texas and he does great work.


Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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, February 13, 2012

A new procurement model is needed


The ENR article linked below reiterates the need to modernize procurement of planning, design and construction services in a way that will enable owners of infrastructure to leverage intelligent and fully functional digital assets in operations and maintenance over time.  I wonder if any tools exist that would enable an institutional owner to form, train and deploying integrated teams capable of planning, designing and constructing infrastructure in an integrated built environment and handing over a fully functional and integrated data set to the owner fur use in operations and maintenance?

Design-Bid-Build isn't working is it?

New procurement models - including Design-Build, CM at Risk, and Public Private Partnerships (P3) - have been deployed in recent years with varying degrees of success.  Each of these procurement models has improved certain aspects of the process, but none has proven entirely satisfactory.  Reliance on traditional legal instruments that force key stakeholders to operate in silos remain a key feature of each of these procurement models.

Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), especially when combined with an effective Building Information Modeling (BIM)  implementation plan may enable institutional owners to procure infrastructure more efficiently and in a manner which will allow those institutional owners to effectively operate and maintain such infrastructure overtime.  Neither IPD nor BIM represent silver bullets for all that ails the industry.  However, the new lean business processes associated with effective deployment of these tools may force key stakeholders to develop more effective business models.

At Collaborative Construction we continue to believe the key is a new legal framework that supports and enables BIM on the one hand and lean construction processes on the other, with IPD supported by BIM, lean and a keystone legal agreement.  To achieve success on behalf of institutional owners we must look beyond single projects and develop a procurement strategy that supports and enable IPD, BIM and lean processes.

Engineering and construction (E&C) is one of the world's largest industry sectors. It accounts for 9% of U.S. gross domestic product and more than 11% globally. Today's projects are larger and more complex than ever, yet, compared to other sectors, construction productivity has lagged since 1970. Cost overruns, unanticipated risks and schedule slippages are still too common. Why is this, and what can be done to change it?
The excerpt above comes from Robert Prieto's ENR Viewpoint article titled "Engineering-Construction Needs a New Model".  Mr. Prieto is correct and providers of complex planning design and construction services, like his company Fluor, need to reach out to institutional owners to tackle the problem he describes.

For those interested, Collaborative Construction is ready to help.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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, February 12, 2012

Googlizing Infrastructure


Big data is having a big impact on business and the internet.  The question for the built industry - and the professionals who deliver planning, design, and construction services is how do we googlize the infrastructure we deliver for our clients?

The article linked below addresses the impact of Big Data on the evolution of internet based business models.  As you read the article think in terms of how arming your clients with "Big Data" related to the infrastructure you deliver.

Big Data's Impact

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!
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, February 10, 2012

Humpty Dumpty Information


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

The Humpty Dumpty analogy aplies equally to information generally.  Too often project failure strolls hand-in-hand with the failure to communicate. 

Effective integrated teams share information in a collaborative and cooperative environment.  Integrated teams openly and honestly communicate pursuant to legal instruments that support, enable and reward desired behaiviors and discourage detrimental behaviors.  Behaviors that increase the efficiency with which a team delivers planning, design and construction services should be encouraged.  Behaviors which increase the quality of the infrastructure delivered should be rewared.  Behaviors that enables owners and users of the infrastructure to operate and maintain infrastructure more efficiently throughout the life-cyle should be supported.  Conduct incompatible with the foregoing should be discouraged.

Treating information like Humpty Dumpity, that is indiscriminately tossing it over the wall or leaving it perched precariously on the wall, should not be encouraged.  Traditional legal instruments used to procure planning, design and construction services too oftern encourage just such treatment of critical information. 



Examples:

  • Owners toss Program information over the wall to designers.
  • Designers toss design data back over the wall to owners.
  • Owners toss "construction documents" over the wall to the general contracting community
  • GCs toss bid packages over the wall to the trade contractors
  • Designers toss bid packages over the wall to specialty designers / consultants
  • Trade contractors toss bid specs over the wall to their specialty designers
  • Specialty designers return the favor
  • GCs and trade contractors toss information over walls to suppliers, fabricators and transporters
  • Everybody does it to the installers / erectors / laborers with boots on the ground
  • Everybody does it to the owner and the users at project handover

IPD and BIM can help improve the process.


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