Monday, December 16, 2013

(BIM)X Googlizes Knowledge




Below is an excerpt from my lecture on how (BIM)X is Googlizing Knowledge in the built industry.  I spent time over the last two weeks refining the lecture and creating the accompanying power point presentation.  During that time a couple of interesting blog posts cam across my radar.

First, Laura Handler, Tocci Construction -n-house BIM Whiz and the proprietor of the (bim)x Blog , posted an insightful query upon her return from CITA's highly successful BIM Gathering in Dublin, Ireland asking what needs to change in the built industry, content or delivery?  Apparently, at the BIM Gathering  a number of academics raised the very question. Laura asked on her (bim)x Blog, “Content or Delivery: What needs to change in AEC education?” The question of how we learn was further highlighted when Randy Deutsch a scholarly leader in the field of BIM and IPD authored a blog post, “Why My BIM Book Didn't Sell and Why I'm Writing Another One.” Similar questions were posed by participants in an Academic Panel at the BIM Day Out in Australia.

The questions of how to teach BIM and IPD to the industry has taken center stage. It seized the spotlight at the BIM Gathering in Ireland. It was the focus of an hour long discussion at the BIM Day Out in Australia. Academics throughout the US and Canada are asking the same question. Middlesex University out of London has hired me to help deliver knowledge related to the cultural and legal implications of BIM. The UK Government authored a 60+ page set of BIM education guidelines. Penn State, Stanford and Georgia Tech, among other universities in the US, offer BIM and IPD related courses and materials.

The Smart Built Culture Series intends to tackle this issue in a collaborative manner. The goal is to deliver a unique online learning experience on a global scale and to supplement the virtual events with live workshops where we delve into the nuts and bolts of BIM and IPD. Collaborative Construction is negotiating with key stakeholders from all over the world. Dublin, London, Suttgart, New York, Miami, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chicago, Toronto, Kansas City, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are all under consideration as potential sites for live workshops. Joining forces with Global e Training and universities around the world, as well as BIM and IPD champions throughout the built industry there's no reason we cannot solve this problem. Let's come together and get this done!

(BIM)X Googlizes Knowledge Lecture - Excerpt

Knowledge in the built industry

This lecture tackles knowledge in the built industry. Titled, “(BIM)X Googlizes Knowledge”, the lecture explores what passes for knowledge in the built industry, why knowledge matters in the built industry, and how we acquire, share and preserve knowledge in the built environment.

Knowledge, as defined in the lecture and in these lecture notes is the acquisition of information, understanding and or skill through experience and or education.

The purposeful use of the disjunctive, along side the conjunctive, highlights the varied nature of knowledge. Philosophy exists, in large part, to debate the scope and nature of knowledge. In this post and the lecture I grant the varied nature of knowledge and focus more on the what, why and how of knowledge.

To that end, the critical questions in the built industry include; What knowledge matters? Why does that knowledge matter? And how do we use that knowledge?

The knowledge that matters

Stated differently, the first knowledge question in the built industry is what information matters? What understandings matter? And what skills matter? True knowledge of critical information in the built industry entails a mastery of these three components. Knowing what information you need, understanding that information and possessing the skills required to leverage that information in a way that adds value to the project.

For example, the legal description of a parcel contains critical information. As a lawyer, I understand that information and possess the skills and training necessary to craft a series of legal instruments that depend on that information. Deeds, liens, and mortgage agreements each require that information and accurate deeds, liens and or mortgage agreements effect the value of the parcel. Separately, the civil engineer, the surveyor and the excavation contractor each bring skills to the table that enable them to leverage the information contained in the legal description.

Why that knowledge matters

Knowledge of the legal description of the property matters because you don't want to build on the wrong parcel. You want to place the sewer and storm water drainage systems in the correct place and you don't want to dig the foundation in the wrong place. If we fail to accurately locate the parcel then many things can go wrong. Thus knowledge of the legal description matters because it represents foundational information, is critical to understanding where the parcel is located and will be relied on by professionals with an array of skills to add to and or effect the value of the parcel.

How we use that knowledge

As noted, an array of built industry professionals leverage knowledge created by acquiring information, understanding that information and, ultimately, applying specialized skills that convert knowledge of that information into value. Converting knowledge to value represents a core component of the emerging knowledge economy. The built industry needs to leverage, enhance and adapt existing skills in ways that add value in the built environment as a whole. Winners in the new knowledge economy will learn to do this. Losers will fail. Be a winner.

Conclusion

Built industry professionals need to know what BIM is, why it is important and how to leverage it. The same goes for IPD. Existing mechanisms for delivering knowledge to built industry professionals don't appear to be working. And whether those mechanisms will work in the new knowledge economy remains an open question too.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs Nails It!; Work Smart AND Hard!




The built industry needs to get behind this guy!  He understands the looming labor shortage in the industry and works hard to bring that message to young people.  The Collaborative Construction Blog has been a supporter of Mike Rowe's Trades Hub for a couple of years now.  Just look to your left and you will see Mike in a yellow hard hat.  Follow the link and think about how you and your organization can help. 

Below is an embedded copy of a great interview with Mike Rowe.  He points out that there are no scholarships available to kids with a great work ethic.

Watch the whole thing.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Friday, December 6, 2013

(BIM)X Googlizes Everything in the Knowledge Economy




That's the title of the lecture to the students in the BIM Strategy / Management Course offered by Middlesex University out of London.  As regular readers may know, I'm teaching the cultural and legal implications of BIM and IPD piece of the course online and the entire course if being folded into the Smart Built Culture Series scheduled for launch in 2014 and the Smart Built Cultures:  Fixing Our Broke Built Culture book scheduled completion in late 2014 and publication in 2015.  Individuals and entities interested in participating - either passively or actively - need to reach out right away.  The train is leaving the station!

But on to the subject of this post.  Access to the vast reservoir of data on the web represents a sea change in history.  For the first time, virtually every individual on the planet enjoys access to information - and by extension knowledge - mastered by every other individual on the planet.  The exponential connections required to connect any two such individuals on the planet blow one's mind.  But critically, the vast reservoir - should we actually call it a universe? - of data expands exponentially everyday as we move from a web / iCloud where humans physically input data to an internet of things where (SMART)X objects feed information to the web 24/7/365.

Think about that for a minute.  The exponential explosion of data / information that began when Guttenberg invented the printing press got real when Al Gore invented the interwebs back in 1991!  

Where does the built industry fit?

Not sure yet.  The built industry drags its feet, whines and refuses to embrace change.  Some does so because the ball of fat they manage is just too lucrative.  Others do so because they don't see the looming Tsunami.  Still others refuse due to comfort with their current circumstances.  But change looms.  And individuals and entities the deliver services in the built industry cannot avoid change forever.

But fit the industry must.  The web and the global economy punishes laggards.  Top end design and construction firms deploy BIM now.  They also keep a finger on the pulse of IPD from their clients' the owners' - perspective.  As owners demand BIM and IPD these firms deliver BIM and IPD.  Can you?

Let's change gears and take a look at a new firm delivering manufacturing design and production services in the new knowledge economy.

Three years ago the company consisted of Jordi hand-soldering on a folding card table in his garage and me and my kids packing kits on the dining room table. Now we've got 35,000 square feet of factory space with four high-end pick-and-place lines, three CNC lines, and factory managers hired from companies such as Samsung and Foxconn running the show. All of this was learned by doing, not by schooling. And that's the magic of the new industrial revolution. 

Read more: How the Innovation Economy is Turning Makers Into Manufacturers - Popular Mechanics
Follow us: @PopMech on Twitter | popularmechanics on Facebook
Visit us at PopularMechanics.com

Click the links above to read the whole thing.  This article nicely summarizes the impact of the knowledge economy on the manufacturing industry.  As usual, the three big auto markers will be caught flat footed.  Will you?  Will your firm?

There's no excuse.  The Smart Built Culture Series addresses these issues and arms you individually and your firm as an organization with the tools you need to compete in the new knowledge economy.  Reach out today and get involved.  Don't be swept away by a tsunami in the new knowledge economy.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Educating the Fracking Idiots in Hollywood




The Western Energy Alliance has nice video out rebutting the drivel about fracking spewed by the Fracking Idiots in Hollywood.  You can watch the video below but I encourage you to click the link above to and visit the WEA site and quickly review the debunking of fracking myths there.  

Again, as I noted yesterday in the piece on Oil & Gas driving our economy cheap affordable energy extracted and sold by entrepreneurs raises more poor people out of poverty than almost any other process on the planet.  


Again, visit the Western Energy Alliance website and review the list of debunked myths spread by the Fracking Idiots in Hollywood. 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Shale Oil & Gas - The Economic Engine Driving America




Outside the insular confines of our Hunger Games style Capital in Washington D.C. - where the slow motion train wreck of the launch of the Orwellian named Affordable Care Act takes center stage - an amazingly nimble and resilient economy continues to grow slowly.  But how?

Following the financial crisis in 2008 we flushed a trillion dollars in stimulus money through the bowels of the federal Goose government - earmarked for "shovel ready projects" that weren't so shovel ready after all - threw billions more into the cavernous maws of the Big Pigs Banks and doled out billions more to green Weasels Obama Campaign donors like Solyndra, Fisker and others.  And what comes out the back end of a Goose, a Pig or a Weasel?

That's right, and we spread it all over the country and waited for the green sprouts to grow.  Sadly, none of the manure produced by the federal government's over-priced stimulus programs grew squat.  So, again, what accounts for what little growth we do see in the economy?

Oil and gas extracted from tight shale formations all over the country.

That's it in a nutshell.
The smart-drilling shale ecosystem now contributes some $400 billion a year to the U.S. economy according to economists at Purdue University. Over the past five years alone this sector has also attracted over $200 billion in foreign direct investment into America according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). For context, two percent GDP growth adds $330 billion a year to the U.S. economy. Now do the math. Shale technology has kept America out of a recession. It has also indirectly and directly “created or preserved” -- to borrow a political phrase -- millions of jobs. 
American workers are building infrastructure for the hydrocarbon extraction, transportation and processing industries. They are erecting new steel mills for underground pipes, manufacturing thousands of new rail cars and constructing 80 major pipeline projects right now (not counting the Keystone XL from Canada.) Refineries are being expanded everywhere. Even shipyards are booming with over two dozen supertankers being built right here in the U.S. All of this is genuinely “shovel ready” and subsidy-free. 
And there’s more. A renaissance in America’s energy-intensive manufacturing from plastics to fertilizers is underway. In a remarkably little-noted report this past summer the American Chemical Council catalogued 100 chemical industry investments valued at over $70 billion coming on-line by 2017 that will create over one million jobs and add over $300 billion annually to the GDP.
Nothing frees the poor from the shackles of poverty like cheap energy.  And nothing shackles them more tightly to poverty than government entitlement programs.  Like *cough* Obamacare.

So.... read the whole thing and

Drill Baby Drill!

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Collaborative Construction
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Doll Houses, Tree Houses and Habitat for Humanity




The title of this blog post hints at what's on the horizon for the Smart Built Culture Series.  As the series gains momentum - negotiations are under way with partners in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia - readers need to spread the word.  The scope and nature of the live workshop projects contemplated for the series in 2014 blow the doors off prior projects.  Think live integrated team formation, innovative collaboration and lessons learned.

Stay tuned for further details but the series, the workshops that accompany the series and Collaborative Construction's unique cadre of partners promise a global learning experience like no other.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cloud Based Collaboration Platforms Maturing




At the ThinkBIM Blog the proprietor, Matt Rumbelow, published a handy summary of cloud based collaboration platforms available on the market Down Under.  But Oz isn't the only place purveyors of these new platforms compete. Cloud based collaboration platforms are being used all over the world. 

Aconex, which is on Matt's list, is being used on the massive Panama Canal Locks expansion project and MySmartPlans continues to deliver a unique service here in the US.  In the UK Docia Ltd, a Denmark based company, has moved into Asite's backyard. 

As purveyors of these cloud based collaboration platforms proliferate the built industry enjoys more options and fewer excuses when it comes to jumping on the cloud.  Of course, as the competition heats important questions arise. Whose cloud is it?  Can we share the same cloud?  Should you get off of my cloud?  

Hey_Hey



Clever hey?  Ok, ok, I totally ripped that image off.  Hell, my readers know I can barely post an image I steal from another site, much less create a cool graphic like that!

Matt Rumbelow actually created it and since you've seen it here you really have to click through to the ThinkBIM Blog to see the whole list.  Which is actually filled with tidbits about each of the cloud based platforms he lists.  Seriously. Read the whole thing at the link!


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


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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Is Imitation the Sincerest form of Flattery?


If so, I'm very flattered!  I've been advising participants in my live workshops to form integrated teams to build projects for charity as a means of learning BIM and IPD for years now.  Glad to see the architects acting in the UK acting on that advice!  Sadly, it's not surprising to see the architects involved in the project still operating in their silo.

UK property developers Cathedral Group asked twenty of the top contemporary designers and architects to design and build a dolls’ house straight out of the 21st Century for an exhibition called, A Doll’s House. Each house was required to feature at least one element that makes life a bit easier for a child with a disability. After being on display, the dolls’ houses were auctioned off in support of KIDS, a UK charity that supports disabled children, young people, and their families.

Now if they would just invite the rest of the integrated team to the table to build a real house, then we might be getting somewhere  Again, I've argued this is the best way for an integrated team to learn BIM and IPD for years now. 

Say, I wonder if an entity like Habitat for Humanity might be willing to let volunteers experiment with BIM and IPD? Hmmm.  Where have I heard THAT advice before.  Strange, I cannot seem to get this voice out of my head.  Very cool pics of the Doll Houses designed for charity at the link.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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A Glimmer of Hope - Inspectors on Construction Sites Using Tablets


Interesting.  Very interesting.  What are these "tablets" and how are they being used?

The article excerpted and linked below describes a grown trend in the construction industry that should bring cheer to the heart of any advocate of BIM and IPD.  Apparently, cue the band, independent inspectors on construction sites are now using computer tablets to record data during their inspections.  Holy cow!  Who'd ever think of something crazy like that? 

Now if we could just get banks and owners to request actual digital assets we could pass out tablets to the trade contractors, suppliers and others as well.  But a start is a start.

"If the data coming from the field through the tablets, could easily be integrated or combined with a BIM solution that would implement a “quality vocabulary” (attaching NCRs, ITPs, Audits and observations) it would probably provide the perfect solution for any Quality Professional in the industry."

You think?

Read the whole thing.  And watch the video! 


- See more at: http://www.qualityinconstruction.com/use-of-tablets-for-site-inspections/#!


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Ancient British Warship Captured... in 3D




Very interesting story with great video at the link below.  This is the future of virtual planning in the built industry.  3D scanners empower owners of complex facilities, infrastructure and even ancient warships, to capture and compare digital images over time.  Armed with information regarding the physical world within which the asset exists owners can make more intelligent decisions regarding operations and maintenance over time.

Importantly, 3D scanning enables us to digitize the existing build environment.  Meanwhile, in the sclerotic built industry we continue to create new facilities and infrastructure sans any functional digital assets.  Can enter the 21st Century please?  Those interested in doing so will want to participate in the Smart Built Culture series Collaborative Construction has on the drawing board.  More details regarding that series will be forthcoming soon.  Meanwhile, be sure to check out the story and the video linked below.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why (IPD)X is Different than Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)




Regular readers of the blog understand my unhealthy obsession with the use of algebraic equations to exponentially expand concepts of all kinds.  In the past the terms BIM, BUILT and CM all found themselves surrounded by parenthesis and then expanded exponentially by the x hanging over the last parenthesis.  Thus, at various times, I've defined (BIM)X, (BUILT)X and (CM)X exponentially, but resisted defining IPD in the same way.  

The time has come to define IPD in a similar manner.  In preparing presentations for the MSc BIM Strategy course offered by Middlesex University out of London and for students at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Calgary I found the task of explaining the use of IPD throughout the life cycle of a facility and supporting infrastructure much easier when I expanded the concept of IPD to span that entire life cycle as well.  In doing so I found the concept tied in neatly with my argument for a new generation legal framework that supports and enables BIM on the one hand and other innovative processes, like lean construction, cultural management and lean supply chain logistics etc. etc. on the other.

The image below is extracted from one of the early presentations where I defined IPD esponentially.  The meanings listed in this slide only begin to scratch the surface regarding the new term!



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Collaborative Construction
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Disruption in the Legal Industry is Good News for the Built Industry




I pursued a bit of free-lance work with Axiom Law when they first started and thought they had a great model in place.  There just weren't enough in house lawyers looking for help crafting, negotiating, executing and implementing integrated agreements in those early days so I soldiered on with Collaborative Construction.  It looks like Axiom, in the corporate world, and Collaborative Construction in the built industry, may be poised to break through at around the same time.

The article linked here, Is Axiom a Bell Weather for Disruption in the Legal Industry, and quoted below suggests sufficient innovation takes place within the legal industry to support the spread of disruptive innovations like BIM and IPD.  Everett Roger's Diffusion of Innovation Cart - quite familiar to advocates of the disruptive tools and processes associated with BIM and IPD - makes an appearance in the article where the author argues as follows:



Rogerdiffusioninnovationcurve

The problem here is not economics --  its human nature.  This may be hard for many lawyers to believe, but lawyers, including general counsel, are human beings.  And human beings are prone to a series of predictable reactions when presented with various stimuli, such as new ways to perform their work.  Rather than process the merits of the idea, many human beings, including lawyers, will instead gauge the reactions of the market leaders.  If the market leaders react with approbation, the early and late majority become willing to actually engage with the idea. 
What this means is that the merits of a good idea are not enough to ensure its success, at least immediately.  This is a key practical insight that the reformer/innovator class seldom grasps.  Without understanding Roger's Diffusion of Innovation curve, an innovator's success becomes a function of timing and luck -- that is the story of Bill James. 
But if you understand the diffusion process, it is possible to construct a filter that locates the innovator/early adopter class.  And if you study their beliefs and problems, you can more effectively tailor your pitch. This approach saves time and money and holds the team together in the belief that they will ultimately be successful.
The bottom line from Collaborative Construction's perspective is that Axiom's success selling innovative legal services in the corporate arena mirrors the success manifesting itself in the built industry vis-a-vi BIM and IPD.  We are well into the early adopter portion of the curve and more and more teams are looking for advise regarding the cultural and legal implications of BIM and IPD.  Collaborative construction can help with that so give us a call!
  
Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Friday, November 8, 2013

What's a Smart Built Culture?




One of the most exciting things about launching the Smart Built Culture series is being involved in redefining the culture in the built industry.  So what will a Smart Built Culture look like anyway?  Built industry professionals interested in the answer, or better yet interested in formulating the answer, need to support the Smart Built Culture series when it launches in 2014.  You can do so as an individual or you can encourage thought leaders within your organization to sponsor the series.

One thing I'd like to see in a Smart Built Culture is a willingness to adopt and embrace (SMART)X Game Changers, rather than smothering such changes in the crib like we do today.  My definition of a (SMART)X Game Changer is set forth below.


Join us as a participant and or a sponsor in of the Smart Built Culture series in 2014 to learn more!
 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Governance Mechanisms that Work in the Built Environment




In preparing materials for the Smart Built Culture Series - keep an eye on the blog for big developments regarding the series soon - I delved deeply into the issue of public and private governance mechanisms that support and enable, or, as is too often the case, tear down and destroy, the working relationships required to successfully deliver a complex construction project.  As built industry professionals realize BIM and IPD require more hard work than Pixie Dust the question of how to develop quality trust based business relationships comes sharply into focus.  

So the question becomes, how do we build trust based relationships that enable us to effectively leverage these innovative new tools and processes?

Historically, open and honest communication builds trust faster and more effectively than any other process. So when, where and how do we engage in open and honest communication in the built industry?  We don't. And THAT is one of our biggest problems.  Why don't we engage in open and honest communication?  Because, by nature, we'd rather engage in dishonest and secretive negotiations.  As Hamilton famously said:  "Men are ambitious, vindictive and rapacious."  Federalist No. 6. Humanity is inherently flawed; not inherently good.  And people operating in the built industry are no different than the rest.

Thus, we must deploy governance mechanisms that take this reality into account.  Which brings us to the concept of integrated agreements.  Integrated agreements are not the product of Kumba Ya sessions. Integrated agreements are the product of hard nosed negotiations among peers, forced by economic reality to engage in open and honest communications.  In other words, effective integrated agreements are a powerful, balanced governance mechanism designed to keep the "ambitious, vindictive and rapacious" nature of the people who negotiate them in check.

Based on the  foregoing I've come to view effective collaborative workshops in the built industry as Constitutional framing parties.  The balance of power achieved in a good integrated agreement looks a lot like the balance of power achieved by the framers of the US Constitution.  The underlying motives are similar too.

Remember Machiavelli's famous statement about governing a Republic?  He said: “It is necessary to whoever arranges to found a Republic and establish laws in it, to presuppose that all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.”

I submit a similar view is warranted in negotiating any legal agreement; even a warm fuzzy integrated agreement among "friends".  Reagan's famous admonition that we should "Trust but verify" is another sound piece of advise.

I suggest we keep the foregoing thoughts close when we negotiate integrated agreements.  Readers interested in the topic may want to read the piece quoted and linked below.  From which, by the way, I lifted the quotes by Hamilton and Machiavelli!

Universal human depravity thus precluded any simple form of government whether democratic, monarchical, or aristocratic. The solution of the framers was the mixed government in which the democratic House of Representatives, the aristocratic Senate, (chosen by the state legislatures), and the monarchical president (chosen by the Electoral College) would along with the judiciary divide the powers and functions of government and thus check and balance the tendency of each branch to maximize its power at the expense of the people’s freedom. As James Madison explained in Federalist 51, the “separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government” would allow each branch “to resist the encroachment of the others,” for “ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”

Equally important was the principle of federalism, the protection of the power of the states evident in giving state legislatures the responsibility for selecting Senators and the presidential electors. Given the variety of conflicting interests among the states, Madison wrote in Federalist 10, there will be a “greater security afforded by a greater variety of parties, against the event of any one party being able to outnumber and oppress the rest,” and “greater obstacles opposed to the concert and accomplishment of the secret wishes of an unjust and interested majority.” Any selfish interest or violent passion “will be unable to spread a general conflagration through the other states,” and “the variety of sects dispersed over the entire face of it [the nation] must secure the national Councils against any danger from that source.” Just as the variety of interests and passions among the people will check and balance each other, so too will the variety of state interests check and balance the power of the federal government.




James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Integrated Procurement Laws




As regular readers know I've been retained by Middlesex University out of London to deliver content related to the new MCs in BIM Management and Strategy offered by MDX. The course explores BIM from three primary perspectives, technology, management and strategy.  Those who succeed in completing the course expect to gain skills relevant to adopting, adapting and deploying in accordance with the mandate, by the UK government, that BIM be utilized on the vast majority of future government projects.

My contribution constitutes a series of lectures that focus on the cultural and legal impacts of BIM and IPD and the lectures tie directly to the Smart Built Culture series that will be launched in 2014.  This blog will serve as sounding board relative to the series and the MDX course.  The essay below tackles the issue of procurement laws and regulations, an area where culture and law swirl in a toxic brew.  In my estimation, the built industry can do better.  But will we?  Please reach out if you and your organization want to be part of the solution.

Are Integrated Procurement Laws the Real Keystone?

In the procurement world building information modeling (BIM) enabled infrastructure requires support in much the same way integrated project delivery (IPD) requires support in the construction world. Procurement of BIM enabled infrastructure is actually more complex and more difficult to achieve than procurement of planning, design and construction services in an IPD environment.  BIM, when deployed effectively, over time and across disciplines, "Googlizes" information related to the facilities / projects / infrastructure created in a fully integrated BIM environment. Unfortunately, few owners demand, or even understand, the full potential of "Googlized BIM" and instead insert BIM requirements in traditional tenders / requests for proposals that lack clarity and fail to provide planners, designers or constructors any real guidance. 

BIM enabled infrastructure, i.e. infrastructure planned, designed, constructed, commissioned, operated, managed and maintained while utilizing fully functional digital assets informed, supported and leveraged by an array of effective BIM tools, is almost impossible to create under existing procurement protocols.  This is especially true in the public sector. 

Sophisticated military weapons systems are "Googlized" in this manner on secure networks. BIM originated with defense contractors tasked with prototyping weapons systems. The software and hardware that enabled those early pioneers to virtually test a fighter jet now enable the built industry to do the same with a factory, hospital, office building, schools and other facilities. 

Public and private sector consumers of planning, design and construction services must rethink the mechanisms whereby they procure those services if BIM enabled infrastructure is the end goal. New generation procurement laws, regulations and legal instruments that support BIM enabled design and construction on the one hand and BIM enabled operations and maintenance on the other are required. 

Legal agreements dictate the rights, duties and responsibilities of those involved in complex commercial transactions. In other words, legal agreements control our legal relationships. The formation and successful deployment of an effective BIM enabled team of built professionals capable of delivering BIM enabled infrastructure should be controlled by an integrated legal framework.

Instead, most owners - in the public and private sector - utilize antiquated procurement programs dependent on a bid / tender system that splinters planners, designers, constructors and trade contractors from the start, forcing each entity to operate in a legal silo. Reforming these antiquated procurement laws must top the agenda if we ever hope to procure BIM enabled infrastructure and facilities. Current procurement laws REQUIRE designers submit 2D drawings of the building to the owner who tosses the drawings over the wall to construction community for bids / tenders. We need procurement laws that enabled integrated teams to build virtually FIRST and then build in the real world. 

A few institutional owners are beginning to think this through. When change comes it will be very fast. Firms need to be prepared. Is your firm ready?

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website


Friday, November 1, 2013

Sovereign Power And the Built Environment



As mandates for the use of BIM proliferate long term advocates of BIM – yours truly included – tend to cheer.  But let's not get too drunk on our own whiskey.  Mandates limit choices – as rubes, aka Obama voters and the “Marks” in the Orwellian named “Affordable Care Act” scheme are learning  - and limits in the market place tend to drive up costs.  Thought leaders in the built industry must tread carefully in the realm of mandates.


Many advocates of BIM, consumed by their own hubris, mistakenly believe BIM – or as I define it (BIM)X – serves as a magic elixir, healing ills of all kinds in the built environment.  But sellers of Snake Oil rely on gullibility and the market.  They never pinch their clients' noses and force feed them the Snake Oil.  Only governments do that.

Which brings me to the title of this post.  Where does sovereign power lie in the built industry?  How about on a specific project?  In other words, who controls your destiny on a construction project?

Too often it's the government.  Design-Bid-Build, the broken Frankenstein of delivery models, is mandated by statutes, rules and regulations on public projects all over the world.  And too often, sheep-like owners in the private sector adopt those same procurement rules and regulations as their own.  When the legal framework within which you must operate shackles you from the outset all the (BIM)X Pixie Dust in the world won't save a project.  

Until owners are free to select, train and deploy integrated (BIM)X and (IPD)X enabled teams, the full capabilities of BIM and IPD will not be realized.  Meanwhile, government mandates will continue and the unintended consequences of those mandates will continue to manifest themselves.  Let's hope BIM mandates don't become as big a debacle as the ACA.



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rocket Engine From 3D Printer Launched Successfully




Readers know I'm a sucker for a good 3D printer story.  And the one excerpted and linked below is a good one.

Like something out of a Robert Heinlein novel, students at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have built a metal rocket engine using a technique previously confined to NASA. Earlier this month, the UCSD chapter of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) at the Jacobs School of Engineering conducted a hot fire test for a 3D-printed metal rocket engine at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry launch site in California’s Mojave Desert. This is the first such test of a printed liquid-fueled, metal rocket engine by any university in the world and the first designed and printed outside of NASA.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Tuesday, October 15, 2013

When did Atlas Shrugged become the "How to Manual" for the US Government?




Since launching Collaborative Construction in 2007 I've worked hard to develop integrated legal instruments that support building information modeling (BIM) on the one hand lean construction processes enabled by integrated project delivery (IPD) on the other.  I've presented hundreds of workshops throughout the US, Canada and Europe and I've scheduled and conducted dozens of high level meetings with public and private decision makers.  I've explained the benefits of BIM and IPD to those decision makers in compelling detail.  And through tenacious efforts I've won some great work.  But far too often precious little progress was made in either the public or the private sector.

On reason for the lack of progress is that the built industry is comfortable with its wasteful and inefficient ways.  Few want to make the effort to change and those who do investigate the issue often realize their entire business model is premised on waste and inefficiency and they see no reason to revamp that model.  In other words, too many companies - and individuals within those companies - get paid to massage waste and inefficiency and, therefore, have no interest in getting paid for adding value.  Adding value is harder, requires more effort and, importantly, requires significant change.  If there's one thing those feeding off the teat of waste and inefficiency want to avoid its change that involves payment for delivering value rather than managing waste.

The foregoing is par for the course though.  Collaborative Construction, in conjunction with other business partners, has developed a variety of tools for implementing change and real success can be had when the owner and other key team members buy in and champion change.  In short we can address fear of change.

Corruption and cronyism, however, is much harder to tackle.

The one recurring theme that vexed me in my journey over the past 7 years has been the flat out refusal by public and private decision makers to pull the trigger on a process that would eliminate waste and inefficiency in so much of the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of facilities and infrastructure.  Lip service was paid to the savings - both in planning, design and construction and over the life cycle of the project - but in far too many instances the decision makers refused to move forward with BIM and IPD.  Frustrated, I began to corner individuals and press them, asking, "Why not?"

The answer was - and is - disturbing.  

Public sector decision makers waffled and beat around the bush, but often fell back on the canard that the  "the procurement process is complex and it will take a long time to get Collaborative Construction approved as a vendor, etc." or some variation on that theme.  What they didn't come right out and say was the bribes are required.

By contrast, the private sector clients were a bit more blunt and their answers a bit more revealing.  Decision makers at large private companies patiently explained to me that now is not the time to invest in new facilities or infrastructure and or new business models related to BIM and IPD.  When I asked why I was advised the companies had determined their money would be better spent on lobbyists in Washington D.C. or in a state capital.  In essence what these people were telling me was that Washington D.C. was becoming "The Capitol" depicted in the Hunger Games.

Reluctant to accept this reality I have continued pressing forward, arguing for reduced waste and increased efficiency.  Sadly, the article excerpted below drives home the point that Washington D.C. has essentially adopted Atlas Shrugged as a how to manual.

The biggest problem with Healthcare.gov seems simple enough: It was built by people who are apparently far more familiar with government cronyism than they are with IT.
That's one of the insights that can be gleaned from the work done by the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that focuses on government transparency. In a report filed this past week, the group examined why the system broke as horribly as it did: The contracts awarded to those who built it were, by and large, existing government contractors with "deep political pockets."

As frustrating as the foregoing is, there are still great opportunities in the built environment for champions of change and those more interested in delivering value than managing waste and inefficiency.  Here at Collaborative Construction we continue to press forward with initiatives like the Smart Built Cultures Series that raise awareness of BIM and IPD and to hew a path through the procurement thickets blocking the industry's path to efficiency and productivity.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Monday, October 14, 2013

CIOB Contract Looking Good!




I'm working my way through the CIOB Contract authored by the Chartered Institute of Building out of the UK and really liking what I see.  The instrument is a substantive advance in built industry contacting, containing truly innovative provisions and adding teeth to for enforcement.

The alternative dispute resolution mechanisms are particularly strong.  Found in paragraphs 65 and 66 of the Conditions and the protocol laid out in Appendix B the ADR provisions distinguish between Issues and Disputes and requires the parties to identify and utilize "Principal Experts" a role very similar to the Dispute Reviewers found in the instruments authored by Collaborative Construction.

In coming weeks I will delve into the CIOB Contract for Complex Project in more detail.  Meanwhile, feel free to download free copies of the documents at the link above.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















3D Scanner + 3D Printer = Onsite Production




How long before we see combined 3D scanners and printers used on construction sites to replicate key building components?  Depending on the specifications of the parts being replicated this could be a really cool step forward or a disaster waiting to happen!  Regardless, the future is upon us.

The MakerBot Digitizer featured as a breakthrough product in Popular Mechanics' latest issue sounds pretty cool.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















A Cautionary Tale




Truth. It's the new hate speech.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

I am, and have been, an advocate of open BIM and continue to believe the Holy Grail of BIG BIM requires an open source, web-based BIM platform that supports a variety of software tools.  Knowing nothing about software, software coding and other technical challenges I've always listened carefully when industry experts explained why my Pie in the Sky vision wasn't yet possible.

That said, the industry continues to work towards a solution, the internet continues to expand - with the Internet of Things taking center stage recently - as retailers, manufacturers and others mine BIG DATA related to their ongoing efforts to produce, market and sell products and services for which others willingly pay money.  We are getting closer everyday and I remain convinced one day we will see fully functional open BIM exchanges up and running in the built industry.  Further, those open source BIM platforms will be linked to software tools in the supply chain, facilities management, programming, and elsewhere, all to the benefit of the built industry, the global economy and people around the world.  This is a very complex and difficult problem but there are many very talented individual and first rate companies working hard every day to create and implement workable solutions.

As we approach our goal let's not forget the importance of truth and transparency!

Compare and contrast the slow, market tested search for an Open BIM solution in the built environment with the slow motion train wreck represented by the insurance exchanges pimped by the federal government in the US via the $635 million website, Healthcare.gov which has proven to be the most spectacular FAIL in the history of the internet!  I think more people signed up to attend Collaborative Construction's initial set online BIM and IPD oriented webinars back in 2007 than have purchased insurance through these federal exchanges.  This is a debacle of the first order.  Below is an excerpt from a Forbes article, linked below, that explains the failure.

Weaver and Radnofsky say that the core problem stems from “the slate of registration systems [that] intersect with Oracle Identity Manager, a software component embedded in a government identity-checking system.” The main Healthcare.gov web page collects information using the CGI Group technology. Then that data is transferred to a system built by Quailty Software Services. QSS then sends data to Experian, the credit-history firm. But the key “identity management system” employed by QSS was designed by Oracle, and according to the Journal’s sources, the Oracle software isn’t playing nicely with the other information systems.  

Anyone that's every received a Humpty Dumpty BIM in Navisworks that links to dumb pictures of the Tekla and Archicad models, and other modeling packages knows how difficult it is to make modern software tools play nice.  Now imagine putting the federal government in charge!  Yikes. 

Don't you feel better knowing the federal government is in charge and will be taking care of your healthcare needs on a going-forward basis?  I don't.

Again, let's continue to demand transparency and accountability in the built industry as we pursue the Holy Grail of Open Bim.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















As UK BIM Mandate Looms Advise Galore on BIM Adoption




As the UK government's 2016 BIM mandate draws nigh more and more firms are scrambling to figure out how to adopt, deploy and implement BIM effectively.  The article excerpted and linked below provides a nice summary of the first best steps.  

The government’s target is ambitious, but it does recognise that there are several stages along the way. The strategy paper produced by the Government Construction Client Group, reporting to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, uses the Bew-Richards maturity model, which defines three levels of BIM, based not only on the level of technology used to design a building, but on the level of collaboration within the process. Level 0 describes a paper-based process with CAD drawings; level 3 is a fully open and integrated process with models shared between the project team on a web-enabled BIM hub. That is still some way away, with a number of technological hurdles to be overcome first. For 2016, the target is level 2, in which separate disciplines create their own models, but all project data is shared electronically in a common environment.

One world of caution.  Avoid the myopic industry focus on BIM only and pay attention to the delivery side - e.g. IPD, Design-Build and PPP - and don't forget the scope and nature of the legal framework within which you deliver BIM matters a great deal as well.
 

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Our Knowledge Economy & The Internet of Things




The knowledge economy is barreling down upon us.  Are you ready to compete in this exciting new realm? 

In the built industry the knowledge economy is marked by the emergence of building information modeling (BIM) as a key technology / process.  BIM delivers a steady stream of relevant and timely information that renders integrated project delivery (IPD) effective.  BIM technologies and processes, when combined with effective delivery models like IPD increase the efficiency with which integrated teams plan, design, construct, operate and maintain complex facilities and supporting infrastructure.   BIM and IPD must, in turn, be supported by new generation legal instruments that support and enable BIM on the one hand and IPD on the other.

Owners - both public and private - who demand increased efficiency and productivity are beginning to recognize the value of The Internet of Things in the built environment.  Integrated team seeking to leverage BIM on the one hand and IPD on the other will be well served to pay close attention to the scope and nature of the digital data streaming through the World Wide Web (WWW) as The Internet of Things gains traction. Leading industry analysts estimate The Internet of Things will have a $15 trillion impact on the world economy within 10 to 15 years.  Connecting the built environment to the WWW through effective use of BIM, IPD and a supportive legal framework will open new avenues of opportunity to hundreds of millions of people around the globe.

The linked article notes:

The Internet of Things concept involves connecting machines, facilities, fleets, networks, and even people to sensors and controls; feeding sensor data into advanced analytics applications and predictive algorithms; automating and improving the maintenance and operation of machines and entire systems; and even enhancing human health. 


Again, are you ready for the revolution?  Is your company?  Are your clients?

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CIOB Contract for Complex Projects




The Charted Institute of Builders out of the UK published an excellent form of contract earlier this year.  I tracked the effort to develop the contract but hadn't yet read the final product.  Hat tip to Brian O'Hanlon out of Ireland who reminded me of the documents and sent me some great links.  

The history of the CIOB Contract for Complex Project reminds me a lot of the effort that gave rise to the ConsensusDocs here in the US and I see a lot of similarities between the CIOB contract and ConsensusDocs 300 Series.

I am looking forward to reading these documents side by side and identifying the best of both worlds.  The pace of change in the built industry is accelerating.  Is your organization ready?

Below is a presentation / speech by Keith Pickavance detailing the results of certain research completed by CIOB that led to the new contract.  The experience parallels my own experience and the experience of others in key sectors of the construction industry.  The speech is well worth your time.  



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Orwellian "Affordable Care Act" Not Actually Affordable




Can we please get the government out of the way?

Obamacare, recall, was sold with a specific set of political promises: The new regime, advocates insisted, would reduce the deficit, cover the needy, and reduce total health spending — all while lowering the premiums of those who were already insured. Back in 2007, when Obama was running for the Democratic nomination, he introduced what was then an embryonic proposal with the quixotic assurance that, “if you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is the amount of money you will spend on premiums.” Then he adumbrated what would happen to the “amount of money” that Americans would “spend on premiums.” “That will be less,” Obama told anybody who would listen.

***

As a candidate, Obama also made this promise: “I will sign a universal health-care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.” Again, this is not a “right-wing talking point,” nor is it a slur cooked up by an intransigent conservative movement intent upon destroying the president at all costs. It is a verbatim pledge that the candidate made to the American people on camera over and over and over and over again — so often, in fact, that the New York Times ran an entire feature on the “audacious promise” that was submitted in “speech after speech.”

Looking back, it is amazing that Obama wasn’t laughed off the stage at the outset. His central claim — that premiums would drop for the typical family by $2,500 — could literally have been taken from the back of an envelope. As the New York Times explained back in 2008, the $2,500 number came from economist David Cutler, who predicted that Obamacare would reduce all health-care spending by $200 billion a year. Candidate Obama, looking for a good sound bite, simply divided this number by the number of families in the United States; then, calculating inexplicably that total health-care spending and family health-insurance premiums were exactly the same thing, he concluded that all money saved would be returned to the people. That Obama considered this a reasonable way of selling a plan that reorganized one-sixth of the economy betrays either a fundamental economic illiteracy or a deeply troubling readiness to mislead. (emphasis added).

The last sentence in bold above actually demonstrates President Obama is both an economic illiterate - after all, this man thinks the term "P/E Ratio" stands for PROFITS to EARNINGS Ratio and not PRICE to EARNINGS Ratio - and a liar.

As the old joke goes, "How can you tell if President Obama is lying?"  

"His lips are moving."

Worst. Political.  Class.  Ever.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website