Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EPA Finds Less Methane Escapes During Production Than Thought




One of the criticisms of the extraction of natural gas is that too much methane escapes during the process.  Methane is a  potent greenhouse gas.  A new study by the EPA indicates the escape of methane during production is far less than previously thought.  Below is a link to the story.  This is good new for those who care about the environment and want poor people the world over to have access to cheaper cleaner energy.


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
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Monday, April 29, 2013

Chess Matches v World of Warcraft Games: What do Methane Hydrates Mean?




The Japanese have been exploring the use of Methane Hydrates as an alternative to imported oil, coal and natural gas for almost 20 years now.  In their typical low-key methodical fashion they have made considerable progress.  The Atlantic article, excerpted below and linked here, with the provocative if misleading title "What if We Never Run Out of Oil" provides an excellent history based introduction to the Methane Hydrates.

As with any fossil fuel energy source, the potential use of Methane Hydrates will cause many advocates of green and renewable energy resources great angst, but when you think through the economic, social and environmental impacts of Methane Hydrates they seem to be a good alternative to dirtier, less reliable and less accessible alternatives.  The image below shows the locations, around the globe, from which Methane Hydrates have been recovered - the yellow boxes - and where Methane Hydrates are thought to exist - the blue dots - but where no actual recovery has yet been made.

Stored mostly in broad, shallow layers beneath the seafloor, methane hydrate is, by some estimates, twice as abundant as all other fossil  fuels combined. The yellow squares show where methane hydrate has already been recovered; the blue dots, where it is thought to exist. (Map by Alice Cho)

Below are a few interesting excerpts from the article.  I encourage you to book mark and read the whole article - its very long - over the next several days.

The Chikyu, which first set out in 2005, was initially intended to probe earthquake-generating zones in the planet’s mantle, a subject of obvious interest to seismically unstable Japan. Its present undertaking was, if possible, of even greater importance: trying to develop an energy source that could free not just Japan but much of the world from the dependence on Middle Eastern oil that has bedeviled politicians since Churchill’s day.
***
Already the petroleum industry has been convulsed by hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”—a technique for shooting water mixed with sand and chemicals into rock, splitting it open, and releasing previously inaccessible oil, referred to as “tight oil.” Still more important, fracking releases natural gas, which, when yielded from shale, is known as shale gas. (Petroleum is a grab-bag term for all nonsolid hydrocarbon resources—oil of various types, natural gas, propane, oil precursors, and so on—that companies draw from beneath the Earth’s surface. The stuff that catches fire around stove burners is known by a more precise term, natural gas, referring to methane, a colorless, odorless gas that has the same chemical makeup no matter what the source—ordinary petroleum wells, shale beds, or methane hydrate.) Fracking has been attacked as an environmental menace to underground water supplies, and may eventually be greatly restricted. But it has also unleashed so much petroleum in North America that the International Energy Agency, a Paris-based consortium of energy-consuming nations, predicted in November that by 2035, the United States will become “all but self-sufficient in net terms.” If the Chikyu researchers are successful, methane hydrate could have similar effects in Japan. And not just in Japan: China, India, Korea, Taiwan, and Norway are looking to unlock these crystal cages, as are Canada and the United States.
***
Here I should confess to personal bias. Twelve years ago, a magazine asked me to write an article about energy supplies. While researching, I met petroleum geologists and engineers who told me about a still-experimental technique called hydraulic fracturing. Intrigued, I asked several prominent energy pundits about it. All scoffed at the notion that it would pay off. To be fair, some early fracking research was outlandish; three early trials involved setting off atomic weapons underground (they did produce natural gas, but it was radioactive). I don’t want to embarrass anyone I spoke with. I failed to exercise independent judgment, and did not mention hydraulic fracturing in my article, so I was just as mistaken. But I also don’t want to miss the boat again. Even though plenty of experts discount methane hydrate, I now am more inclined to pay attention to the geologists and engineers who foresee a second, fracking-type revolution with it, a revolution that—unlike the shale-gas rush, mostly a North American phenomenon—will ripple across the globe.


P.S.  The quote I shared earlier on LinkedIn and via Twitter comes from the article and reads:

"To ask utilities to take in large amounts of solar power—electricity generated by hundreds or thousands of small installations, many on neighborhood roofs and lawns, whose output is affected by clouds—is like asking a shipping firm to replace its huge, professionally staffed container ships with squadrons of canoes paddled by random adolescents. "

The author provides great insights, but remains fixated on "climate change" as a boogeyman that must be conquered.  Given the 15+ year "pause" in warming and the current coldest spring in 75 years, one would think the Orwellian phrase, "climate change" would be falling out of favor.  But apparently not.

The bigger concern, from my perspective, is not "climate change" but a shift, as the title of the blog suggests from a global foreign policy that relies on Chess like skills to a foreign policy more dependent on a "World of Warcraft" view of foreign policy.  Regardless, the article is an excellent summary of the history of oil & gas and the effect of natural gas and Methane Hydrates on the world. 

Nuclear fusion is actually the next great leap in energy technology.  Natural gas from fracking and Methane Hydrates appear to be the bridge fuels, along with renewables as they mature.  I've a got post on nuclear fusion waiting in the wings, but have been digging out from under other obligations since I got back from Denver.  The great thing about all of these advances in energy and energy extraction is that more and lower costs energy solutions will enable us to focus on increasing the efficiency with which we deliver planning, design and construction services and the economic and environmental compatibility of buildings - the largest consumers of energy on the planet - the we plan, design, build, operate and maintain.



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















BUILT - BIM to FM Article Published in BIM Journal




I wrote an article for the BIM Journal titled, "BUILT - BIM to FM, What Owners Want".  The first in a series for the Journal that focus on BIM to FM, the article highlights owner's desires regarding digital assets that empower them to manage facilities and infrastructure more intelligently and more efficiently. 

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
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Collaborative Space v Focus Space




As an attorney and an advocate of collaboration I've long sensed the quiet conflict between the beehive of collaborative work and solitary focused nature of what the article by Gensler's Tim Pittman, linked below, calls "Focus in the Work Place". 

Advocates of BIM, IPD and related improvements in work flow processes need to pay attention to the distinction.  Collaboration, learning and socialization in the workplace revolve around "focus work", the time and space in which we produce a work product that adds value for our clients.

The image below, extracted from Pittman's article, accurately and succinctly summarizes the various work modes.  Gensler's focus is on designing facilities and infrastructure that supports those modes of work.  Collaborative Construction focuses on the creation and implementation of a legal framework that supports every mode of work.




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
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An Orgy of 3D Printing!




Ok.  Ok.  The title of the post is a bit over the top but click the link below and take a gander at the wide array of 3D printing options.  The scope, depth, complexity and sophistication of the 3D printing options make one wonder if anatomically correct sex dolls are next.

The website linked here, "3D Printing in Manufacturing Today" has 25+ AMAZING articles on the front page.  Advances in nanotechnology driven building materials and 3D printers will catapult the built industry into the 21st Century in the next few years.  BIM and IPD are only tip of a massive iceberg of knowledge and technological innovations.

Among the most interesting and impactful developments are the advances in the production of prosthetics for amputees.  Innovation in this arena seems particularly worthy of highlighting in light of the Boston Bombing in which so many victims lost limbs.  The video below touches on the topic.  But be sure to follow the link above too.  Just some amazing developments on the horizon.




Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Human Side of BIM... in Denver!




All my friends and contacts on LinkedIn are all a twitter - ha ha ha - about the Human Side of BIM presentations at the BIM Forum in Florida.  Well, we're going to explore some very human elements of built industry culture in Denver this week too at the AEC Tech Expo.  So don't think ya'll are going to have all the fun in Florida.  Even if Al Gore's promises are a bit late here in Denver where it was a crisp 33 degrees upon landing with several inches of snow still visible all about. lol

I'll put a link up to a Slide Share version of the lecture later this week.  The keynote focuses on built industry cultural impediments to BIM and IPD and the three workshops delve into simple BIM, federated BIM and integrated BIM respectively.  If you make it to Denver look me up.  If you are in Florida let's compare notes over the next few weeks.

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, April 23, 2013

AEC TECH EXPO IN DENVER




Finalizing presentation materials and other last minute arrangements related in anticipation of presenting in Denver at AEC TECH EXPO.  Looking forward to seeing many readers and other industry contacts there.

The Tech Expo is scheduled for Thursday, and will be an all day affair.  Come earlier and stay late!  A great time will be had by advocates of efficiency and productivity in all disciplines and in multiple sectors of the economy.

If you still haven't registered here's a LINK FOR YOU.  See you there!

On Friday, I will be in Boulder in the morning to participate in the E Source Energy Managers' Round Table.  E Source has a very interesting series of presentations lined up.  The one I'm most interested in deals with the organization's internal cultural struggles relative to remodeling the corporate head quarters and bringing the facility up snuff from an energy usage perspective.  I found it intriguing to hear that a green oriented company like E Source, headquartered in Boulder, Colorado of all places, struggled culturally with some of the very same issues those of us in the trenches of the built industry struggle with everyday when it comes to greening a facilities footprint.

The fact the company overcame the cultural hurdles is impressive as well, and I'm interested in learning more about that process.
 

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















Information Age v Digital Age




In the new knowledge economy the supply of data exponentially increases everyday.  The information age is dead. 

 It came into its own when Guttenburg invented the printing press. 


 And was supplanted by the digital age when Al Gore invented the internet. 

Any end user in any sector can attache him or herself to a fire hose of information that no human being can possibly digest intelligently.  Success in the knowledge economy depends on the ability to provide decision makers with the golden key to the digital data that informs critical decisions, generally just in time.

Until the built industry realizes this BIM will be dumb.  Once the industry grasps the implications of operating and competing in a knowledge economy we'll be off to the races.  


However, too many in the built industry operate in silos that are too deep for them to see the light above.


Also, too many business models in the built industry are built on extracting excess cash from existing waste and inefficiency rather than adding value.  Most stakeholders in the built industry must revamp internal cultural norms before their organizations can compete in the built industry.  

The inability to import and export data on cross-disciplinary basis is a symptom of the cultural decay we must root out and reverse.  But the rot we see is, unfortunately, just the tip of the iceberg.

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, April 16, 2013

Mass Personalization in the Knowledge Economy




Professor Amir Sharif lays out a vision for the age of mass personalization likely to accompany the blooming and booming of the knowledge economy.  The good professor's description deserves careful consideration, but I doubt very much that the entrenched powers that be will give up without a fight.  They aren't in the the political arena, nor in the built industry.  But the revolution is coming and it will be exciting.  The articles concludes as follow, but again you will want to read the whole thing.

Ultimately, though, the future of mass personalisation will bring us full circle. Online and ubiquitous "blueprints-for-everything" will mean that knowledge will be the purest source of competitive advantage, underpinned by the supportive personalisation-focused supply chains. Funding this future will come from a wider range of non-financial institutions. Bartering and payment services will yield new types of markets where banks will no longer be key players. Industry itself will be contained in our own factory at home, where we can personalise anything for anybody at any time, leading to personalised supply chains. 


This all fits my vision of the progression from an agricultural economy in 1850 to the industrial economy in 1950 to the knowledge economy by 2050.  Before we can enjoy the full benefits of the knowledge economy we will have to shake free from the Blue Social Model imposed upon us by short-sighted politicians who bought our votes with false promises of a chicken in every pot.

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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The Wreck of the Euro & the USS Dollar




Professor Mead, who so cogently explains our on path to DOOM here in the U.S. via the Blue Social model embraced by generations of politicians and propped up by... The.  Worst.  Political.  Class. Ever. .. in the US offers insight into the failure of the Euro.  His blog post concludes as follows:

And meanwhile everything in Europe gets worse. As we’ve said before, with the exception of communism itself, the euro has been the biggest economic catastrophe to befall the continent (and the world) since the 1930s. Politicians in Europe thought they were living in a post-historical period in which mistakes didn’t really matter all that much. They were horribly wrong, and the wreck of the euro is blighting lives and embittering spirits on a truly staggering scale.

But you will want to read the whole thing.


The entire world is living beyond its means and has been for a long time now.  The drunken sailors spending spree brought to us by President Obama is virtually a text book application of the path to destruction for the US mapped out by Cloward & Plivin at Columbia.  That, and his insistence that we follow Europe to the Green Gallows.  My hope is we can endure the madness and right the ship in 2016.

Our friends in Europe seem to be taking on water at much more rapid rate and the solutions are grim at best.
 
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
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Good BIM or BAD BIM?




Building information models (BIM) provide built industry professionals with an array of tools, views and processes that support efficient delivery of (BIM)X enabled facilities and infrastructure.  Good BIM, which supports such delivery, occurs with an unfortunate rarity.  Good BIM's ugly twin, Bad BIM rears its head far more often.

Take steps on your next project to limit Bad BIM and maximize Good BIM.

Listed below are a few examples of Bad BIM.

Lonely BIM - Created in-house by sophisticated users of advanced BIM tools, but never allowed to play with other BIM.  Usually the product of overly protective lawyers and insurance agents who unduly influence principals design firms.

Orphaned BIM - Similar to lonely BIM, only Orphaned BIM tends to be shoved out the door at an early age, when it is usually to young to play nice with other BIM, and is abandoned by its parents.  Unless adopted and nurtured by another design parent Orphaned BIM usually dies on the project.

Hollywood BIM - Created for use by, and a too often at the direction of, the marketing department Hollywood BIM, aka BIM Wash, makes a big splash early in the project as part of its creator's sales pitch and then is rarely seen again.

Humpty Dumpty BIM - Birthed by well meaning parents Humpty Dumpty looks great on the shelf, and can even be used to complete basic clash detection and constructibility, and can even serve other purposes during the project.  Unfortunately, when ever Humpty Dumpty is tossed over a wall, and we all know BIM is tossed over the wall all  the time, he breaks into a thousand pieces.  Humpty Dumpty usually breaks at the owner's feet at the end of the project.

Don't deliver Bad BIM.  Deliver Good BIM.  Good BIM provides each user with access to digital assets that enable that user to complete tasks more efficiently.  Good BIM needs to be developed and delivered throughout the life cycle of the project. Good BIM arms owners with digital assets that can be leveraged, over time, to increase efficiency in operations, maintenance, energy use and otherwise enhance the business purpose of the facility and accompanying infrastructure.


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, April 15, 2013

Let's Rebuild A Saturn V Rocket Virtually!




A team of NASA engineers rebuilt a Saturn V Rocket virtually.  They located a Saturn V Rocket engine that was never used and laser scanned it.  By placing random stickers on parts by hand the laser scanning system was able to put the whole thing together like a giant Jig-Saw Puzzle.  They also scanned unique bolts and belts and used 3D Printers to create the unique tools needed to take remove them, since none of the unique tools from the 1960s could be found.

Once they had the entire engine scanned and re-created in CAD they were able to tackle a number issues through virtual testing.    Below is an image of the virtual reproduction.


Next, the team wound up test firing a "gas generator engine" off another Saturn V Rocket engine.  The "gas generator engine" does just that, it generates the gas that is feed into the giant Saturn V Rocket engine to be ignited.  Just an amazing process overall.  

I would love to see these guys scale up the Wave Disc Engine I blogged about earlier and connect it to the Muller Generator to run a new generation spaceship!

Here's a link to the whole article.  Well worth the 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
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Last Day for Early Registration!




Register today at early registration prices for the AEC Tech Expo in Denver!




Follow the link AEC Tech Expo to register for the event in Denver.

Looking forward to seeing readers from the Rocky Mountain Region at the event.


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
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Friday, April 12, 2013

The Baby Killer We Almost Never Knew




grand jury report image.png


The image of the dead fetus above is disturbing but, sadly, central to the story, told in gruesome detail, by Conor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic in the article, Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should be a Front Page Story.  The article is excerpted and linked below.  This is the second of two articles on the topic I've read, the first by Kristen Powers' article which ran on the USA Today opinion page earlier this week and was subtitled, We've forgotten what belongs on Page One.  After reading the horrific summary of the Grand Jury's report, Full Copy Here, detailed in Conor Friedersdorf I felt compelled to post a note here of my own.

We cannot, as a society, continue to stand idly by as power brokers in the country treat us like Orwellian subjects.  This is madness.  The trial began back in March and the story is only now rearing its head, and primarily in the blogosphere at that.  Until Kristen Powers' brave article - who is a liberal and abortion rights supporter by the way - the national media had completely and utterly ignored this story?  Why?

In my opinion the story was spiked to protect a pet issue of the left and so-called "Progressives", abortion.  It's no coincidence that President Obama supported legislation in Illinois that denied medical care for babies born alive during legal abortions.  But the horrific description of Gosnell's gruesome actions goes far far beyond that.  He and his staff murdered babies.  And they murdered lots of them.  And they also killed women, delivered services in filthy conditions, infected young women with STDs and generally engaged in heinous acts that deserve to be condemned by all.  To not link to this story and share it with others is to endorse Dr. Gosnell's actions.  I cannot do that.

For this isn't solely a story about babies having their heads severed, though it is that. It is also a story about a place where, according to the grand jury, women were sent to give birth into toilets; where a doctor casually spread gonorrhea and chlamydiae to unsuspecting women through the reuse of cheap, disposable instruments; an office where a 15-year-old administered anesthesia; an office where former workers admit to playing games when giving patients powerful narcotics; an office where white women were attended to by a doctor and black women were pawned off on clueless untrained staffers. Any single one of those things would itself make for a blockbuster news story. Is it even conceivable that an optometrist who attended to his white patients in a clean office while an intern took care of the black patients in a filthy room wouldn't make national headlines? 
But it isn't even solely a story of a rogue clinic that's awful in all sorts of sensational ways either. Multiple local and state agencies are implicated in an oversight failure that is epic in proportions! If I were a city editor for any Philadelphia newspaper the grand jury report would suggest a dozen major investigative projects I could undertake if I had the staff to support them. And I probably wouldn't have the staff. But there is so much fodder for additional reporting.   
There is, finally, the fact that abortion, one of the most hotly contested, polarizing debates in the country, is at the center of this case. It arguably informs the abortion debate in any number of ways, and has numerous plausible implications for abortion policy, including the oversight and regulation of clinics, the appropriateness of late-term abortions, the penalties for failing to report abuses, the statute of limitations for killings like those with which Gosnell is charged, whether staff should be legally culpable for the bad behavior of doctors under whom they work...

Then ask yourself what's becoming of our society and what YOU intend to do about it!

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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Last Call for Ethanol? Do it for the children!




Let's hope so!  When will we stop starving children around the world to prop up our green egos?  Geez.  The blog post excerpted and linked below references new bills in Congress that would put an end to this travesty.  Let's hope these pass.  Do it for the children!

Corn ethanol fails every test a biofuel could hope to pass. It doesn’t lower emissions; it raises them. It also raises the global price of corn, starving the world’s poor and possibly inciting riots. But EPA mandates are propping up this boondoggle. Producers are scrambling to snatch up biofuel credits to meet the federally-mandated quota this year because neither supply nor demand will be sufficient to produce the more than 13 billion barrels of ethanol required.


And don't forget, the EPA's unfilled mandate from 2010 for 20 million gallons annually of Cellulosic Ethanol, an "advanced bio-fuel that NOBODY CAN PRODUCE in commercial quantities.  The last I heard gasoline refiners were being FINED by the EPA for not putting cullulosic ethanol in gasoline and the refiners were blissfully passing the cost of those fines along to consumers.  And we wonder why gasoline costs north of $3.50 a gallon?

What sad and horrific waste of tax payer dollars and lives.  Children are starving all around the world and we F-n burning CORN!?!  WTF!  Can we please stop the madness?


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















Global Change - Let's Talk in Denver




As regular readers know I'll be presenting at the AEC Tech Expo in Denver April 25.  You can register by following the link.

The keynote, a work still in progress, will focus on built industry culture, broader culture generally and the changes required in both, but particularly in the built industry, to facilitate rapid and effective adoption of BIM and IPD.

Everyday I hear passionate arguments related to the best path forward for the built industry.  Generally, the presenters fall into one of two camps.  They are either passionate about saving the planet or passionate about increasing efficiency and productivity.  Often, there is significant overlap, and a great deal of common ground, but most of these individuals are driven to achieve something for the good others and to improve the world around them.

The people making these arguments tend to be well informed regrading the challenges the built industry, the economy generally and the environment face.  They recognize these issues, and others are intertwined.  I feel privileged to discuss these compelling issues with people of this caliber everyday.

In the course of one such conversation yesterday, with Tanner Clark, the Virtual Design & Construction Manager with The AECON Group in Canada, he said, "James, BIM is aspirational."  I was a bit taken aback by that statement given Tanner's position as a leader on BIM adoption in Canada and I asked him to explain what he meant, as I understood him to be in the throes of an effort to implement BIM at AECON on a company wide basis.  He went on to express the frustration many of us who operate on the bleeding edge feel.  He knows the value of BIM and he knows exactly what I mean when I talk about (BIM)X and the deliver of (BIM)X enabled facilities and infrastructure that has been "Googlized" for use by the owner.  But he insisted BIM is aspirational because too many others in the chain don't have the same vision and are not ready to deliver fully integrated BIM.  No matter how pretty the pictures are somebody still has to build it.  And the model / drawing that guides the steel erector is a far cry from the amazing Hollywod BIM display shared with the owner years before.

The keynote in Denver on cultural change in the industry, and elsewhere, is intended to open industry leaders' eyes regarding the disconnect between Tanner's Aspirational BIM and the Practical BIM we deliver everyday.  The workshops that follow are intended to help close that gap.  In the workshops in Denver participants will work together to draft BIM deliverables in response to three different RFPs.  The first RFP calls for Simple BIM, the second for Federated BIM and the third for Integrated BIM.  The workshops help built industry professionals understand the difference between Aspirational BIM and Practical BIM and the need to meld the two. 

The keynote recognizes we are in the midst of a dramatic and rapid shift from a fully industrialized economy to something close to a fully knowledge based economy.  In 1850 over 90% of the labor force on the planet was involved in the production of agricultural goods and related services.  By 1950 almost 90% of the labor force on the planet was involved in the production of things and related services.  We didn't stop making food.  We just made the process incredibly efficient.  By 2050 almost 90% of the labor force on the planet will be involved in the production of knowledge and the application of knowledge to resolve discrete problems .  We are not going to stop making things by 2050 anymore than we stopped growing food from 1850 to 1950.  We just going to render the process of making things incredibly more efficient.  Jobs won't disappear.  The knowledge economy will be filled with exciting and challenging jobs of all kinds.  But the knowledge economy will be very different from the old industrial economy.

That shift from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy is disrupting commerce globally because too few industries are prepared for the shift an almost no thought leaders in government are.  Let's talk about solutions in Denver, April 25!


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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Power, Money & Government Influence




But I repeat myself.  

When power, money and influence all flow from Washington, D.C. - and our dollars flow down the bottomless rat hole there - it's not surprising that cronyism thrives.  Capital cronyism is a bad thing but at least it adds SOME small value to the economy.  But then so does laundered money earned selling illegal drugs.  Social cronyism, on the other hand, appears to be less stimulative than either of the foregoing.

The latest comes to us courtesy of former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliff, now a candidate for Governor in Virgina.  McAuliff started a new car company called Green Tech Automotive - hey that easy maybe I should try it - but Virginia didn't want and he set it up in Mississippi.  Why would Virginia NOT want a new clean car company?  The story, excerpted and linked below, explains.
Virginia was particularly alarmed by GreenTech's use of an opaque visa program, called EB-5, to fund itself. Part of a 1990 immigration law, EB-5 lets foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in a U.S. company receive green cards. A federal immigration agency approves "regional centers" that administer the program. 
While these centers can be run by local government, GreenTech proposed running a Virginia center itself. One official at the Virginia development agency wrote to colleagues that she couldn't view Greentech's EB-5 program as "anything other than a visa-for-sale scheme with potential national security implications." 
GreenTech is today using its own investment vehicle to run a regional center in Mississippi. The president and CEO of Gulf Coast Funds Management is Anthony Rodham, the youngest brother of Hillary Clinton. Its board is composed of Democratic Party insiders, from former Clinton IRS Commissioner Margaret Richardson to former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Neither the immigration agency, nor GreenTech or Gulf Coast, has divulged how much money the company has raised via EB-5, or how many visas it has issued. 
This is of particular interest, since GreenTech looks to be a lemon. Despite promising production in 2011, there is no evidence the company is manufacturing any cars in volume. It is operating out of a temporary site and has yet to begin building its flagship factory in Tunica. GreenTech is the latest proof (after Solyndra, Fisker, A123 and others) that the political class is adept at hooking up cronies and investors with taxpayer dollars. But creating jobs? No can do.

Worst. Political.  Class. Ever.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

3D Concrete Printers!




A new generation of built industry professionals continue to push the envelope when it comes to the use of concrete as a building material.  In the video embedded below researchers described leveraging 3D Printer technology to delivery ever more complex concrete solutions.


That ain't your Grampa's style is it?  Just ask Macklemore!





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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The Long Pause in Global Warming




It's been 15 years since the mean global air temperature rose year over year yet governments around the world continue to throw money down the green energy rat hole, proclaiming all the while, "We must save the planet."  I'm all for saving the planet, but must we do so by subsidizing failure and artificially driving the cost of energy and food higher, to the detriment of the world's poor? As an advocate of increased efficiency and productivity in the built industry I'd like to see us turn our attention, and considerably resources, to solving real problems.  But when the EPA declares the very air I exhale to be a pollutant it's kind of hard to focus on other issues.  

My challenge to advocates of BIM, IPD and lean business processes is to stand up and demand accountability of those who contend we must spend trillions and trillions of dollars to address global warming.  First, let's make sure its happening.  After all, the current research shows no warming for the past 15 years.  Second, let's get a better handle on the scope and nature of the alleged catastrophic impact of global warming.  Is increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really a bad thing?  It might be, but the current evidence show the planet is getting greener, nor browner, as a result of increased carbon dioxide.  Maybe that's because carbon dioxide is what plants, which tend to be green, breath.  In short, let's challenge the orthodoxy, insist on skeptical science rather than science by consensus - especially consensus by grant recipients - and let's make sure the trillions being spent to prevent global warming are adding value. 

It's hard being a heretic, but there's a reason skeptics like Galileo questioned orthodoxy in their day.  More importantly, it appears we are wasting trillions and trillions of dollars and a problem of dubious proportions.  My contention is that real value can be added to the built environment if those trillions are invested more wisely.

Below is the definition of global warming found in one of my kid's "Science" books.

global warming
An increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere, especially a sustained increase great enough to cause changes in the global climate. The Earth has experienced numerous episodes of global warming through its history, and currently appears to be undergoing such warming. The present warming is generally attributed to an increase in the greenhouse effect , brought about by increased levels of greenhouse gases, largely due to the effects of human industry and agriculture. Expected long-term effects of current global warming are rising sea levels, flooding, melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, more frequent and stronger El Niños and La Niñas, drought, heat waves, and forest fires. See more at greenhouse effect.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

 While the definition begins in a benign fashion - nobody argues global warming / climate change isn't real or doesn't occur - the contention that the "present warming", which stopped 15 years ago, was "brought about by increased levels of greenhouse gases, largely due to the effects of human industry and agriculture" finds little support in the models created by the very scientists who penned the definition above. 

Science by consensus is bunk.  Science, by definition, requires skepticism.  Too little skepticism has been directed at the "science of global warming."  Friends and colleagues, whom I love dearly and respect greatly, have accused me of being a "science denier" because I remain skeptical of the basic claims of global warming.  But evidence is mounting that shows they, and not I, are the deniers.

The irony of their positions deepens more every day.  For years now, my friends and colleagues who contend global warming is real, and an existential threat to mankind, have labeled those who rightly question the "scientific consensus" as "science deniers" and "flat earthers".  When responding via social media, their vitriol boils even closer to the surface.  Ironically, those same individuals ignore the fact that there has been no warming in the last 15 years.  When winter wraps its cold hands around the elderly - as it has in the UK this winter - proponents of global warming blame.... well, global warming.  Faced with the reality that warming has stalled, proponents adopted the Orwellian tactic of renaming the phenomenon, "climate change".  How convenient.  After all, the climate on the earth never changes, right?  Additional irony rears its head in the research context.  Proponents of global warming routinely pillory skeptics as pawns of big oil and industry, while they themselves collect billions and billions in research grants.  They also conveniently ignore the spectacle of big oil, big business and big government snuggling together in the global warming solutions tent where tax payer dollars are doled out to big  oil and big business by big government to fund big green solutions to global warming.  The irony is so thick you can almost cut it with a knife.

Below is an excerpt from the article that triggered today's rant.

There is significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming. The mean global air temperature has not risen for the last fifteen years. At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980. Last December, snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at the highest level since record keeping began in 1966. The UK just experienced the coldest March of the last fifty years. There has been no increase in droughts or wildfires. Worldwide hurricane and cyclone activity is near a forty-year low.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Built industry Culture Mind Map




Below is a copy of a Mind Map I've been using to prompt conversations related to built culture and the effort to overcome and modify that culture in the context of BIM and IPD implementation efforts.  I wanted to share it with readers and encourage each of you to think about the top three influences you would list on the Mind Map branches that effect the listed cultural components.  

Also, feel free to hit me up with ideas related to other components of built industry culture that I may not have listed.  




Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
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Office 513-721-5672
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Cell 512-630-4446
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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Cities Rising




A new generation of great American Cities is rising across the country.  The article, excerpted and linked below, describes the process and explains why the incessant insistence on packing people like sardines in an urban core is unlikely to succeed.

Of course, none of this is new to real professionals in land planning like Rick Harrison at Rick Harrison Site Design.  Rick has had his finger on the pulse of these issues - and has been offering substantive sustainable solutions - for 30+ years!

The author, who argues economics are driving the rise of new cities like Houston, Raleigh-Durham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Phoenix, etc. etc., concludes as follows:
The critical reason for this [the rise of new cities] is likely to be missed by those who worship at the altar of density and contemporary planning dogma. These cities grow primarily because they do what cities were designed to do in the first place: help their residents achieve their aspirations—and that’s why they keep getting bigger and more consequential, in spite of the planners who keep ignoring or deploring their ascendance.
In short, economics matter.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
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Practical University




The article linked below provides food for thought to those contemplating a foray into the world of MOOCs.  Brooks concentrates on two types of knowledge, technical knowledge and practical knowledge and discusses the pros and cons of an online delivery mode.  In my experience, having delivered content online via webinars and in person via live workshops - and in my earlier life as an attorney having delivered written briefs, oral arguments and conducted trials - I am a firm believer in the personal connection in the learning process.  That said, the reality is the internet provides access to an amazing swath of technical knowledge and cannot be ignored.

How do we move forward from here? I think we experiment.  We try new delivery models, test them, validate them and modify them.  Or discard them if they don't work.  Regardless, we must continue to improve the efficiency with which we learn and we must continue to instill a culture of learning.  In the emerging economy change will be rapid and brutal on those who fail to respond well.

Here's the money quote for me and the link follows.

Nelson’s venture, Minerva, uses technology to double down on seminars. Minerva is a well-financed, audacious effort to use technological advances to create an elite university at a much lower cost. I don’t know if Minerva will work or not, but Nelson is surely right to focus on the marriage of technology and seminars. 
The problem with the current seminars is that it’s really hard to know what anybody gets out of them. The conversations might be lively, but they flow by so fast you feel as if you’re missing important points and exchanges. 
The goal should be to use technology to take a free-form seminar and turn it into a deliberate seminar (I’m borrowing Anders Ericsson’s definition of deliberate practice). Seminars could be recorded with video-cameras, and exchanges could be reviewed and analyzed to pick apart how a disagreement was handled and how a debate was conducted. Episodes in one seminar could be replayed for another. Students could be assessed, and their seminar skills could be tracked over 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
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Monday, April 8, 2013

In Memory of the Iron Lady




I always loved the exchanges between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her opponents.  Below is a particularly telling exchange in which, in part, she points out that liberals would rather see the poor poorer than see the gap between the rich and the poor expand. The key to expanding the economic pie is to bake more pies not to cut the same pie into ever smaller pieces!




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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Harvard Serves Fear Porridge Too?




Advocates of online distance learning for adults should track down a copy of the study linked below and incorporate ideas and techniques from the study that fit the learning profiles of adult participants in the online courses they offer. 


The article introducing the study states:

"A common barrier for students attending home-based virtual classes is a barrage of distractions including email, the Internet, text messages and television as well as disruptions caused by roommates and friends. 
Researchers believe the solution is to test students early and often.
By interspersing online lectures with short tests, student mind-wandering decreased by half, note-taking tripled, and overall retention of the material improved, according to psychologist Dr. Daniel Schacter, and Dr. Karl Szpunar, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology."

The foregoing model fits the format of Collaborative Construction's live workshops and our online webinars can be modified to accommodate these techniques as well.

Adult learners, especially those seeking to master new skills while working full time in demanding professions will likely face distractions similar to, or even more disruptive, than those described above.  Taking those realities into account and tailoring the delivery of online materials in format that defeats those distractions will lead to success.  Entities and individuals involved in the preparation and delivery of online learning modules should heed studies like these.

Interspersing tests with short lectures makes a lot of sense when you understand how the human mind adapts to change and learns new things.  One of the key elements in learning is a focused mind.  Minds that wander tend not to absorb and retain materials at the same rate as a focused mind.  The key is to instill just the right amount of "fear" in the students.  In Collaborative Construction / NoSilos.com world we refer to this as feeding participants their Fear Porridge.  The little edge of fear, not terror and not ignorance, leads to focused minds.



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















Middlesex University Launching BIM Management MSC Course




Middlesex University, with campuses in London, Dubai and Mauritius, is launching a BIM Management course geared towards built industry professionals engaged in the real life effort to deploy BIM in advance of the UK government's BIM mandate scheduled for 2016.  Designed for the busy professional, Middlesex developed a course with a blend of online and live workshop opportunities.  While intended primarily to prepare built industry professionals to deliver BIM in the UK, completion of the course would likely benefit built professionals anywhere on the globe.

The article linked below provides, in part:

Middlesex University’s BIM Management programme leader Dr Noha Saleeb said:   "The construction sector is a major part of the UK economy, representing some seven percent of GDP or £110bn per annum of expenditure, 40 percent of this being in the public sector, with central Government being the industry's biggest customer. Consequently the changes will have a significant impact, and with the changes coming into effect in 2016, practitioners will need to start thinking about this immediately.  Middlesex University has been quick to respond to these changes and has worked with the industry to ensure it addresses the needs of the sector in the most accessible way. 

“The objective is not just to address technical requirements of the 3D digital assets but to ensure efficiency of the whole technical, operational and strategic management of the BIM process for a project throughout its entire lifecycle, from briefing, design, through procurement and construction, into operational lifecycle and facilities management, all the way to restoration then demolition.”  


Middlesex gets it and is taking steps to delivery a high quality course to the industry.

Now if we can just get more owners to pay more attention to the need to modify the legal framework in which they operate to accommodate BIM and more integrated and collaborative procurement, delivery and operations models.

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