Thursday, August 29, 2013

Smart Built Culture Series News




As mentioned in an earlier post I'll be working with Middlesex University out of London to create and deliver twelve (12) separate one and one half (1.5) hour webinars to graduate students enrolled in MDX's MSc BIM Management Course. I'll also be writing an instructor's manual and a student study guide for the course. Accordingly, I've decided to go ahead an write book based off the content created for MDX's MSc BIMMM course.

The book will be called "Smart Built Cultures: Fixing Our Broke Built Culture" and it will have approximately 30 chapters.  Below is a rough outline of the Table of Contents for the Book.

Simultaneously with the launch of the online presentations for MDX I intend to launch an online series called the Smart Built Cultures Series which will be modeled after the highly successful IPD Round Table Series offered by Collaborative Construction a few years ago.  The first twelve (12) events in the Series will parallel the first twelve (12) sessions of the MDX course and the first twelve (12) to thirteen (13) chapters in the book.  

The cost of creating all the content for the webinars and writing the book will be defrayed, in part, by selling individual tickets to the online Smart Built Series events and by recruiting Sponsors for the Series.  A separate post will be published over the weekend that outlines the scope, nature and benefits of the Smart Built Series.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  And let me know what you think about the outline / table of contents for the book as set forth below.


Smart Built Culture$
Fixing Our Broke Built Culture

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

(SMART)X Game Changers in the Built Environment
(BUILT)X Solutions for the Built Environment
(CULTURE$)X Impact on the Build Environment

Smart Game Changers

Smart Scalable Solutions for the Built Environment
Meaningful and Manageable Metrics that Matter in a Built Environment
Actionable, Accurate and Accountable: Ideas + Data + Leadership = Success
Relational, Repeatable and Reliable: Real Business Models in a Built Environment
Transformational Legal Frameworks that Support the Built Environment

Built Solutions

(BIM)X Googlizes Everything in a Knowledge based Built Environment
“Up the Stupid Tree” A Parable on Change in the Built Environment
Is Integrated (BIM)X the New Standard of Care in the Built Environment?
Lean Tools and Processes in the Built Environment
Technology Today and Tomorrow in the Built Environment

Culture's Impact

Communicating Clearly & Concisely in the Built Environment
Useful Governance Mechanisms in the Built Environment
Leveraging Lean Logistics in the Built Environment
Technology Today and Tomorrow in the Built Environment
Usurpers of Education in the Built Environment
Religion in the Built Environment: Theological, Environmental & Political
Energy and Fuel as Market Drivers in the Built Environment
$ As a Market Driver in the Built Environment

Concluding Thoughts

Definitions

References

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Collaborative Construction
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More Science Deniers in the Green Movement




The violent green advocates opposed to genetically modified foods have committed multiple acts of eco-terrorism over the years.  Violence seems to be the last refuge of the science deniers these days.  My question is why green advocates hate the children so?  Beginning with Rachel Carson's poorly researched and over-hyped "Silent Spring" in 1962 science deniers in the green movement have worked hard to deny modern advances to poor children all over the world.  How these people sleep at night, with the blood of millions on their hands, is beyond me.  Rachel Carson's crusade to ban DDT has resulted in the deaths of countless millions of children in the tropics from malaria.

Now Greenpeace has turned its attention to GMO foods, specifically vandalizing and destroying a crop of golden rice in the Philippines recently.  Of course, the lap dog media filed false reports, likely based off talking points handed to them by the handlers at Greenpeace.  Doesn't anyone commit real journalism anymore?

Did you hear that a group of 400 angry farmers attacked and destroyed a field trial of genetically modified rice in the Philippines this month? That, it turns out, was a lie. The crop was actually destroyed by a small number of activists while farmers who had been bussed in to attend the event looked on in dismay. 
The nature of the attack was widely misreported, from the New York Times to New Scientist to BBC News, based on false claims by the activists. But then anti-GMO activists often lie. In support of the vandals, Greenpeace has claimed that there are health concerns about the genetically modified rice. In fact there is no evidence of risk, and the destruction of this field trial could lead to needless deaths. 
The rice is genetically enhanced to produce the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene, giving it a golden color. This vital nutrient is missing from the diets of millions of rice-dependent people in poor countries, where vitamin A deficiency leads to preventable blindness and death on a massive scale. 


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Collaborative Construction
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Smart Built Culture: Fixing Our Broke Built Culture




This post will cover several issues related to exciting developments at Collaborative Construction.

First, I'm pleased to announce Collaborative Construction has entered into an agreement with Middlesex University out of London to deliver a substantial portion of the online course work for the University's new MSc Building Information Modeling Management course.  The course if open to built industry professionals located anywhere in the  world.  The introductory link above states, in part:

The course is specifically aimed at experienced professionals who will be expected to manage BIM projects. These will include people from the following sectors: architects, architectural technologists, construction and civil engineers, mechanical, electrical and plumbing services (MEP) engineers, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) engineers, contractors, subcontractors, fabricators and manufacturers, project managers (PM), facilities managers (FM).

Again, visit the MDX Engineering department's website for more information.  Readers around the world are encouraged to sign up for the course.  Those delivering built industry services to the UK government will be especially well served by this course.

Next, I've begun work on a book for built industry professionals titled, "Smart Built Culture:  Fixing Our Broke Culture".  In the next few weeks a Kickstarter Project will be launched via which the cost of writing and publishing the book will be defrayed.

Third, Collaborative Construction will be launching another web based series of webinars in October.  The Smart Built Culture Series will run parallel to the table of contents found in the book mentioned above. The series will provide built industry professionals and firms with an extraordinarily robust online learning opportunity at a very low cost.  Firms interested in sponsoring the series should reach out the James L. Salmon for more details.

Finally, Collaborative Construction will offer a series of live collaborative workshops that build on the Smart Built Culture theme while leveraging BIM and IPD oriented workshop materials and techniques.  Workshops are planned in Canada, Ireland, Germany and throughout the US.  Built industry stakeholders are encouraged to reach out to like minded professionals and firms in your region, build a coalition and share the cost of a live workshop focused on developing a Smart Built Culture, deploying BIM in an IPD environment and establishing a legal framework to support those component parts in your region.

Keep an eye on the blog over the next few weeks as these initiatives role out.

And as always, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Distributive Manufacturing and 3D Printing




As the knowledge economy takes hold we will see more use of 3D Printers in the emerging distributive manufacturing movement.  There's a company in Lexington, Kentucky selling chairs and other furniture under the distributive manufacturing model.  The article linked below provides more insight.



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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Re-Thinking the Compensation Model in Construction




BIM implementation is hard.  IPD is hard.  But implementing BIM effectively, after the contract horse has left the barn, is really really hard.  But that happens all the time. 

 Client's call, wanting help setting up a collaborative or integrated agreement among key stakeholders for implementing BIM on a traditional hard bid project where they have all already signed a series of traditional legal instruments.  And the unfortunate reality is those legal instruments control when, where and how everyone on the team will get paid.  And any obligations incurred by team members via the Collaborative BIM Implementation agreement are, too often, disregarded by those stakeholders because, "I'm not getting paid to do that."

Accordingly, at Collaborative Construction, we try to create new compensation models that incentivize the kind of behavior we want to see more of and deter the kind of behaviors we don't want more of on the project.  The article linked below delves, briefly, into the concept of new forms of economic incentives.  We are exploring similar incentives for use in the built industry.


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Collaborative Construction
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Is BIM the New Standard of Care?




It is in my world.  I've been litigation failed construction projects of every stripe for almost 20 years now and there's not a single case I've been involved in that wouldn't have benefited from one BIM tool or another.  Whether the debate is over the quality of the 2D drawings, scheduling, a failed component part or a dispute over change orders there's no disputes in the built industry that couldn't be resolved more quickly and at less cost by parties with access to critical BIM data.

Designers need to know BIM is the new standard of care for them, but owners, contractors, suppliers, detailers and other stakeholders in the industry must come to grips with BIM as the new standard of care relative to their work and interests as well.

The key to widespread BIM adoption though is educating lenders, insurers, sureties and owners of large portfolios of facilities and supporting infrastructure as to its importance.  Once these key stakeholders recognized the value of BIM adoption will really take off.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quantum Computing Takes A Leap Forward




Will be be teleporting soon?  No likely.  But our computers are about to get a whole lot faster!

Researchers from Zurick, working out of a lab in Tokyo successfully and reliably teleported information between quantum bits.

I've always said the revolution is upon us, but this shows Start Trek may not be that far away either.

Readers who are computer geeks will want to read the whole article linked below.  Those with less advanced computer skills can chill while studying the ant standing on the quantum circuit board!


A quantum teleportation circuit, with an ant for scale.



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Collaborative Construction
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NYC RUG Meeting Prezi by Phil Bernstein




Phil Bernstein presented recently at the NYC Revit Users Group meeting and covered a wide range of topics.  He tied advances in the cloud, social media and mobile devices together with representation of analysis, collaboration and realization of goals vis a vi the data that flows through a BIM.  Good stuff as usual.  Below is a link to the recorded Preze for those interested.



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Nuclear Ready to Compete with Natural Gas?




The article linked below details plans by General Atomics to launch a new nuclear power plant supposedly capable of lowering electricity costs by 40% and reducing nuclear waste by 80%.  Good luck to them. The more low cost energy we have the more competitive our modernized buildings, manufacturing facilities and power plans the better.
A novel type of reactor could cut the cost of nuclear power by as much as 40 percent, making it far more competitive with fossil-fuel power plants. Designed by General Atomics, a San Diego–based company, the reactor could also be safer than existing reactors and reduce nuclear waste by 80 percent.



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Collaborative Construction
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Editorial Board of USA Today Catches Up with Meade




Looks as if the editorial board of the USA Today is catching up with Professor Meade's analysis of the US energy boom.  The article excerpted and linked below repeats much of what Professor Meade has had to say about energy policy and the benefits to the US of new discoveries / advances in the oil and gas sector.  The editorial does comment on Mexico's decision to open its long nationalized and inefficient oil and gas operations to private investment.  That should result in increased efficiency and production in Mexico, which will only enhance North America's position as a significant new player on the world energy stage.

It would be extraordinarily beneficial to the Mexican economy - and would relieve some immigration related pressures in the US - if the oil and gas industry in Mexico experiences an explosion in production similar to the oil and gas driven booms in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and South Texas. 

The global energy landscape is changing at a stunning pace. North America is close to energy independence, which once seemed unattainable. Better yet, the U.S., long dependent on supplies from potentially hostile nations, will attain self-sufficiency in 20 years, according to a study by BP.
There are many lessons from all this. The first, and most obvious, is never to assume that the status quo is a permanent state. If oil-rich countries in the Persian Gulf are not viewing these developments with alarm, they are delusional. And if manufacturers in Asia and elsewhere don't see how cheap energy will fuel industrial growth here, they should. After years of decline, it's already happening — another big surprise.
A second conclusion is that free enterprise has a way of solving problems that is beyond the capabilities of government. The surge in domestic oil and gas production — spurred on by such new techniques as hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking") did not come about as the result of government energy polices, but largely in spite of them. And Mexico's recent shift is an acknowledgment that public ownership of the oil industry does little but stifle growth and deny government much needed revenues.

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Collaborative Construction
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Blurred Lines Parody of San Diego Mayor Filner




Thought readers might enjoy a little comic relief.  Below is a clever parody of the pop song Blurred Lines aimed at the creepy groping Mayor of San Diego.



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More Human Tissue from 3D Printers




Regular readers know I follow advances in 3D printing closely.  The article linked below explores the prospects of using a 3d style printer on the end of a robotic arm to "print" new cartilage during surgery to replace worn / torn cartilage.  Recent advances are exciting and hope the current generation can benefit from those advances as they age.  Really interesting stuff coming!

Just as 3-D printers have gained in popularity among hobbyists and companies who use them to create everyday objects, prototypes and spare parts (and even a crude gun), there has been a rise in interest in using similar technology in medicine. Instead of the plastics or powders used in conventional 3-D printers to build an object layer by layer, so-called bioprinters print cells, usually in a liquid or gel. The goal isn’t to create a widget or a toy, but to assemble living tissue. 
At labs around the world, researchers have been experimenting with bioprinting, first just to see whether it was possible to push cells through a printhead without killing them (in most cases it is), and then trying to make cartilage, bone, skin, blood vessels, small bits of liver and other tissues. There are other ways to try to “engineer” tissue — one involves creating a scaffold out of plastics or other materials and adding cells to it. In theory, at least, a bioprinter has advantages in that it can control the placement of cells and other components to mimic natural structures.

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Collaborative Construction
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Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean




One more post on geo-political issues.  The article excerpted and linked below discusses, in some detail, the value to the US - and by extension Europe - of a strong relationship with Cyprus, Greece and Israel in light of recent natural gas discoveries in the region.

Professor Meade notes:

A new order is emerging as a result of three major events: the redrawing of the region’s hydrocarbon map, with the discovery of substantial hydrocarbon deposits in the Cypriot and Israeli exclusive economic zones; Turkey’s adoption of a hostile neo-Ottoman ideology to guide it in the 21st century; and the “Arab Spring.” At the mid-point of this political shift, Greece and Cyprus — coordinating with Israel — have remained the principal states in the region that are friendly to the West. When volatility and fear are on the rise, predictability becomes especially prized. 
The roles of Greece and Cyprus in the West’s political and security framework offer U.S. policy makers an arc of stability in the eastern Mediterranean, and bring the EU to within 45 minutes of Israel’s borders. Port usage, naval facilities, and strategic airbases that Cyprus and Greece have long extended to the United States permit a U.S. Sixth Fleet — if the U.S. should decide to return that once-powerful naval force to even a fraction of its former strength — to safeguard the region’s sea lines of communication. The region’s increasing volatility has elevated the strategic roles of Greece and Cyprus, and offers an incentive for American statesmen to promote a new order that establishes stronger relations with both countries and bolsters their regional standing.

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Collaborative Construction
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US Drinking Its Own Whiskey... Again




My dad used a lot of Cowboy Logic to explain things.  One of his favorites:  "Don't get drunk on you own whiskey."  Sadly, that's something we do quite a bit as Americans.  The success - or failure - of US foreign policy around the world will have a profound impact on the built industry as peace and stability lead to investment in facilities and infrastructure while war and economic uncertain destroy facilities and infrastructure.  Thus, it behooves us, as forward thinking advocates of innovation in the built industry to pay attention to the geo-political reality around us. 

The turmoil in the Middle East - especially in Iraq, Syria and Egypt - provide a sad and brutal reminder that US foreign policy "experts" tend to drink a lot of their own whiskey.  My heart goes out to the victims of the violence in those countries, but democracy is no panacea and too often tyrannical majorities ignore the rights of the minorities.  Minorities fight back and violence ensues.  A Constitutional Republic, with appropriate checks and balances,  provides some protection to minorities, but only in societies where the rule of law controls and key stakeholders in society agree to transfer power peacefully.  Sadly, that is not the state of affairs in the Middle East at the moment.

The article by Professor Meade quoted and linked below provides additional insights.  The list of US politicians who succumbed to the conceit that US style democracy and capitalism would transform other societies struck a chord with me and prompted this post.  While the article is particularly critical of President Obama's failed "Smart Diplomacy" policy in the Middle East he touches on the historical nature of the conceit that causes us, as Americans, to think we've got all the answers and that new day will dawn where ever we sprinkle the fairy dust of democracy.

As Professor Meade says:
Unfortunately, much of our political and policy class, both on the left and the right, shares an unfounded confidence that liberal capitalism is going to triumph tomorrow. They are the secular, liberal counterparts of Christian fundamentalists waiting for the Rapture, a near-magical translation to a better world. This is what most American policy makers believed about Russia in the heady years after the Soviet collapse. President George W. Bush bet the ranch on the imminent democratization of the Middle East. So did President Obama. 
This is not a new mistake. Thomas Jefferson was sure that the French Revolution heralded the dawn of democracy in 18th century Europe. Henry Clay thought the Latin American revolutions against Spain would create stable democracies across South America. Many Americans thought the 1848 revolutions in Europe would establish true freedom in the Old World. Many Americans thought that Sun Yat Sen’s revolution in China would establish democracy there back in 1911. Alexander Kerensky’s Russia was hailed as an ‘emerging democracy’ in 1917. Woodrow Wilson thought he could kill history with Fourteen Points and a League. It was a thought crime among liberal and progressive people to doubt that Africa would race ahead to democratic capitalism in the 1950s and 1960s as colonialism ended. 
We are not always wrong. Germany, Japan and, in its own eccentric way, Italy all became liberal capitalist states after World War Two. Most of the Warsaw Pact countries signed up to the program in the 1990s. Much of East Asia has been moving in a liberal direction as its prosperity has grown. Mexico, Chile and Brazil, among other Latin states, are looking more like Henry Clay once hoped they would.

Evil triumphs when good men stand down.  Don't stand down.



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Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sony's New Wireless Lens




Sony's new wireless lens attaches to  mobile devices - like cell phones, iPads etc. - and converts those devices into high end cameras.  I cans see advanced tools like these used to document field conditions - aka as builts - and to instantly share that data with other integrated team members around the world.  Insurance investigators, sports writers and anyone looking for high quality photos in the field will likely find these lenses useful.  

The advancing symbiotic relationship between the web and technical devices that connect you to the web continues apace.  Welcome to the revolutions my friends!

Wireless Lens Turns Phones Into Powerful Cameras 


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Collaborative Construction
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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

3D Printing Bionic Ears?




The story quoted and linked below sounds like a pre-qual to the Terminator series!

To build the bionic organ, the printer is guided by a computer model of an ear to which the team added the model of an internal electrode coil. Layer by layer, the machine alternates among three “inks”: a mix of bovine cartilage-forming cells suspended in a thick goo of hydrogel; silicone, to encase the cochlea-shaped electrodes; and a suspension of silver nanoparticles. The silver nanoparticles are packed tightly so that the cochlea-shaped electrode can conduct electricity. “It acts as a metal, but because they are nanoparticles, you can print them in a way that you couldn’t normally print a metal,” McAlpine says. 
Printing takes about four hours. Then the ear is bathed in a nutrient-rich broth so that the cells can grow, produce collagen and other molecules, and replace their original surroundings with cartilage. 
With its fully embedded coil, the bionic ear can detect and transmit radio signals—but not sound waves. McAlpine says that functionality could be added to future models by integrating piezoelectric materials, which convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. One day these devices could help a person hear through the same mechanism used to connect cochlear implants, or perhaps provide a sixth sense of electromagnetic reception.


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Collaborative Construction
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Is inefficiency a feature and not a bug?




Sadly, in too many circumstances it is.  Inefficiency, which ought to be the bane of good government and best practices in every sector of the economy, is, too often a feature and not a bug in the system.  By that I mean that many stakeholders in the economy depend on inefficiency to deliver a paycheck week after week.  This sad reality manifests itself far to often in the built industry, but is not, of course, limited to that industry.

In a recent LinkedIn discussion I had the following to say relative to inefficiency manifested in a VA project.  Feel free to call if your organization is struggling with these issues.

Again, I must raise the uncomfortable question, "Is the waste and inefficiency - not to mention the graft and corruption it obscures - a bug or a feature in the system?" Sadly, I've concluded waste and inefficiency to be a feature and not a bug. 

While there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dedicated government employees working everyday to do the right thing we continue down the same path, again and again. And the politics of those involved matter little. The graft and corruption continues, regardless of which political party is in charge. And again, that's because money and power lie in Washington, D.C. and that's where people who seek money and power go to to acquire it. Kind of like Willie Sutton robbing banks because that's where the money was. 

Set aside the issues related to waste and inefficiency in government and just focus on the built industry. Are there too many people making too much money off of waste and inefficiency in the built industry? In my experience the answer is yes. We can beat up on the VA and other government agencies for following the path they are on, but there's still plenty to be done in private sector. After all, if we had the system down cold it wouldn't be such a hard sell. 

So I'll circle back around to my legal framework hobby horse. If we want to change the culture of the built industry crafting, negotiating and implementing a new and improved legal framework is a good place to start. A legal framework that actually supports and encourages the behaviors we want more of and thwarts and discourages the behaviors we don't want more of seems like a reasonable goal. And deploying that legal framework on a small scale first, in the private sector as a proof of concept, might provide a useful road map to those seeking a better path in the public sector.

Again, interested parties should call.

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Automation: Are You Ready?




My liberal friends express horror when I reject calls for an increase in the minimum wage.  But raising the minimum wage is just an attempt, by politicians, to buy votes while throwing a monkey wrench in the economy.  And whether by design or not - personally I view the failure of most government programs as a feature and not a bug - the flying monkey wrenches cause more harm the folks the policy was intended to help more than anyone else.

When Collaborative Construction conducts an IPD workshop the compensation model plays a critical role.  Incentives that support, enable and encourage collaborative, cooperative and integrated problem solving work well in an IPD environment.  Incentives that support, enable and encourage fragmentation, adversarial behavior and paranoid responses and attitudes among team members don't.  These same principles apply in the broader economy.

Minimum wages disconnect laborers from the value stream.  And the addition of value, as defined by your enterprise, is really the goal towards which all team members should be striving.  If certain stakeholders in an organization or an a project routinely fail to deliver value the compensation of those stakeholders will decrease and, if they routinely cost the organization more than they deliver in value their role may be eliminated.

Which brings me to the silly demands by fast food workers that they be paid a minimum of $15.00 per hour, be given 40 hour workweeks, or as some demand, 30 hour workweeks with full benefits. This is madness.  But the madness in the fast food industry may subside soon if the Alpha Robot manufactured by Momentum Machines our of San Francisco, California takes off.

The Alpha Robot makes 360 hamburgers per hour.  It makes them to order when ordered and cooks, creates, wraps and delivers the burger to the customer.  No cook required.  No wait staff required.  No cashier required.  

The unions clinging to the broken blue model are doing their members and the rest of the working class a huge disservice.  The unions need to return to their roots and help industry train skilled workers to deliver skilled workers through flexible and adaptable training programs and apprentice programs.  The Alpha Robot will need to be serviced, repaired and maintained.

Let's get on with the task of launching the knowledge economy.  The faster we abandon the failed prop up policies of the last century the better.  Lance the boil, caurterize the wound and let's get back to work!



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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Collaborative Construction
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

3D Printers Used to Print Mummies - Auto Play Video




3D Printers are being used by researchers to print the skeletons of Mummies from the ancient world.  Great stuff.

Edited:  The video was playing automatically when you came to the page so I took it down.  You can follow the link below, but it runs automatically there too.

3D Printer Prints Mummies

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















Great IPD Article from Boiled Architecture




Oscia Wilson, a California based architect I've known for several years and the founder of Boiled Architecture, joined forces with Lisa Dal Gallo, a partner at Hanson Bridgett, LLP to write a nice blog post on Boiled Architecture's blog.  The article, linked below, does a great job of explaining to owners why they should insist on a more integrated and collaborative delivery model.  The article reinforces my mantra of a the need for a new legal framework that supports and enables BIM and IPD.  The article, which explains the image below, is well worth your time.

Design Build continuum



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















TransCanada Plans $1.5 Billion Pipeline to Prince Rupert




Wait a minute!  Why is Canada building pipeline to Prince Rupert?  I thought the XL Pipeline was supposed to bring all that oil & gas to refineries in the US? 

Oh, that's right we've spent the past 6 years cock blocking that effort and telling the Canadians to pound sand.  Looks like they'll have the last laugh.

Below is a map reflecting TransCanada's existing pipelines.  The new pipeline will run roughly parallel to the word Westcoast in blue on the map below.


The article linked below states, in part:
Progress Energy, a subsidiary of Malaysian energy giant Petronas, has signed up to ship two billion cubic feet per day on the North Montney Mainline. TransCanada says it’s also in talks with other potential customers. 
Progress is planning to build a liquefied natural gas terminal near Prince Rupert so the resource can be exported to lucrative Asian markets. 
Anybody else surprised that an Asian energy giant signed deal to stick a straw in the oil sands of northwest Canada?  Oh the humanity of low energy costs!  Where's a herd of Unicorns when you need them?

 
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















To Frack or Not to Frack... The Question in the UK




Turns out the UK is sitting on a nice supply of clean natural gas that's locked in tight shale formations. I wonder if there might be a way to get all that gas out of the ground and use it as a cheap clean source of energy so old people there don't freeze to death?  

Alternatively, the Brits could wait for Al Gore to bring a herd of Unicorns to the country and the Brits could heat their homes with energy produced by burning Unicorn farts.  

I suspect the landed in gentry in the UK will preserve the landscape for fox hunting and wait for Al Gore to bring that herd of Unicorns rather than take steps to extract all that cheap clean energy from the ground, as that would require assistance from the evil and dirty oil & gas industry.  

Professor Mead provides a slightly less sarcastic analysis.


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, August 7, 2013

Nanotech Update - Nano Sized Gold Particles Bar then Enable Clotting




The article linked below describes the use of lasers to excite nano size gold particles attached to certain DNA makers in a patient's blood that cause the gold particles to release.  When released the DNA in the patient's blood flips the switch that enables blood to clot.  Surgeons are excited by the prospect of flipping that switch during and immediately after surgery.

I'm excited about similar uses of analogous nanotechnology in the built industry for an array of applications.  Pretty cool stuff coming down the pike.


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















Legal Implications of BIM - CITA Presentation in Ireland




I presented last year at CITA's BIM Workshop Series.  Below is a YouTube presentation that you may find of interest.

 

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















Does BIM Implementation Increase Project Success?




Well ... it depends.  Don't you just love lawyers!

Seriously though, the question is important and there are number of entities, including CIFE out of Stanford University, the folks at Penn State University who author the Owners' Guide to BIM Implementation, Georgia Tech, the AIA and the AGC and any number of private sector designers and general contractors who have collected data on the issue.  As the academics chew over the data and produce papers analyzing the results I'll say the answer to the question is a "Qualified Yes."

The comments below, which I posted on a LinkedIn BIM Experts Group discussion support that answer.

Implementing BIM without a supportive legal framework is very very hard.  Implementing BIM with a supportive legal framework is just hard.  A successful BIM Implementation program increases project success, but a rocky BIM Implementation effort can negatively impact project success.  Regardless, you need a supportive legal framework. 
I continue to remind clients, conference attendees and anyone that listens of the need to build a solid foundation that supports the project delivery model selected by the owner.  Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, CM @ Risk, Integrated Project Delivery, Public Private Partnership, Design-Bdi-Build-Own, Job Order Costing etc. etc. all need a sold foundation that includes a solid virtual planning and design component, a supportive legal framework and innovative lean logistics and delivery options during construction. 

In my experience IPD, PPP and JOC are delivery models that get more out of BIM than the others, but none of it works well if you execute off the shelf crappy legal instruments and forego the use of collaborative workshops as the forum in which an integrated legal framework is negotiated.
Call if you have any questions.

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, August 6, 2013

Concrete that Eats Smog!




An advanced concrete containing a white pigment made of titanium dioxide eats smog.  Literally.  The titanium dioxide attracts nitrogen oxides.  Then, when subjected to sunlight, the nitrogen oxides are converted into nitric acids.  The nitric acids react with calcium carbonate, locking the nitrogen oxide gases away as calcium nitrate. Water and carbon dioxide are then released.  If we can get past our fixation on carbon dioxide - commonly known as plant food, but deemed a poisonous gas by the EPA  - we might be able to refocus on the elimination of REAL pollution.


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















Federal Procurement Meets a DC9 Cat!




One more post to share.  These are coming from a lively conversation in the BIM Expert group forum on LinkedIn related to a VA Project.  If you are not a member join and chime in!

Existing federal procurement laws and regulations - and state procurement laws for that matter - are antithetical to BIM and IPD. But leaders tasked with reducing their agency's carbon footprint / energy consumption / costs realize virtual planning and design tools are critical to that mission. Thus, they mandate BIM. But because BIM is 80% social and 20% technical the 80% part, which requires a collaborative, cooperative and integrated culture for success, is deployed in a built industry where the culture is fragmented, adversarial and paranoid. How's that working out? 

Our fragmented, adversarial and paranoid culture is a product of an antiquated legal framework that encourages fragmentation of teams, adversarial behavior and paranoid reactions. To change that culture we need, among other things, a legal framework that supports and enables a new culture, one that is collaborative, cooperative and integrated. 

The existing brier patch of federal laws and regulations serve as an effective barrier to the 80% of BIM that is social and to IPD. There are rabbit trails through the brier patch that lead to open meadows where BIM and IPD flowers bloom, but other rabbit trails lead to failed projects and litigation. As Dianne [Davis] notes, many federal agencies are working hard to follow the rabbit trails through the labyrinth, but success is both hard won and fleeting. 

The better approach, in my opinion, is for agency leaders to fire up a DC9 Cat and cut a path through the brier patch that clearly leads to BIM, IPD and JOC. Then mark the path via new generation RFPs and RFQs that call for bids from integrated teams capable of delivering BIM in an IPD / JOC environment. And tell the lawyers, lobbyists and others who make their money guiding people through the rabbit trails to pound sand. Not likely to happen but if anyone wants help firing that DC9 Cat up just call!

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 Broken Procurement System




I wanted to share the following comment with readers of the blog.

Most public procurement programs mandate a low bid / tender process. Procurement officers in the public sector believe, with all their hearts, that low bid means best price. Experience teaches that is not true. But experience also teaches something about doing things the same way again and again and expecting a different result.

Governmental entities, in pursuit of a green agenda, realize old school planning and design cannot deliver green facilities. Owners used to want better facilities and infrastructure faster and cheaper. Experienced built industry professionals - including sophisticated owner's reps - know you can only get two of the three at a time. Now owners, especially federal agencies, want green too. So they want greener, better facilities and infrastructure faster and cheaper. Having demanded something only a handful of professionals in the built industry can deliver - sustainable green facilities and infrastructure delivered faster and a at a lower price than ever before - these entities craft RFPS and RFQs that call for low bids! It's madness.

A new legal framework is needed. One that supports, enables and encourages a collaborative, cooperative and integrated culture in the built industry. Existing legal frameworks, and the legal agreements executed within those legal frameworks, pit built industry stakeholders against one another at every phase the infrastructure and or facility's life cycle. The existing legal framework prompts a constant game of "prisoner's dilemma" among those stakeholders, poisoning the well early and sowing seeds of distrust on a cross disciplinary basis.

You get more of what you reward. And the current legal framework supports, enables and encourages fragmentation of teams, adversarial behavior and paranoid reactions. If, instead, you want a collaborative, cooperative and integrated built culture that supports and enables innovative technologies - like BIM - on the one hand and innovative business processes - like IPD - on the other, you should craft, negotiate, execute and implement integrated legal agreements that REWARD collaborative, cooperative and integrated behaviors.

Everybody laments the fact that there's no trust among built industry stakeholders. Well why would there be? The legal framework within which we plan, procure, design, construct, operate and maintain facilities and infrastructure promotes and REWARDS behaviors antithetical to the building of trust. That impairs our ability to effectively adopt BIM and to deploy BIM in an IPD environment. Built culture is badly broken. Until we fix it, and rip the existing festering legal framework out by its rotten roots it will remain broken. As I said before, all the BIM Pixie Dust and IPD Unicorn Farts in the world won't fix STUPID.

Teams that want to do it better can. Even in the public sector. But the TEAM has to want BIM and IPD and the owner, especially has to WANT it. Currently, too many owners are mindlessly treating the symptoms of failure and not looking to the root causes of repeated failure.

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















COBie Implementation Plans




COBie, which stands for  Construction Operations Building information exchange.  A buildingSMARTalliance project, it is an open source standard that seeks to define information gathered during a construction project and to fix a format in which that information can be delivered / exchanged.  As more and more owners demand BIM more and more owners want information about the building delivered in a format that is compatible with the owner's FM System.  Sometimes, owners demand such data even though a particular FM System has not yet been selected.  COBie is often viewed by owners as a useful mechanism whereby such data can be gathered and delivered.

As with most BIM and IPD related tools and processes, COBie works a lot better when an integrated cross disciplinary team comes together in advance to formulate a coherent implementation plan relative to the delivery of COBie data to the owner.  If you are working with an owner that is demanding COBie as a deliverable your team needs to make sure a COBie Implmentation Plan is built int your BIM Implementation Plan.

Collaborative Construction helps clients craft, negotiate and implement legal agreements that support and enable  BIM & IPD as well as specific deliverables like COBie.

For a more detailed look at  COBie and the challenges your team is likely to encounter in delivering COBie to an owner check out Antony McPhee's exellent post on the topic on the Practical BIM Blog titled to COBie or not to COBie

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, August 5, 2013

Concrete Workshops & Garages




A small company out of the UK, L&M Concrete Garages, is selling prefabricated concrete garages and workshops.  Given the growing versatility of concrete this is not surprising.  

I've written about inflatable concrete sheltersconcrete walls with embedded LED screensconcrete pours modeled in Tekla3D printers that print concrete, and other innovative uses. Building concrete garages and workshops makes sense too.

Below is a blurb pitching the product.

Why You Should Invest in a Concrete Workspace

A good garage can be so much more than a storage space and parking space. It has the potential to be the perfect concrete workshop. Owners of concrete garages enjoy many benefits.

They Last Forever

It takes an incredible amount of force to damage concrete. As long as the entire structure, and not just the floor, has been constructed from concrete, the garage can be used as shelter during bouts of severe weather. Wind, rain, and hail won't cause any harm whatsoever. Even the damage caused by falling trees will be minimal. Not only can the structure withstand anything mother nature throws at it, but any tools, vehicles, and projects stored inside will also remain safe.

Keep Stored Tools and Projects Dry

Structures made out of anything other than concrete will be prone to leaks, especially at the corners and seams. Moisture that seeps through these spaces can ruin any items it comes into contact with. The damp area provides the perfect breeding conditions for molds and mildews which can cause people who use the space to develop respiratory problems. Often the leak will be so small that the owner doesn't realize it exists until it's too late. Concrete garages resist moisture and don't have the weak points structures constructed from other materials are prone to.

Easy Maintenance

Most building materials don't last very long. Owners have to handle several maintenance problems a year to keep the structure sound and looking good. Maintenance on concrete garages is practically non-existent. If the building gets dirty, the owner can use a power washer to clean it. If mold starts to grow on the outside wall, a steel brush will remove the mold, and keeping that area dry decreases the chances of it growing again. The lack of maintenance gives the owner more time they can devote to working on their favorite projects.

They Don't Disturb the Neighbors

These days, people find themselves living closer and closer to their neighbours. If a property owner wants to work on something that involves the use of noisy power equipment and they also want to maintain good relationship with their neighbours, they will be limited to working during the middle of the day. The thickness of the concrete muffles sound, making it possible to work through the night. A layer of insulation further reduces sound.

They Look Great

Most people think a building made out of concrete will look ugly, but that's not the case at all. When it comes to concrete buildings, builders have a wide selection of design choices. Once the concrete workshop has been built, the owner can use paint and landscaping to dress up the building. In no time at all, the new garage will be a beautiful and practical.

Having a concrete garage that can be used as a workspace, storage unit and parking spot means that more of the property's space can be utilized. Owners who have made the decision to have a concrete garage built on their property find it to be a very sound investment.

Readers interested in learning more should visit L&M Garages Website.

As advances in materials science related to concrete continue the products offered by L&M and similar companies is likely to become even more versatile.  For example, I've covered, Concrete that Repairs Itself,  Secrets of Roman's Waterproof Concrete, Concrete that Heals as it Bakes in the Sun, and many other concrete related advances in material sciences in similar posts.

To scroll through all the posts on Concrete on the Collaborative Construction blog just follow the link below:




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