Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rocket Engine From 3D Printer Launched Successfully




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

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


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

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




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

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

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

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

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

The answer was - and is - disturbing.  

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Monday, October 14, 2013

CIOB Contract Looking Good!




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

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

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

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
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3D Scanner + 3D Printer = Onsite Production




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

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


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
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A Cautionary Tale




Truth. It's the new hate speech.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


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As UK BIM Mandate Looms Advise Galore on BIM Adoption




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

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

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

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Our Knowledge Economy & The Internet of Things




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

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

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

The linked article notes:

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


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

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CIOB Contract for Complex Projects




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

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

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

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



Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Orwellian "Affordable Care Act" Not Actually Affordable




Can we please get the government out of the way?

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

***

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

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

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

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

"His lips are moving."

Worst. Political.  Class.  Ever.


Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

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


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


Collaborative Construction Website
No Silos Website















Thursday, October 3, 2013

US Overtakes Russia as #1 Producer of Oil & Gas in the World




The writing has been on the wall for a while, but now its official.  The US is now the number one producer of oil and gas in the world, knocking Russia off its perch.  This is great new for the US economy and, ultimately, economies all over the world that will benefit from access to cheap, clean natural gas.


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