Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Are Integrated Procurement Programs the Real Keystone??

In the procurement world BIM enabled infrastructure requires support
in much the same way IPD requires support in the project delivery world.  
Procurement of BIM enabled infrastructure is actually more complex and 
more difficult to achieve than procurement of planning, design and
 construction services in an IPD environment

BIM, when deployed effectively, over time and across disciplines "Googlizes" information related to the facilities / projects / infrastructure created in a fully integrated BIM environment. Unfortunately, few owners demand, or even understand, the full potential of "Googlized BIM" and instead insert BIM requirements in traditional tenders / RFPS that lack clarity and fail to give planners, designers or constructors any real guidance. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International


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