At the sixth annual conference of the Project Management Institute College of Scheduling (PMICOS) in Boston last week, five activities emerged as the essential components to every successful building project in the not-too-distant future:
1) Project controls
2) Building Information Modeling (BIM)
3) Risk analysis
4) Lean construction
5) Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)
Convention participants sat through a number of sessions on these various topics and it is clear that while each component is important in its own right, collectively, these process tools span the interests and concerns of every member of the building team. When implemented in a shared environment, whether through informal team meetings or a signed IPD contract, the processes become valuable problem-solving tools that can lead to significant savings in project cost and time.
Clearly, the common element facilitating these processes is project data. Building Information
Modeling (BIM) is the platform of choice for development, sharing and maintenance of project data. From initial project design to final facilities management documentation and public safety support system information, the model provides the unifying structural entity to develop and store important project data.
Let’s take one simple example introduced by Dana (Deke) Smith of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). In his presentation about BIM, Smith told about how he participated in an unexpected fire drill at a conference he recently attended. The tenants left the building and were milling around outside waiting to return. After about 10 minutes, a fire department volunteer came out and asked if anyone knew where to find the fire control room!
In our building industry future, the fire control room will start out as an element of the building design, located in a place for emergency convenience (with input from the fire department’s requirements database). As design progresses, the fire control equipment will go through the specification and procurement cycle. After it is installed, its configuration, warranty and maintenance requirements will end up in the facilities maintenance database, and emergency personnel will be able to locate it on a hand-held GPS device, which hooks into a GIS system that has access to relevant data in the building’s BIM model.
Watch Construction Advisor Today in upcoming weeks to learn more about how the processes discussed at the PMICOS convention will be employed throughout the construction cycle, including initial budgeting and estimating, risk analysis and reduction, sustainability optimization, permitting, construction, commissioning and maintenance