MDC Advisor
Nov/Dec 2014
Volume 53
In This Issue
-- Building Information Modeling - Boon or Bane?

--  2014 ABA Forum on the Construction Industry,
Chicago, IL

-- 2015 ABA Construction Forum, Midwinter Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ


Current Events

2015 ABA Construction Forum, Midwinter Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ
My favorite Mistakes: What Doesn't Bankrupt You Makes You Stronger
Join MDC on Jan 29-30
More Info

2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference, Chicago, IL 
"Big Projects, Big Picture and Big Impact"
Join MDC® on Jan. 24-28
More Info

2014 Philly Leadership Exchange, Boston, MA
"Lessons Learned" exchange between these metro areas 
MDC® attended October 5-8
More Info

ABA Construction Forum, Chicago, IL
Bulldozers, Cranes & Claims: Challenges of Rebuilding the Construction Industry
MDC® attended Oct. 16-17
More Info

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Building Information Modeling - Boon or Bane?
By E. Mitchell Swann, PE, MDCSystems® Consulting Engineer

MDCSystems® has recently become aware of a number of large projects exhibiting major problems despite the ‘spectacular’ abilities of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other project technologies. Some of these projects have been highlighted in recent industry publications and legal filings.  These issues often fall into several common areas which are summarized below.

•  Implementation of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology
•  Development of the base BIM model
•  Failure to maintain the BIM model as work progresses
•  The “irrational exuberance” of ‘computer-world’ accuracy (aka “false precision”)
•  Insufficient data development (thin content or ‘dumb light’ models)
•  Real to virtual drift - failure to as-built the model (reduces the effectiveness of the BIM model for life cycle asset management) 

Any of the above cited areas can result in unexpected (and under budgeted) changes in the project resulting in a cascade of further uncoordinated changes in the field impacting construction efficiency, time and quality and ultimately cost in both “bricks and mortar” and operations (and sometimes hair or sleep).

MDC®’s experience with both Building Information Modeling (BIM) and “enhanced CAD” technologies is that just putting a new tool in the design-construct process toolbox is not enough. The mere existence of this new ‘tool’ does not change the basic requirement to perform a comprehensive conceptual design, coordinate the design elements prior to issuing IFC* drawings, review and input specific equipment selections and promptly recognize and process design developments and change orders that are part of every undertaking. These are all basic PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) project management tasks that must always be performed but are not necessarily visible to the casual observer.

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MDCSystems® Attended the October ABA Forum on Construction Industry, Chicago, IL
Bulldozers, Cranes & Claims: Challenges of Rebuilding the Construction Industry 

Last month, MDCSystems® joined prominent colleagues at the ABA Forum on the Construction Industry’s Fall Meeting in Chicago, IL. The two day program featured sessions on overcoming challenges in rebuilding the construction industry.  

The interesting and informative plenaries helped us learn about reading cues during deposition or testimony to spot a liar, taught us how to navigate the challenges of teaming arrangements, and gave us new insight and appreciation for disaster response and project recovery.  These sessions, along with some deep dish pizza and authentic blues entertainment, provided for a memorable meeting in the windy city.

We appreciate everyone taking the time to get to know us by coming to our booth. Special congratulations to Lorence Slutzky, an attorney with Robbins Schwartz in Chicago, who won MDC's conference give away. Apparently Lorence's grandchildren are enjoying the Farnsworth House LEGO set. We hope to see you again in January at the ABA Construction Forum Mid-Winter meeting in Scottsdale, AZ.
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