Good friend, John Russo, the founder of Architectural Resource Consultants and USIBD commented on Part 1 of the Technology Manifesto noting that the Built Environment is different from the music or automotive industry in that each project is essentially one of a kind.
There is truth in that, but there are also a number of building types that change very little, such as “big box” stores and in general if more building components were standardized there could be a lot more efficiency in design, construction and maintenance. Even the truly unique buildings could make use of standard components if they were more commonly available.
The two workhorses of the old school AEC industries – CAD and GIS are beginning to take a leadership role as they replace their 2D legacy code bases with apps that support BIM, 3D cities, IoT, Big Data and more. At the same time what used to be a barrier to entry is now providing opportunity for many Built Environment start-ups who can start from scratch with 3D databases and functionality.
In the GIS world there is a de facto set of standards as a result of the monopoly that Esri has established in this marketplace. It would be interesting to try to determine the costs vs. benefits of this unique situation, but that is for another time.
Why do Public Private Partnerships and Integrated Project Delivery result in greater overall project efficiency? The UK is taking the lead with such projects as Cross Rail where they are requiring that all design and construction documentation be transferred to the owner/operators at the end of the construction phase. The British government has enacted legislation that requires BIM Level 2 be used on all government projects beginning in 2016, but a year later this report indicated they were not enforcing it.
It’s the owners who need to create the Technology Manifesto with the help of a group of foresighted architects and engineers. They are the ones who are paying the price in the end for the inefficiency of the process not just in design and construction, but more importantly during the operation when 70% of the expenses are realized.
In Part 3 of the Technology Manifesto we will explore some of the demands that need to make up the Manifesto. If you have any recommendations please send them along.