The world lives on platforms. Our devices communicate to social media, maps, Amazon, location services, Apple, Google and other apps. We interact with the built environment around us in unprecedented ways. The gaping hole in the world of platforms is architecture.
As architects, we have the desire to serve society, make a safer and more sustainable future, and use great design to change the world. We have the knowledge and problem solving skills to lead complex teams of stakeholders and consultants who weigh in on countless decisions. We understand the needs of facility managers who take stewardship of our creations and maintain its sound existence for generations to come. We painfully understand the need to better communicate the building design and construction information with people involved in the project. Yet we are stuck operating as if all decisions are unilaterally made by the single, heroic, visionary architect.
What we do not have is “Architecture as a Platform©” to cut through current stovepipes. Our projects are very inwardly focused, single use, document centric, little BIM centered masterpieces that have a very hard time plugging into each other and the world. Once we finish the design and the construction is complete, others move in to scan and catalogue the end result of our creations to harvest the data and help them plug into the world’s platforms. This can and must change.
Although technologies exist to make this happen, it is not only about the technology but a process change and the will and courage to make this happen. Our current contracting language and stance of “owning” our designs and document as the secret sauce of the buildings we design is seriously flawed and damaging to the profession and society. It is time to flip this around and enable a platform for architecture. Competing on how much time it takes to produce a set of documents is not a formula for the digital age and an architecture platform.
Classical Greece built a civilization on a platform of architecture, arts, humanities, and politics that supported and changed society forever. They were limited to the medium they had at the time, and excelled. Today we have amazing technologies just waiting to be applied to architecture but not much has really changed for over 2,000 years. The status quo is to wait for others to do it. This is dangerous for the profession. Ancient Greeks built platforms. So should we.
It isn’t necessary to start from scratch. The Internet is ready to be used as the platform for architecture. The profession needs to step forward and create the platform for architecture to extend to engineers, owners, operators, emergency responders, cities and citizens.
Yes, we will need to share more information and knowledge. Yes, this could be threatening. But it is not an all or nothing proposition. The concept of radical transparency can be combined with protection of intellectual property and increasing business opportunities. Once off an isolated island, the chances of connecting to business opportunities dramatically increases while helping civilization to move forward.
Imagine not being able to ride a bike until you have completely understood the mechanics and science of bike riding. Imagine not being able to design, construct, and manage buildings, facilities and assets until you have understood all the associated standards. Mechanics, science and standards are very important, but getting on the bike and riding it is the best way to learn how to ride a bike. Using tools and processes for facilities and assets is the best way to learn how to apply these skills and standards. BIMStorm is a place to learn how to ride the BIM bike, teach others and find like-minded bike riders to collaborate with in an open sandbox.
Standards: The Oxygen of BIMStorm
Experts have been spending years building IFC, COBie, ISO, OmniClass, and other standards. The value of standards should be noted. NBIMS states, "[the resulting data] can be used during commissioning and operation to ensure facility functionality throughout the life of the facility and to deliver high performance, carbon neutral, and net zero energy based facilities." The best use of standards is when they become part of the process and fade into the background. Then how can a 2,000+ page National BIM Standard (NBIMS) be made easier to use? The information within these standards are extremely valuable, so it’s imperative to focus on making the voluminous standard easier to implement for day to day use. This places less emphasis on the standard development itself as the focal point, providing relevancy to the practicing professionals it is meant to help.
BIMStorm enables using and advancing standards by weaving them into the fabric of the exercise. Participate in a BIMStorm to see how using standards does not have to be complex. Like riding a bike, the best way to advance standards and stress test them — is to use them.
Sharing, Failing Fast, Refining and Advancing
The results and methods used on real world projects are not easy to share. Participate and learn from case studies — how successful projects are repeatable exemplars that can be repurposed and refined. Like learning how to ride a bike, trying is the best way to gain skill and confidence. BIMStorm overcomes this sharing challenge by opening a sandbox with actual project data. Owners like California Community Colleges and Department of Veterans Affairs with their SEPS2BIM are part of the real project data sandbox. Scenarios allow many participation levels that promote learning, testing and rapid advancing of the industry.
Just ride the bike...
The best way to learn how to ride a bike, is to ride a bike. Join the BIMStorm to learn how and find other owners, consultants and vendors that have great bikes.
The AEC-ST is a group dedicated to successful implementation of science and technology in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industries. We are proud to announce they have jumped onboard the BIMStorm AEC Game Changers 2017! We are very excited to have such a strong, diverse group of individuals as part of this virtual collaboration.
The results and outcome of this BIMStorm will be presented at AEC Science and Technology NEXT Conference (more information on this as we get closer to the event). Remember, all participants of this BIMStorm have an opportunity to be showcased at this event. If you are interested and would like to be part of this virtual BIMStorm team, sign up here. http://www.bimstorm.com/join.html
Decisions made early in the planning process have implications for the entire facility life cycle. BIMStorm AEC Game Changers expands the horizon beyond initial design and initial pricing with scenarios for campus, healthcare and airport projects by welcoming the APPA Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Work Group.
TCO Work Group focuses on creating a common framework for owners to manage cost, forecast investment needs and enable data driven decisions for facility asset management. Industry standards enable maintaining a sustainable future for all asset investments.
Learn how BIMStorm is adding TCO to:
Architects have been wired to understand complex relationships of data in buildings and document them in schedules with types, instances, attributes and more, all related to COBie long before BIM or CAD.
Building documentation, hand drawn, CAD or BIM and deliverables always have errors. COBie just formalizes how to structure them for delivery so they can be checked in a standard way.
I think it is not the “complexity” of COBie that turns people off, I think it it the fact that it exposes errors that used to go unnoticed.
Checking for errors on a 1968 hand drafted schedule of COBie data.
(Don't forget to check the references in all 245 sheets of this set)
Join the current BIMStorm to learn how COBie is much easier in 2017 than it was in 1968.
Scenario 12 will include BIM2FM and COBie.