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BIM Forum Chicago: When Does Design End and Construction Begin?

By Jeff Yoders on June 20, 2011

In today’s integrated BIM projects, where does design end and construction begin?

The Summer BIMForum, July 19-20 at the Swissotel in Chicago, will focus on how BIM is used to find the optimal balance of allowing the best decisions to be made at the most appropriate time without impacting construction costs and schedules and how this is shifting when design ends and construction begins. The conference will address some of the following important questions:

* How does BIM technology affect the cost and schedule implications of late decisions?

* Do late design decisions always adversely affect a project budget and schedule?

* Can all factors that affect design and cost be known early in a project?

* Are legacy project phases applicable in integrated design and construction?

* Are clients willing to pay for additional early design effort by “non-designers”?

* Where does traditional design leave off and spatial coordination begin?

* When does spatial coordination morph into design?

* How can contractors and designers find common ground for design and coordination?

* Are consultants and contractors assuming more the role of the designer in early phases while simultaneously ceding much of their legacy documentation and management roles to subcontractors and fabricators?

“What all the presenters will be talking about is that this is process, procedure and methodology and not the tool,” said David Morris, director of virtual construction at EMCOR Group and an organizer of the July BIM Forum. “We will focus on methods and processes that show exactly what was done on these projects to achieve results using BIM.”

In exploring the changing relationship between designers and construction professionals, several of the presentations will show new methods of collaboration. One of those is “BIM Among Friends,” an exploration of the relationship between architecture firm Kling/Stubbins and M/E/P sub-contractor J.C. Cannistraro.

Presenters Sarah Vekasy, AIA, an associate at Kling/Stubbins, and Michael Cannistraro, PE, VP at Cannistraro, will show how their companies’ subcontractor/architect relationship has proven to maximize project value through lessons learned from joint project experience at 640 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Mass., and other BIM projects. Vekasy and Cannistraro have developed a formula for successful collaboration from early design to execution. The firms will demonstrate how combining the architect/engineer’s vision with the subcontractor’s means and methods and attention to detail has allowed them to avoid potential roadblocks and identify savings opportunities for future projects.

Other presenters scheduled for the Forum include Christof Spieler of Morris Architects (“the Fallacy of Design Intent”), Alexandra Pollock of SOM (“Flexibility in BIM”), Randy Deutsch of Deutschwrx (“The End is Where We Start From”), Bob Turner of Tucker Mechanical (“BIM Coordination Morphing into Redesign”) and Federico Negro of CASE (“Building the Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame”).

Davis Chauviere, a principal at HKS and a BIM Forum organizer, will present a point/counterpoint presentation on the changes in process and procedure using BIM and IPD to thoroughly examine all the issues that come with the change in delivery and design.

“Many of us say our goal should be to create a single comprehensive model containing all information necessary to design, analyze, construct, and operate a facility,” Chauviere said. “Others say that’s nonsense, it is technically impractical for a single model to hold all that is necessary to design, construct, and operate a building. Those are the disagreements we want to get to the bottom of with this presentation.”

Chauviere’s presentation will touch on other issues such as the goal and real-world difficulty of fulfilling HOK CEO Patrick MacLeamy’s famous BIM process curve, which pushes more design and construction decisions to the front of a project.

A legal roundtable featuring BIM Forum Vice Chair Jan Reinhardt of Adept Project Delivery; Philip Bernstein, FAIA, of Autodesk and Yale University; and Carl Roberts of the law firm Ballard Spahr, LLP will present and tackle the legal and liability issues of new delivery formats utilizing BIM and how a project team can maximize value while still maintaining their liability limits.

One thing the BIM Forum organizers stressed in preparing the meeting and presentations was that architects’ and designers’ scope of work and a contractor’s means and methods were both still independent and separate parts of the design and construction process, even if new technology brings them closer together.

“There’s a need for clarity and to make ourselves understood,” said BIM Forum Chair and Tocci Building Co. CEO John Tocci, Sr. “This is NOT the contractors coming to take over scope earlier. This is to, hopefully, help us work better together.”

BIM Forum Chicago will take place June 19 and 20th at the Swissotel Chicago. Fees: $425 before 6/16/2011; $550 after 6/16/2011

The room block at the Swissôtel is full. Click here to find a room at nearby hotel. Select the “Loop” neighborhood for the closest options.

For a schedule of events go here.

For the BIMForum Agenda go here.