BIM, IPD, VDC, Laser Scanning, 3D Printing… The architecture, engineering, and construction world is full of alphabet acronyms and emerging technologies that are having a huge impact on the way we design and document the projects we work on. If you keep up with all of the hype surrounding these technologies, they claim that not only are they going to improve efficiencies and coordination during the design phase, but also help eliminate costly change orders and missteps during the construction phase, and even help the owner coordinate and manage the maintenance of the building during the life of the building. Pretty big claims for such small abbreviations.
Ok, let me come clean here, I am one of those people that believe a lot of this is possible… That is, if you have the people who are willing to learn the software, engage in the new procedures, and assemble a team that is willing to truly coordinate with each other. There in lies the true problem with all of these possibilities. Years ago I decided that I would not let these technologies simply pass me by, forcing me to play catch up when they became more mainstream. After years of helping implement all of this and countless training sessions to try and keep up, I’ve learned that this is not the norm, but the exception. Now, take that with a grain of salt, there are a lot of people out there doing very similar, if not more work in this arena than I am; but compared to he size of the entire industry, it is still a very small percentage.
So, this where we are right now. Somehow stuck in a rut where you have too many in the industry completely satisfied with the way it has been for much longer than I have played a part, an abundance of people only willing to learn something new when they are forced too, and what seems like a total dependence on technologies and procedures that are only causing our industry to lose its significance.
This is where I am constantly searching for new ideas of how to help the profession reestablish it’s relevance and esteem in the world. What can be done to make a true change that every one linked to the construction industry can get behind? Is there even a magic bullet that can deliver this?