Every project starts with high hopes. But often things upstream or downstream impact the best laid plans. There is a difference between what management wants in the project (ideal) and what will be accepted when the schedule and budget get tight (reality). Price is often a driver, but not the only driver.
Take the use of building information modeling (BIM), for example. Sometimes the owner requires a BIM model. It is a box that needs to be checked off in order for the general contractor to get paid. But when management does not want to face the disruption, the project is built using old-style methods, and the BIM model simply becomes a deliverable at the end of the job. This is where the whole point of BIM is missed.
If you’re passionate about design, you naturally want to spend more time being creative with designs, not doing peripheral work. Someone else should deal with the details. In this case, technology can simplify and automate some processes that get in the way of being creative.
While it’s beneficial in the current environment to understand how architects design and the history of the industry, with artificial intelligence and computational design coming on the scene, understanding the history and why we do things a certain way may not be as important in the future. While people entering the industry may have a romantic notion of what an architect does, new employees simply adapt to the way you do things – whether it’s the old way or the new way. If it’s faster and more intuitive, is there a big need for the background?
There still exist preconceived notions of how the construction industry should work. True change cannot be embraced until the people involved can understand why and how that should happen.
Nevertheless, in order to meet the demands created by a growing population, the industry will be disrupted. And that disruption may very well begin with someone outside industry, because they don’t have the preconceived notions that hold the industry back.
There are certainly issues inherent in the AEC industry. It is geared toward inefficiency, and cost and schedule overruns are basically expected. Artificially low bids lead to adds in order to accomplish what was originally designed. In such an environment, using a BIM process on the project with a product like Revit can really help alleviate those issues, so teams can start the job with highly detailed models and assemblies. The BIM process eliminates problems in advance rather than having to fix them later. Technology also saves time: imagine computer-generated construction documents.
It used to be the credentialed professionals who were the driving force behind implementing technology in the workplace. That trend is shifting to include a broader group of people, including technology adoption initiated by the field.
Tune in to season 3, episode 7 of The AEC Disruptors podcast to learn more about the deeper motivations for using automation on your construction projects.