Thursday, July 14, 2011

July SFDD Morning Meeting

Introductions all around as we welcome a new member - Dan Tsui - and some veteran members we haven't seen a while - John Mack and Catherine Chan. Dan is with Modulus Consulting, a BIM consultancy. Mario Guttman, John LeBlanc, Marla Ushijima, and Alexandra Fenton also attended.

John M. is still leading the local Navis User's Group. The group's discussions go well beyond just Navis to address BIM in general and Revit. Autodesk representatives regularly attend and accept feedback as to user requests for future releases. The group maintains a presence on Linked In.

John M. is preparing to start on a medical science building project. He mentions that OSHPD doesn't accept 3D views, so they cut sections through the model and include those in the construction set.

Mario provided an introduction to AIA TAP phone calls and activities. TAP (Technology in Architectural Practice) is an AIA Knowledge Community that tries to link various discussion groups around the country that are tackling issues of digital practice, BIM, and IPD. They host a monthly conference call for representatives of the groups to facilitate the exchange of ideas.

Mario mentioned that Tony Rinella is organizing another NTAP hybrid conference and Mario proposes that we offer to host a local venue - at which local participants gather to view and discuss nationally-webcast and local presentations. Catherine mentioned that the AIA justice knowledge community is also considering using the hybrid conference format for an event. Marla recommended she contact Tony as he pioneered the format and has figured out a lot of the attendant issues.

A question was raised as to participation in social networking. Most of us seem to use it to varying degrees, with some concern about it's potential as a time-sink. Most people use Linked In for professional contacts, and some people use Facebook for personal contacts. Google+ is not used by any attendees.

Catherine Chan discussed difficulties she has encountered on project teams with conflicting levels of BIM knowledge and experience. Clients can directly affect productivity and accuracy by circulating critical information among all team members in its original, digital format.

General discussion about BIM expertise and project management as sometimes being mutually exclusive. Cross-mentoring is critical for architects with construction, documentation and management experience; and tech-saavy modelers who understand the advantages and limitations of the software; to work collaboratively with mutual respect.

Subsequent discussion about dimensioning. Some BIM modelers prefer center-of-stud dimensioning, but contractors need face of stud for layout and accuracy checks after framing. John M. also described the robotic layout process, in which a robot lays out all the FOS lines on a floor slab overnight. Discussion also touched on finishes and the idea of creating them with separate walls joined to the framed or structural wall.

Pros and cons of rebuilding a BIM at each phase depend on complexity of the building, speed and skill of modelers, and quality control within the model. Several people recommended that it results in much cleaner, more trustworthy models and that the effort is usually worthwhile.