Thursday, September 8, 2011

September SFDD Morning Meeting

Attendees: Luis Buenfil (HDR), Brett Young, Marla Ushijima, Stan Stinnet, Mario Guttman, Dan Tsui, Tony Rinella.

General discussion of the World Trade Center memorial and tower.

Navisworks vs. Solibri, which has a beautiful interface. Perkins+Will has a GSA project that requested Solibri. Model must be exported to IFC, which adds another step and tends to lose information. IFC doesn't read all MEP data. Brett is going for Solibri training next week.

Autodesk is weak on facility management. Facilities Managers want to know how many sf in a room, not really interested in a BIM model that they'll need to maintain. A BIM that gets filled in with operations and maintenance info could be of value to them.

Luis is concerned about turning an as-built model over to an owner, needing to update it through construction. Brett proposes that the contractor should take on that task. Mario feels it's difficult to certify as a professional everything that's in a BIM. Construction documents delete information from the BIM to provide just the information that they can certify is correct.

Owners often request BIM without realizing the implications. They don't specify file format (Revit, Navisworks, IFC, etc.). VA requested BIM, or increased BIM specifications BIM Management Plan halfway through a project. Scope of professional services increases significantly. VA has insufficient funds to care for veterans, and would thus look skeptically at paying for a BIM. They would evaluate the value proposition very carefully. The information necessary for a contractor to build a building should be contained in construction documents.

Tony proposes that rather than spelling out specific BIM requirements, a project team should have a discussion with the owner to clarify needs so that BIM provides the information necessary to meed those needs.

General discussion of what it takes to go from a Revit drawing to a construction drawing; it's not as simple as the client being able to cut a section directly; editing of information is still required. In theory, BIM should allow the work of the CD phase to decrease compared to traditional allotments of project fee per phase; discussion of whether this is true in practice or not. General sense is that the McCleany curve is not very accurate.

Mario requested to create a macro to unfold a curve in AutoCAD. Dan has created such a macro. Tony remembers a LSP routine for making a model of a curved element.

The Big Room concept is problematic for staffing and full-time co-location. In the past Italians solved it with a round table surrounded by carrels so that people could turn around in their seats for group vs. individual work. Options are that senior staff visit the Big Room periodically, while other staff are there full-time; or the Big Room doesn't start until a later point in the duration of a project.

Are design teams recognizing benefits of increased efficiency and labor costs during CA phase? Extremely hard (impossible?) to quantify. Is saved time on specific projects due to reduced team size, or smart people?

Stan thinks it's smart people but BIM is their enemy. Marla: Generational issue? Mario: Deeper understanding of information? Mario: BIM is going to replace conventional CAD, but it's not transformational as people expect. Marla points out that we've gone full-circle: in the past, design work was developed and documented to a large degree by 3D models; replaced by orthogonal hand-drawn views; replaced by orthogonal CAD-drawn views; and now back to 3D via BIM. Which will subsequently be replaced by holograms, etc.?

1/8" text is sometimes specified in contracts or required by building departments. 3/32" seems to be the industry standard. 1/8" seems an anachronistic leftover from hand drafting.