Culture, Technology/Social Media & BIM


June 08, 2015 Pcholakis

BIM (Building Information Modeling), cloud computing, and social media are disruptive technologies which are altering the basic foundations of the AECOO sector (Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Owners, and Operations). Unproductive ad hocprocesses traditionally associated with the design, construction and management of the built environment are being replaced by robust life-cycle management and efficient project delivery methods. While notoriously unproductive and somewhat technology adverse, the AECOO sector is undergoing a culture shift in response to the demands of increasingly altered global competitive and environment landscapes, and the empowerment of transparency and collaboration enabled by social media technologies.


There is a great deal of prior work addressing the shortfalls of the Architecture, Engineering,
Construction, Operations, and Owner sector (AECOO).  The adversarial aspects of the traditional design-bid-build (DBB) and the lack of robust business process supported by digital technology have been especially well documented.

The construction delivery method plays a significant role in setting the tone of any renovation, repair, sustainability, or new construction project and its eventual success or failure.  The latter being simply defined as the  Owner/Client/Building  User  getting  what  they  initial  had anticipated  on-time  and  on-budget  and  the associated “constructors” successfully delivery the project with a reasonable profit margin. The importance of collaboration among all stakeholders as a prerequisite to “success” is equally well documented. Collaborative construction delivery methods are not new, though are only recently beginning to enjoy accelerated usage.  Most notable example of robust collaborative and efficient construction delivery methods include integrated project delivery (IPD) for new construction, and job order contracting (JOC) for renovation, repair, sustainability, and minor new construction.  Both methods have existing for decades and promise greater efficiencies, however, both are somewhat contrary to traditional DBB.   For comparison purposes let’s take a look at the characteristics and/or components of JOC program in comparison to traditional methods. Job Order Contracting includes;

1.   Qualifications Based or Best Value Selection
2.   Some form of pricing transparency- Typically a Unit Price Book (UPB) containing preset unit prices for construction tasks.  [Note: Most JOC programs leverage a standardized third party cost book such as RS Means Cost Data.]
3.   Early and ongoing information-sharing among project stakeholders
4.   Performance-based structure – Some form of financial incentive to drive performance
5.   Appropriate distribution of risk
6.   A long term relationship (3-5 years) between Owner and Contractor/AE
7.   Standard specifications established in a master contract with a summary of work, also
including any specific or client-driven conditions.
8.   Facility owner issues a request for qualifications (RFQ), evaluating firms using best-value, performance- based criteria, or an invitation to bid awarding to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
9.  A guarantee of minimum amount of work for the contractor. This is usually a small amount for consideration – a requirement in most states for contracts.
10. Issuance of contractor’s work orders based on owner’s requirements.
11. Costs for individual work orders are calculated by multiplying the preset unit prices by the quantities multiplied by the contractor’s coefficient.
12. Open  communication  between  facilities  team  and  the  contracting/AE  team,  including a kick-off partnering session between everyone utilizing the contract.

Advantages typically associated with JOC – Job Order Contracting Program include;
1.   Fast and timely delivery of projects.
2.   Low overhead cost of construction procurement and delivery.
3.   Development of a partner relationship based on work performance.
4.   Virtual elimination of legal disputes.
5.   Reduction of change orders.
6.   Transparency – standard pricing and specification utilizing a published unit price book (UPB)

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