Tuesday, April 28, 2009

O3D as an interior design visualiztion tool

This seems a powerful 3D visualization and user friendly tool.

O3D Plugin by google

Google launched O3D browser plug-in on April 21st 2009. This would enable useres use javascript to design 3D objects in a browser only.

Monday, April 27, 2009

BIM+IPD+LEAN (Reinventing the Design and Construction of Buildings)

This article by George, that discussed very much the same buzz words in which everyone from AEC industry is interested today, is a good explanation of all the terms together. All these tools, practices and methodologies of construction (BIM, LEAN and IPD) are often being discussed in the industry now a days. But the only eye to see all these together is seeing future. LEAN, BIM, GREEN and IPD are going hand in hand in US building construction industry. In one way or another they are associated to each other and successful AEC professionals are practicing it right now on actual projects. George in his article discussed all these inter-relationships and brought a worth reading article.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Integrated Practice and Lean Construction

Recently I read the article "Project teams find integrated project delivery very helpful" by Kate Moser here

This article defines close relationship between integrated practices and lean construction objectives. It has also been mentioned that BIM process lies in heart of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) system.

“It’s not perfect here, but people are working together.”
— Gregory A. Howell, co-founder, Lean Construction Institute

“In normal project execution, innovation gets pushed out by the question of who pays and who gains.”
— Glenn Ballard, co-founder, Lean Construction Institute;
and director, UC Berkeley Project Production Systems Laboratory

“There’s a humbleness that comes with integrated project delivery. There’s no sense of bravado that this is easy.”
— Will Lichtig, construction attorney and shareholder, McDonough Holland & Allen PC

Green Collar Jobs

USGBC promoting Green Building Movement.

Friday, April 17, 2009


All this has to be done in coming years. It looks like the future of AEC industry.

BIM+LEAN "A New Breed of Construction" (From DPR Newsletter Spring 2006)

Groundbreaking work on 250,000-sq.-ft. outpatient medical facility for Camino Medical Group showcases benefits of LEAN construction, paves way for new form of project delivery

Rising from the debris of an abandoned department store is a new 250,000-sq.-ft. medical office building that will not only provide progressive outpatient healthcare services but also, according to DPR's Dean Reed, set new standards in the design and construction of facilities.

The more than two-year project for Camino Medical Group (CMG), a division of the not-for-profit Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which is an affiliate of Sutter Health, is currently past the mid-way point and being delivered using LEAN construction techniques designed to maximize overall production value and reduce waste while maintaining the highest quality. Months before construction began in late February 2005, with the demolition of the vacant Emporium building on the 9.9 acre site in Mountain View, CA, the CMG project team, including the owner, architect, DPR and all major subcontractors, worked closely together to design the delivery process in conjunction with the facility—a key step in LEAN construction management.
"As a team, we broke down every step of the construction delivery process and examined ways to promote a more fluid transition, creating a better, more reliable work flow between various trades as work was handed off from one party to another," said Reed.

Virtual design and construction technologies, such as three-dimensional (3-D) and four-dimensional (4-D) models, also are being used throughout the project, along with LEAN construction practices. Early on, the virtual building models, which incorporate the element of time into 3-D computer-aided design drawings, helped communicate sequencing issues during design coordination, allowing the project team to best understand and take advantage of potential time and space conflicts. More recently, the virtual building models developed for the project have enabled subcontractors to prefabricate most of the MEP materials for a just-in-time delivery.

"Our use of virtual building technology, coupled with a LEAN approach, is resulting in a more efficient installation of MEP systems," said Reed. "The first section was completed in early February without any field issues, and based on conversations with many of our key subcontractors, the process has improved productivity by as much as 20 percent on this portion of the job."

The team anticipates that productivity will only increase.

"Usually the time estimated for MEP installations is based on people's previous experience, and we expect a small learning curve at the beginning that puts us slightly behind schedule," said DPR Superintendent Ralph Eslick. "The idea is that once we work out the initial 'kinks' in the process, productivity improves and the time is made up. In the case of CMG, we have the learning curve behind us, and we finished that portion ahead of schedule. It should only get better."

The project also includes simultaneous construction of a 400,000-sq.-ft. parking garage adjacent to the facility. The two structures take up 8.5 acres of the 9.9 acre lot, making for a very constricted construction site and creating an additional challenge for the project team.

"The accelerated schedule and tight site required a sophisticated, phased logistics plan," said Eslick. "We used the five months of the demolition and mass excavation phase of the project to plan every future step."

The team broke the parking garage into three phases, with the middle section finishing up last. As a result, the parking structure can be completed on time without impacting the critical path to the office building and limiting access to the site.

Once complete in February 2007, the new three-story medical office building will house offices, exam rooms, urgent care center, outpatient surgery center, pharmacy, laboratory and diagnostic radiology services, and according to CMG's CEO Richard Slavin, M.D., the new space will bring together nine of CMG's 15 clinics for "greater ease of access by nearly 200,000 patients."

Team Players
Client: Camino Medical Group
Architect: Hawley Peterson & Snyder Architects

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sometime in near Future

Excellent Video portraying the future of BIM+Green

Saturday, April 11, 2009


It seems that recession is bringing new opportunities to test and practice emerging technologies in AEC industry. Having lesser projects in hands, AEC professionals and owners are looking towards experts and academicians to come up with innovative solutions to effectively implement new technologies and management philosophies to increase efficiency, increase labor productivity, reduce waste  and decrease environmental impact in the overall life cycle of a project. In order to achieve this milestones contribution of BIM, LEAN and GREEN movements appears appreciable. 
Building Information modeling (BIM) is helping project participants collaborate and at the same time it is helping to reduce waste (by conflict detection), increase performance (by energy analyses) and visualize the project. BIM is emerging as a tool that is  helping integration of overall project delivery.
Lean production system introduced first time by Onho in Toyota car manufacturing unit is emerging as a management philosophy applicable to wider range of industries. AEC industry being one of them is  coming forward to embrace lean thinking and increase profits to their organizations.
Green movement is an initiative to decrease impact of human activities on the environment. US Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced LEED rating system to measure the greenness of buildings. Although LEED doesn't address all the issues of sustainable construction and is not perfect but it is a good initiative towards a sustainable future.

Apart from very ideal portray of any of BIM, Lean or Green in building construction, increased productivity, energy efficiency and increased building performance will surely affect the bottom line in a positive manner.