Sunday, June 24, 2012

The MacLeamy Curve - Real World BIM and IPD.

The MacLeamy Curve is often referred to in discussions about building information modeling and ingtegrated project delivery. MacLeamy refers to Patrick MacLeamy, CEO of HOK. While more than one person claims the credit for having developed similar graphs and ideas, Patrick has continually demonstrated leadership in actually applying the ideas. He also created a very good video series on "The Future of The Building Industry" which I highly recommend. Patrick is also a strong advocate for interoperability and is the International Chair for buildingSMART. The image makes obvious what many of us in the business know both intuitively and from years of painful personal experience - the entire process in architecture, engineering and construction is broken and inefficient.

As the architects Kieran and Timberlake make clear in this quote from their book, Refabricating Architecture,
"The single most devastating consequence of modernism has been
the embrace of a process that segregates designers from makers:
The architect has been separated from the contractor, and the
materials scientist has been separated from the product engineer."

by integrating design with fabrication and construction, the improvements in efficiency and predictability can be extreme. So why isn't it happening?

Combine these inefficiencies with dropping productivity in the building industry, clearly illustrated in the chart below by Dr. Paul Teicholz of Stanford's CIFE, and one wonders why the industry refuses to evolve.

Our work is focused on applying a fully integrated design-fabricate-build process. This is rarely even discussed and certainly almost never applied. To better define the process I often refer people this definition of fabrication information modeling as defined by Acecad/Strucad (recently acquired by Trimble).

Rather than waste more time endlessly discussing the inefficiencies of the industry, why don't do change by demonstrating what is possible on real building projects?


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