In 2008, Jim Bedrick published an article in AECbytes entitled “Organizing the Development of a Building Information Model” in which he introduced the concept of LOD. At that time, the acronym stood for “Level of Detail.” Since then, a lot of work has gone into the LOD framework by organizations including the the AIA California Council IPD committee, the AIA Contract Documents Committee, and the AGC’s BIMForum. The concept has evolved into “Level of Development” and it is discussed in depth by Jim Bedrick in this follow-up article.
AECbytes last reviewed the BIM application, Allplan, from the Germany-based Nemetschek Allplan Systems GmbH in April 2008, just after version 2008 had been released. Subsequently, Allplan was also one of the six BIM applications reviewed and compared in detail in the BIM Study Evaluation Report published in 2010. Nemetschek has recently released version 2013 of the application, and this review looks at the main enhancements including new rendering and visualization options, the availability of parametric content called SmartParts accompanied by a scripting capability to create custom smart objects, native support for 64-bit systems, an improved user interface, and the ability to create and distribute drawing layouts through integration with Allplan Exchange.
In this article, John Tobin, Director of Architecture at EYP, an architecture/engineering firm headquartered in Albany NY, shares his insights on how the two contrasting types of innovation, “sustaining” and “disruptive” — as popularized by Clayton Christensen in his seminal book, The Innovator’s Dilemma – can be applied to the AEC technology industry. He posits that BIM is a disruptive technology, in contrast to CAD, and brings a different “value network” to the AEC industry: the initial goal of “smarter CAD” morphed into a BIM movement, which in turn morphed into a BIM/VDC movement, where BIM sows information in a model environment, while VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) largely harvests that information for downstream uses including commissioning, facility management, and construction logistics.
Nine years ago, Dr. Paul Teicholz, Founding Director of CIFE at Stanford University, wrote an article for AECbytes on the topic of labor productivity. During the intervening years, there have been many changes in the AEC industry that have had the potential to impact labor productivity, and in this new article, Dr. Teicholz takes another look to see what, if any, changes can be detected from the national statistics about the industry. The major changes include the increasing use of BIM technologies and the lean collaborative processes it supports, and the recent very significant boom and bust in the industry.