Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What architects do...

What do we do? Are we master builders, draftsmen, scheme designers, conveyors of intent, or construction documentors? The biggest problem with BIM is that it pulls back the curtain on the biggest problem with architecture. 

What do we do?

The expectation from the perspective of owners is that we develop lego-style documents on how to put our building together. That part is our fault. That we even called them "construction documents" was the first mistake. We all know that contractors and their subs do not rely on our drawings to assemble the building. They reference it for things like material patterns and interior wall layouts (among other things), but it's really a C.Y.A. doc to show how much of the building we have thought through so we can explain to the judges later that indeed we did show how to 'waterproof the window'.

Enter BIM
Hi, eveybody!

"That data is there, right? All of it? Everywhere?"
"Well, no"
"But I see it there on your paper"
"Well, yes, but <software/process nuance> and so we just draft it there"
"Oh, what do I pay you for again?"

This is playing out across the industry everyday. We have BIMEPs to describe what it is we include in our modeling effort (or more realistically, what we don't), but it still begs the question "Why don't we take more risk?" Contractors and owners are teaming up to push expectations through the roof and a lot of those land at our feet in the name of "life cycle". Without first understanding what they do pay us for, it's impossible to explain what they don't pay us for. We should be asking for more money and more time to help achieve the goals for the project set up by the owner. Not because we "do Revit" but because that kind of info is most definitely "not in scope".

IPD (or something similar) can't come soon enough, because right now, we all sound like a bunch of nay-sayers rather than team players.

No comments:

Post a Comment