“… an idea around BIM as not simply a collection of files, or objects, but rather a collection of evolving business components and building systems, which grow and change at different rates according to project phase and building requirements. Based on our work we would like your thoughts about BIM instances and how they might be employed interoperably over the timelines for design, construction and operation.”
Network interoperability is a new problem, tracking project phases and building requirements is an old problem. According to Brian Bowen at Georgia Tech aand the Construction History Society “…changes in construction take place ever so slowly and not necessarily at the same pace everywhere. So precise timelines are impossible to plot.”
Plotting timelines for design, construction and operation, starting from when building processes began, would include the following:
Contracts: There have been construction contracts from the earliest of times. The Greeks inscribed them in stone. Up until the second half of the 19th century, contracts were of great simplicity, naming the parties, outlining the scope of work, basis of payment, time for completion, commitment to the work (i.e. show up) and some form of guarantee or assurance (surety) that the work will be completed.
Basis of Payment: There were three choices – time & material, fixed lump-sum, or unit prices. The latter, usually known as measure & value, became the favored method in England from medieval times, carried over to colonial America up to the time that general contracting became the norm.
Trade Contracting: Masons tended to predominate in Europe, carpenters in America.
General Contracting: There is plenty of evidence of masons or carpenters taking fixed price contracts as early as the 17th century for small and simple buildings like housing. The application of General Contracting to more substantial work began in the periods noted above and it took a generation or two for the system to fully take hold. This was driven by facilities becoming more complex and elaborate. And the labor unions needed taming.”
Construction of the semantic world does not yet have general contractors or labor unions to tame or benefit from.
Today, the timeline and quantity of BIM instances is rapidly changing and growing. Design and financial information need to be captured and distributed, so does location in several regards. Building footprint sit within the property line, even when the footprint is right up against a property line and theoretically the same line;
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