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xquantitysurveying880px.jpg.pagespeed.ic.PBPYTjMNxM.jpgRussell Lloyd, head of cost management of consultant Rider Levett Bucknall and member of its global BIM committee, describes how BIM can help quantity surveyors, but it won’t be replacing them any time soon.

RLB is global consultant – do you have a global BIM strategy?

We have 120 offices around the world and we are implementing the use of BIM on a global basis. Historically each country has done their own thing, but in the last 18 months we’ve set clear global objectives, sharing ideas, training and internal protocols, whilst acknowledging that each country’s maturity level varies.

I would say Singapore (where BIM is mandatory), Hong Kong and the UK are leading the way. Australia perhaps to a lesser extent because there is a slower take-up by the designers/architects there.

Why is the head of cost management looking after BIM?

For us BIM is inherent in the service we provide – not a bolt on, so it makes sense for it to be integrated within cost management. Our largest service offering is cost management; hence we started with quantity surveying and are gradually expanding to other services.

There’s general nervousness in quantity surveying that BIM will replace the role in some way, particularly in the measurement of quantities. With time it might take that skill away, but BIM is a tool which enables us to undertake our role better.

All of our staff across the business are trained with a general awareness and guidance on BIM. Project-specific staff are trained to a higher level. This team of experts is growing all of the time as more projects adopt BIM.

Project staff, for example, interrogate the BIM file with a variety of design/interrogation software which helps non-designers verify the accuracy of the file, which may have been created using a number of different packages. Designers/architects like the fact we’re using different software as it means they get fewer queries.

ALTHOUGH the construction industry suffers from sluggish productivity growth and relatively low financial returns, it has been slow to embrace the process and technology innovations that could help it to do better with respect to both profitability and performance.

In general, R&D spending in construction runs well behind that of other industries: it accounts for less than one per cent of revenues, versus 3.5 to 4.5 per cent for the automotive and aerospace sectors. Ditto for spending on information technology.

Traditionally, the sector has tended to focus on making incremental improvements. But this will no longer do. Projects are ever larger and more complex. The growing demand for environmentally sensitive construction means traditional practices must change. And the shortage of skilled labour and supervisory staff will only get worse. These are deep issues that require new ways of thinking and working.

Here are five ways the industry could transform itself over the next few years.

1. Higher-definition surveying and geolocation. Geological surprises are a major reason why projects are delayed and go over budget. New techniques that integrate high-definition photography, 3-D laser scanning and geographic information systems, enabled by drone and unmanned aerial vehicle technology, can dramatically improve accuracy and speed. And they are more accessible than ever because costs have come down substantially.

Used in conjunction with ground-penetrating radar, magnetometers and other equipment, Lidar can generate above-ground and underground 3-D images of project sites. This is particularly important in dense, environmentally sensitive or historical project sites where disturbance needs to be minimised.

These advanced survey techniques are complemented by geographic information systems that allow maps, images, distance measurements and GPS positions to be overlaid. This information can then be uploaded to other analytical and visualisation systems for use in project planning and construction.

2. Next-generation 5-D building information modelling. The construction industry lacks an integrated platform that spans project planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance. Instead, it still relies on bespoke software tools. In addition, project owners and contractors often use different platforms that do not sync with one another.


Construction is one of the least-digitized industries in the world, and its productivity is suffering.

Dan Kitwood / Getty

Construction is a $10 trillion global industry. It’s also mired by waste, severe worker shortages and weak productivity growth — all of which mean the business of building is ripe for a robotic takeover.

Productivity — the total economic output per worker — in the construction industry has remained flat, partly because of the slow adoption of new technologies across the industry.

Since 1945, productivity in manufacturing, retail and agriculture has grown 1,500 percent, while it has barely gone up in construction, according to a McKinsey report from earlier this year.

McKinsey compared U.S. industries in 27 criteria, including how much a sector spends on technology and how extensively they use computers in their operations, to create a digitization index of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most digitized.

Below we chart select industries by their digitization score and annual productivity gains.:

McKinsey Global Institute construction GDP, digitization and productivity


The construction industry’s technology gap may not last for very long, not only because the robots are poised to get to work but also because humans aren’t.

As of February 2017, nearly 200,000 construction jobs were left unfilled across the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition, on average, 98 percent of construction megaprojects go over budget, according to McKinsey. And in a multi-trillion dollar global industry like construction, even the slightest uptick in efficiency could amount to hundreds of millions savings, says Tristan Randall, an executive who works on drone projects at Autodesk.

Drones and robots ready to work

Work sites often span large areas, and buildings can shoot stories high into the sky. That means inspecting an entire site by foot can take days, even with a large crew.

With drones, the same information can be gathered and compiled by a single pilot in only a few hours. Companies have already started using drones to survey stockpiles and conduct site inspections.

“I was able to accurately measure the volumes of stockpiles at one of our quarries in just 10 minutes,” said John Davenport, a surveyor at Whitaker Contracting Corporation, who uses a drone system made by Kespry, a California-based drone services company. “Previously, it took me about two days of strenuous GPS work to cross-section those piles.”

Using drones for business services — like flying a robot to check inventory on a construction site or to monitor the health of crops on a farm — has an addressable market estimated at $127 billion, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers 2016 report.

More than $45 billion of that is for construction projects. Delivery by drone, by contrast, has an estimated addressable market valued significantly less at $13 billion, in part because national regulations that would permit autonomous drone delivery are still being written.

And it’s not just drones. American builders are starting to move into prefabrication, where homes and buildings are constructed on factory floors by robots. Factory-built homes are far more popular in Sweden and Japan, where 40 percent and 16 percent of residential buildings, respectively, are built with prefabrication, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Masonry is also being roboticized. Construction Robotics, a New York-based startup, has invented a bricklaying robot called the SAM100, which is already being used on job sites across the U.S. The robot is able to lay around 2,000 bricks per day, a massive increase from the 400 bricks a day an average mason can lay, according to Philip Kenney of Wilhelm Construction, a construction company that got its own SAM100 last year. That’s a 400 percent increase in productivity.

Investors take note

At Recode’s Code 2017 conference in May, famed venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said that his firm, Andreessen Horowitz, is actively investing in robots and that they are particularly interested in boosting productivity for the construction industry.

“I think the opportunity and the challenge for the tech industry and Silicon Valley is for us to figure out how to have a much bigger impact in the slow-growth sectors [construction, health care and education] of the economy,” Andreessen said at Code.

But boosting productivity in construction won’t be easy, Andreessen warned, largely due to strict regulations, such as land-use restrictions in urban areas.

by Calvin Hennick  from AECBytes.

Throughout the world we’re seeing a trend toward the adoption of BIM—Building Information Modeling—across the architecture, engineering and construction [AEC] industries,  as more companies respond to growing requirements for BIM.  Also driving BIM adoption is the realization that a BIM workflow offers benefits in better project team collaboration.  As a result, AEC firms are investing in technology to share models more efficiently. To date in the world of BIM, the focus has been primarily on the ‘M’ – or modeling part of BIM.  But now we are rapidly shifting to the ‘I’ which is information – that is enabling project teams to work in ways never before possible.

With Autodesk Collaboration for Revit, Beca – one of Asia Pacific’s leading professional consultancies connected workers across six time zones, adding hours to its workday.

A Tight Timeline

Taking on a job using Autodesk Revit software to design an $80 million food factory expansion in Sydney, Australia Beca knew that the architectural and engineering work represented at least a 12-week job.  But Beca only had eight weeks to complete the work.

“We had a very tight timeline to get design documentation out,” recalls Craig Lamont, Business Director in Beca’s buildings business. “And the only way we were going to be able to do that time-effectively was to use our external offices.”

The firm has around 3,200 employees in 20 offices across the Asia-Pacific region, and also collaborates with documentation firms in Indonesia and the Philippines. Beca has experience in implementing many different collaboration solutions all with various capabilities however they weren’t appropriate for this particular project.

“We needed something that would stretch our workday to fifteen hours and help us meet our design timeline.” Lamont says “So we sat down and explored what could do to take advantage of the time zone span between New Zealand and Indonesia?”

Breaking Down Barriers

To loop in offices across six time zones, Beca subscribed to Collaboration for Revit for each of the 33 people working on the project. The cloud-based service provides centralized access to Revit models, and allows project team members from multiple sites to co-author Revit models and communicate via in-product chat regardless of each person’s physical location.

On previous projects, workers in one office would upload a model at the end of the day, handing it off to team members who would download it in another location. Collaboration for Revit enables a smoother handover by allowing both offices to be in the model at the same time. The teams can then communicate while looking at the same information, reducing risk of misunderstanding and error.

“We didn’t have any of those issues with Collaboration for Revit, because we were able to work together with external offices,” says Lamont. “The team would start work in New Zealand in the morning, we’d get Australia going two hours later, and then we could bring our Indonesia and Manila resources on board before we went home at the end of the day. They knew exactly what we wanted them to work on and what the design deliverables were for the day.”

“It saved massive amounts of time and effort,” says Brett Naylor, Group Digital Delivery Manager for Beca. “We no longer needed to upload and download the model, and our people in overlapping time zones could work on the project simultaneously.”

Workers on the project spoke three different primary languages, and Lamont says that Collaboration for Revit helped to minimize confusion. “We could click and point and talk about exactly what we wanted drafted and where,” he says. “Being able to have everyone see the same thing in Revit at the same time helped overcome the language barrier.”

Each week, the team published the latest version of the model to BIM 360 Team, allowing them to share the design work with stakeholders who were not active in the Revit models.

by Barbara Bryson @ Design Intelligence

Eric Cesal was frustrated when he graduated from architecture school in the winter of 2008, the year the financial world and architecture world came apart.

In his book, Down Detour Road: An Architect in Search of Practice (2010), Eric observed that architects were among the hardest hit and as a new addition to the profession, he worried, “…the response from architects I knew was typically muted…older architects remembered prior recessions and opined that we will survive this one too.” Even more troubling, he observed, “These exchanges were for me a window into an unsettling aspect of architectural professional culture. We seem to wear these tough times almost as a badge of honor—they reveal how much we love our craft…but we don’t seem to discuss why things are so tough in the first place.”

On our best days, architects understand complex contexts and develop multiple solutions to difficult problems. Design thinking, the empathetic problem-solving methodology, grew, in part, out of our architectural problem-solving design methodologies. Education innovators are also taking lessons from architecture schools. Active learning, making spaces, and student engagement all have roots in the studio process. The rest of the world is learning from our processes, grabbing our best material, and moving on to success and relevance. Architects, on the other hand, are impossibly stagnant in process and perspective, incredibly vulnerable to irrelevance and even extinction. I believe we have been on this road for decades, and we need to make some profound changes if we as architects are to have an impact on the built environment in the future and if we wish to be relevant.


Relevance is connected to five critical characteristics: 1) size or scope; 2) stability; 3) connectedness; 4) effectiveness; and 5) resiliency. I am concerned about irrelevance and extinction because our profession lacks:

  1. Size and Scope—Architects have limited impact. Not only have we left the suburbs, strip centers, and the worst parts of town to others to shape, but we let lawyers and insurers talk us into avoiding risk and retreating from responsibility. It has been estimated that 80 percent of the world is now built without architects and thanks to our reluctance to embrace and manage risk (see the AIA contracts), architects contract for a smaller percentage of project responsibilities than ever before. The current limited scope of architects is in large part a result of being taught “what to think” rather than “how to think” about the business of design and construction. As Indy Johar stated in Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture, “Economics is a territory that’s normally relegated to the developer or clients; we don’t seem to worry about the money except how much the building costs.”

To be relevant, we must educate our students and train our interns to be as creative in business as they are in design. We must prepare young architects to imagine revenue flows other than simply asking owners for more fees and to invent better ways of adding value to the processes of planning, design, and construction. If we teach young professionals how to think about the business of design and construction, it will open the door for revenue streams from intellectual property and new services to expand the influence of the problem-solving architect.

by Dezeen Jobs

BIM architect/designer
at Zaha Hadid Architects

BIM architect/designer
London, United Kingdom

Zaha Hadid Architects is currently looking for BIM architects/designers with an in-depth knowledge of Revit and Dynamo to join our architectural practice in London.

Key responsibilities

  • collaborate on a broad range of challenging international projects
  • implement and manage architectural BIM models in Revit and Dynamo
  • setup BIM projects including standards, families, drawings, Dynamo scripts, etc.
  • advise planning team and 3rd parties on best practice workflows
  • coordinate with project team, external consultants and local architects
  • manage and deliver submission drawings and 3D BIM models
  • participate in conferences and BIM related events

Key requirements

  • experience working on large-scale, challenging projects
  • minimum one-year hands-on experience using BIM / Revit on architectural projects and tasks
  • advanced and comprehensive Revit and Dynamo knowledge
  • proficiency to create complex custom Revit families and adaptive components
  • ability to develop efficient cross-application/cross-team workflows
  • basic skills in Rhino, Grasshopper, AutoCAD
  • great interest in current BIM-related developments, tools and software
  • willingness to autonomously and continuously expand own professional knowledge and skills
  • willingness to actively contribute to the BIM team’s/offices’ knowledge and development
  • excellent verbal and written communication skills

Optional skills – please mention what applies to you

  • experience in leading BIM level two projects and delivering construction drawing packages
  • advanced Navisworks skills including clash detection, reports and coordination
  • experience in training people and presenting at BIM conferences/events
  • in-depth knowledge regarding BIM execution plans and contracts
  • execution planning and detailing knowledge
  • advanced Rhino, Grasshopper and computational design skills
  • advanced scripting/programming skills in C#, C++, VB, Python, etc.
  • ability to automate work and tasks using macros, Dynamo, custom tools, etc.

Application deadline: 3 July 2017

How to apply

Please send an email titled ‘BIM architect’ to and include:

  • letter of motivation
  • CV
  • project portfolio – please state the specific tasks you worked on
  • detailed example/s of own workflows using dynamo, adaptive components/scripting

by Kimon Onuma @ BIMStorm


Within our lifetime, we have seen amazing advancements in technology that dramatically change how we work and live. Much of this has even occurred within the last 5 to 10 years. One of the most exciting aspects of this trend is when radical, new, disruptive approaches are invented to tackle problems and tasks that have been otherwise addressed by entrenched, traditional methodologies for decades.

Are you ready to change the game for the AEC Industry?

” The rules are, there are no rules.
We want to encourage experimentation and being controversial.
It is much better to make mistakes in the virtual world than to make them in the real world.
​Make a lot of mistakes, make them fast and move on.
The truth will emerge”

by Randall Stevens

We have to change and get serious about innovation.  If we don’t, someone will do it for us.  That’s not a position you want to find yourself in.  Better to lead than stick your head in the sand or expend energy protecting the status quo.

Listening to that interview this week actually made me more excited about this year’s Building Content Summit (BCS).  I think we’re pulling together a great lineup of guests and getting to the 50,000′ view of the important issues we should be discussing.

We’re kicking off Day 1 with someone who is pushing the barriers, Construct Connect and Assemble Systems. They’re going to walk everyone through the state-of-the-artin model extraction, information distribution, quantity takeoff and material pricing. We’ll bookend Day 1 with a panel we’re putting together with the help of Russ Dalton, BIM Director for AECOM, the world’s largest AEC firm.  Russ is always thinking ahead.  If you’re involved with BIM at your AEC firm you should be there if only to hear Russ.  We’re planning to push the boundaries of your current thinking.

Day 2 we’ll start with an opening Keynote from Patrick Morrissey, CMO of Altify, the largest Salesforce (CRM) player in our industry with clients like Autodesk, Johnson Controls, GE, Honeywell and others.  You think sales doesn’t affect you? We started BCS because every practitioner I talked to about Building Product Manufacturers (BPMs) was either bitching about the quality of the content they were receiving or griping about the “interruption marketing” techniques the BPMs employed.  That’s all changing and technology will play an important role, driven by changes in the information you share with the BPMs.

“I thought BCS was about how to make better Revit families” you may be thinking to yourself.  It is, at a very tactical level.  But more importantly, why aren’t we sharing more information with one another, from design through construction and facilities management and why aren’t we including the supply chain along the way?  Why is sales, the fact that you actually have to purchase products from a manufacturer, a “dirty word” with design professionals.  I don’t get it, so we’re going to talk about it at BCS.

by Ian Stewart @ The Teleghaph/Business

The world’s first operational police robot stands at attention in downtown Dubai
The world’s first operational police robot stands at attention in downtown Dubai

Most of us entertain rather ambivalent feelings about technology. We love the way in which new products and services make our lives easier and more enjoyable. But many of us also worry that the next wave of technology could destroy jobs for us or our children.

In the last few years these fears have strengthened. Today the concern is that innovation – from artificial intelligence, to advanced robots and driverless cars – will replace not just repetitive or manual jobs as they have done in the past, but also the creative, thinking jobs which make up the bulk of work in rich countries.

On this bleak assessment, corporations which control the disruptive technologies will prosper and working people will lose out.

Archives / Archivo