No one denies that architecture directly addresses crucially important realms, as we are reminded in discussions of sustainability, various forms of public health, and safety. It has a direct role in dealing with human comfort and well-being. It has huge impacts on energy, water and resource needs, and later with refuse. Yet here in the United States, only tertiary attention to the science and systematic development of knowledge in these domains is undertaken by schools of architecture. They rather tend to focus on the composition of form and space as the assemblers and composers of products and technologies. The technologies dealing with resources, energy, and most aspects of well-being generally have been picked up, developed, and applied by other professions, usually within engineering including structural, energy, acoustical, and other types of phenomena. As a result architecture has the primary responsibility for a declining range of issues and decisions within the construction industry. Explanation for this observable trend is liability and risk. Another may be the traditional size of rms offering architectural services. They do not have the scale needed to support this range of services, although consulting rms, often manned with architects, do offer these services. Is this a premonition for the development and use of BIM in architecture? Will it be outsourced to consultants, like CAD services have been, to satisfy con- tractual requirements? Is it a tool mainly for contractors?

University schools of architecture are the training ground for future architects. How is BIM being accepted in the universities? It was my hope and I think the hopes of other early developers of para- metric modeling of buildings—the earlier, more general name of systems before the acronym BIM was conceived—that parametric modeling of buildings would provide the leverage to re-capture the issues dwindling from the profession’s grasp. BIM was thought to facilitate and integrate assessment of func- tionality, performance, and increasing complexity to give architects better technology to integrate these new aspects into design with those already integrated regarding the more subjective social well-being and aesthetics. It was hoped that future architects would consider all these central issues within the eld.

This book serves as an early milestone for examining the status of the BIM endeavor in the universi- ties. From this viewpoint, it can also be used to assess other perspectives dealing with the interaction of social values and technology in design. It offers an implicit review of the relation of architecture to the new technological environment of modern society. With twenty-six chapters by a diverse set of mostly North American authors, the volume offers a good sense of current thinking in universities.




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