From keyboard to construction: Is it finally time to get rid of paper?


For decades, the construction industry has lagged nearly every other industry in productivity improvement1. While design and construction industries have adopted many new technologies (BIM, data management, VR and AR, 3-D laser scanning, LEAN practices, off-site prefabrication) and are moving toward paperless practice in order to improve processes, some of the end-to-end process remains in stuck in the past, still issuing a static, 2-D document (actual paper or pdf electronic file) for permitting and issued construction documents. This continues to create an efficiency bottleneck for the industry and project delivery process. Where can the use of the BIM model improve pre-construction and construction phase productivity? How is a BIM model now making possible a substantial amount of off-site pre-fabrication of entire components/partial assemblies? Can we go from the design team’s BIM model directly to construction and fabrication? When? How? Why or why not?

Learning objectives

  • Define what a Contract Document is, how legal cases establish their treatment, and how the BIM model creates challenges to this understanding.
  • Explain how a BIM model differs from a traditional Contract Document, why it’s important, and how that currently presents challenges to using a digital model as a Contract Document.
  • Cite examples of how BIM models are being used in construction and direct-to-fabrication processes today, and future opportunities to expand their use.
  • Discuss how BIM models can improve historically poor improvement levels in construction productivity.

This session was recorded live on March 8, 2021, as part of the Project Delivery Symposium 2021: Delivering the Future hosted by the AIA Project Delivery Knowledge Community.

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1.00 LU
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