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Austin Commercial virtual design manager Fred Cardenas

Model everything, Austin Commercial virtual design manager Fred Cardenas says. He isn’t talking about Victoria’s Secret (although a Powerpoint of their ads could’ve driven the point home). Fred was among the speakers at the McGraw-Hill event Wednesday on Building Information Modeling (BIM): The Future of Construction –Healthcare. Among Fred’s BIM benefits:

  • Marketing: show owners what they can do.
  • Logistics and planning coordination.

  • Means and methods: projects like the Irving Convention Center can model lifting trusses and setting them into place with a video. 
  • Time management: making better use of time instead of discussing issues that should've been addressed already.
TD Industries’ Larry Bartlett talks about BIM

When it comes to using BIM, TD Industries’ Larry Bartlett says “we’ve come a long way from Steamboat Willie to Avatar.” Ten years in the future, he says, may hold even greater technological advances, but he credits BIM with making interoperability between the trades easier. He says its capabilities have definitely increased his business because now he can show clients and owners, in real time, what they’re getting before it’s built. Having to build something so they can touch it is a thing of the past, he explains. The process also shortens the construction time. (Not counting, we presume, getting distracted by Farmville while working on models.)

Linbeck BIM manager South Cole

Linbeck BIM manager South Cole attribute’s the firm’s $250-300M in back log projects to the firm’s BIM capabilities: “It’s real, and it’s happening across the construction industry.” South advises BIM implementation should be a lean process; it’s a way of operating like a culture. Among his lessons: Use only thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes, not in lieu of your people and processes; establish expectations early and cut your losses if unclear expectations become unrealized expectations; and remember that BIM is as much social as it is technical.