Tag Archives: BIM

Architectural Project Delivery Goes Back to the Future

Finding BIM’s place
by H. Maynard Blumer, FAIA, FCSI

An active CSI member since 1962, I spent years authoring articles in my local chapter’s newsletter, based on what I had learned while writing specifications and managing an architectural studio—sharing knowledge with my peers in the old-fashioned spirit of the Construction Specifications Institute. Now, a few decades later, I’m ‘coming out of retirement’ to write one more article after I sat in on a presentation at a chapter meeting given by a contractor about building information modeling (BIM).

This is because it became clear how BIM could help answer many problems I had worked to solve over my 50-year career. The technology improves architecture and construction, increases value, and reduces costs.

By incorporating BIM into a system of project delivery documents, architects will return to being the designer, the specifiers, and the arbiters of tradition, rather than computer operators. Shades and shadows will return to design; there will be watercolor, charcoal, and pencils. Contractors armed with BIM will work with their subcontractors. Graphic portions of shop drawing submittals will replace architect-generated detailed construction drawings. Materials suppliers with manufacturers and subcontractors will employ detail designer-draftspersons who will move their employment closer to real construction—perfecting details, eliminating duplication, and reducing construction costs.

Architectural services will provide the starting place with design concepts, complete specifications, and pilot details, constituting the control documents. Contractor-provided BIM documents will replace shop drawings and will be monitored by architects for concept and specifications compliance. Change orders will keep documents in contractual order while incorporating supplier and subcontractor suggested economies. We will be back to the traditional architectural project delivery. Design will have been snatched from the computer and returned to the architect.

By attaching American Institute of Architects (AIA) A201, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, to appropriate agreements, insurance attorneys and bondspersons know who is covered and who is responsible in accordance with construction case law, as it has been for these years. Ethics and intellectual property will be not be confused. Supplementary Conditions can be provided to cover who does what, as needed, to any project delivery system.

More than a quarter-century ago, I wrote two pieces for The Construction Specifier—September 1989’s “Brand Name Specification” and April 1986’s “Prior Approval” (for materials substitutions). I believe those concepts, along with BIM and AIA A201, provide the keystone for ethical and competitive construction documents that deliver value-added projects when incorporated within any architectural project delivery system.

Maynard Blumer, FAIA, FCSI, is a retired architect and landscape architect living in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He received his bachelor of architecture from Oklahoma State University (then Oklahoma A & M College) in 1953. Blumer directed the production studios of GSAS Architects for 20 years, and practiced as a consulting architect for 27 years in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached at bluehmaynard@q.com.

Cold-formed Steel Framing Gets Complicated

CFS_02 BP Hall by Alex Pitt - Courtesy The Music Center

Photo © Alex Pitt, The Music Center

by Chuck Mears, FAIA, Ryan Rademacher, AIA, 
Sheri Carter, AIA, and Michael Chusid, RA, FCSI, CCS
During the medieval period, complex Gothic structures were built from drawings that communicated a designer’s overall vision without detailing specific means of construction. Master craftsmen translated designs into buildable structures using simple tools available at the time. Now, in some respects, the construction industry has come full circle.

Complex concepts envisioned by contemporary designers are being translated into buildable structures by a new generation of master builders. The differences, however, are today’s building materials can be considerably lighter weight than stone masonry of yore, and the craftsman’s tool kit includes building information modeling (BIM) capabilities.

Recent advances in cold-formed steel (CFS) framing illustrate this transition. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) defines cold-formed steel as:

shapes manufactured by press-braking blanks sheared from sheets, cut lengths of coils or plates, or by roll-forming cold-rolled or hot-rolled coils or sheets; both forming operations being performed at ambient room temperature, that is, without manifest addition of heat such as would be required from hot forming.

CFS uses thinner materials with different structural characteristics than hot-rolled sections. Thanks to the efforts of AISI, Cold-formed Steel Engineers Institute (CFSEI), and other industry organizations, there are well-established engineering and fabrication guidelines for orthogonal CFS structures. However, using CFS for complex curved or faceted surfaces still relies on master crafters—now called subject matter experts (SME)—with specialized skills and knowledge.

The relationship between an SME and the project’s architect/engineer (A/E) and contractor has to be defined within terms of the project’s contract documents. For example, a specialist could be a:

vendor assisting the A/E or contractor on a promotional basis;
professional consultant hired by the A/E or contractor to advise on, or take responsibility for, engineering;
properly licensed design professional hired by the contractor; or
supplier providing framing for a project. (Any recommendations to improve or simplify framing would require appropriate change orders or construction change directives prior to deviating from construction documents.)

The BIM boom
Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is a poster child for complex architectural surfaces. Many of the curvilinear finishes inside the Frank Gehry-designed building are shaped and supported by armatures of CFS members. The project’s contractor hired an SME to engineer framing solutions and create BIM files to drive computer numerical controlled (CNC) fabrication, communicate with other trades, coordinate dimensions within tolerances of primary structure, and detect clashes with other building elements.

CFS_01 Villard_de_Honnecourt_-_Sketchbook_-_29

Dating back to 13th century France, these reflected ceiling plans by Villard de Honnecourt required subject matter experts (SMEs) to translate design intent into stone. Complex structures still need similar expertise to translate building information models (BIMs) into cold-formed steel. Image courtesy Holst Architecture

While BIM may someday be as well-established as hammer and chisel are to stone masonry, the construction industry is still grappling with the best way to use its digital toolkit. Architects that design complex surfaces tend to be with the same firms gravitating toward BIM. Their models assist in visualizing spaces or establishing overall geometry, yet often lack information necessary to construct a project.

Even when BIM is available for a project, the construction contracts are usually based on sets of drawings and models are issued to builders solely for reference. Despite this, many construction contracts stipulate contractors provide digital data that can be added to the BIM file to show framing and facilitate clash detection. Amidst all this data, someone still has to figure out the best way to install framing and make the translation from virtual to physical. As one experienced installer explains it, “the model still doesn’t tell me where I need to put the stud.”

In addition to growing complexity of architectural shapes and digital practices, the steel framing industry has also evolved.

“In just the past five years, the steel stud industry has undergone a fundamental change,” said Steven A. Etkin, executive vice president/CEO of Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry (AWCI). “Where once the ‘generic’ steel stud reigned as king, it is rapidly being dethroned by the expanding use of proprietary products with unique profiles, varying stud thickness, and even specialized coatings.”

New tools simplify fabrication of complex shapes. For example, curving studs or tracks used to require a time-consuming process of making multiple cuts in members and then securing them into shape with straps, screws, or welds. New tools bend framing members by making origami-like plications (folds or pleats), and computer numerically controlled (CNC) lasers cut intricate shapes from light-gage steel such as tabs or entire CFS shapes that simplify assembly of components.

Further, codes and standards affecting CFS have been recently revised. There are now three industry associations with competing certification standards. Increased attention also has to be given to sustainability. A subject matter expert has to stay abreast of advances like these.

Alternative to other materials
One North is an urban infill office and retail development currently being constructed in Portland, Oregon. Intended to achieve Platinum certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the Holst Architecture design calls for deep apertures—pods—at windows to funnel daylight into offices yet block direct sun that could create glare and contribute to excess heat gain in the building. The building has continuous insulation with high thermal resistance. To minimize thermal bridging through insulation, each aperture will attach only by its four corners to the building.

The project’s structural engineer proposed welded hot-rolled rectangular steel tubes to create a cage at each aperture; trusses would hang from attachment points at sides of apertures and beams would span 
6 to 9 m (20 to 36 ft) between trusses. Hot-rolled steel is frequently used for structures like this because the engineering and detailing are well understood.

The architect, however, was willing to push the envelope and consider alternatives. Working with an SME, they were able to reduce weight of apertures by about 60 percent. LEED v4 uses ‘dematerialization’ to describe reduction in materials required for construction. This has the direct benefit of reducing environmental impact of extracting, fabricating, and transporting building products. It achieves additional benefits by reducing structural loads, thereby reducing material requirements throughout superstructure and foundations. Since raw steel is a significant part of a steel structure’s cost, switching to lightweight CFS helped reduce estimated in-place cost of apertures by about 30 percent.

Had hot-rolled steel been used, cages would have required infill framing to support finishes. In a CFS system, structural members also serve as substrate for finishes, simplifying construction and contributing to the material’s economy.

The expansive gallery housing the Anderson Collection is defined by a convex ceiling. It is finished with acoustical plaster to create a seamless surface and control reverberation, and is suspended from a cold-formed steel framework. Daylight infiltrates through perimeter clearstories with frosted glazing to diffuse light. Photo © Tim Griffith

Simplified framing logic
The Anderson Collection of 20th Century Art goes on display this fall in a new building on Stanford University’s campus in Palo Alto, California. The building, designed by Ennead Architects, has an interior capped with an expansive 57 x 24.5 m (187 x 81 ft) ceiling. Referred to as ‘the Belly,’ it is both convex and complex—no two portions of its doubly curved surface have the same shape. Rising from a height of 8.6 m (28 ft) near the building’s center, it reaches 11.7 m (38 ft) around the perimeter where it meets a continuous clerestory that introduces diffused daylight into the hall.

Given the prestige of collection and importance of ceilings to the gallery’s interior design, the project was the antithesis of the ‘beat-to-fit, paint-to-match’ attitude that can lead to forming complex surfaces by brute force. While the architect built a digital model defining ceiling contours, means and methods of construction were not detailed. The contractor initially considered a conventional tee-bar ceiling suspension grid, but decided it would be too difficult to maintain dimensional tolerances working with straight framing elements. The SME was asked for assistance in determining framing logic for the ceiling and to develop a method of installing it to exacting dimensions.

The SME began by building a more precise model of the space for better control of the ceiling’s geometry. Its recommendation to use a system of curved light-gage steel ribs located 1.2 m (4 ft) on center (o.c.), was accepted; the firm was hired to detail and fabricate a system to meet California’s rigorous seismic-resistance criteria and state-approval process.

Cold-formed channels were used to suspend ribs from the roof deck to obtain more stability than would have been practical with wire hangers usually employed for ceiling suspension. The channels penetrated the roof deck and were attached to horizontal member on top of the deck so loads on fasteners were in shear, not tension—this meant greater seismic reliability. Holes in the deck were drilled based on dimensions taken from the SME’s BIM.

Each rib has a unique profile, and the SME established control points on each one to continuously fit the desired shape. Especially close tolerances were required, since deviations in ceiling surface would have been visually exaggerated by glancing light from clerestories. The ribs were factory-curved and color-coded to match installation drawings that, along with sh

op drawings, were generated with information extracted from BIMs. Pre-curved hat channels span between ribs at 400 mm (16 in.) o.c. to provide transverse resistance to seismic forces and more precise control of geometry for finishes.

According to ceiling installer, J&J Acoustics, a conventional ceiling suspension grid would have required scaffolding for a work platform, but the CFS suspension system could be installed from telescoping boom lifts. While scaffolding was eventually required to apply an acoustical plaster finish, use of lifts to install the suspension system gave the general contractor more time with unrestricted access to work floor.

The curved exterior walls of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) in Atlanta symbolize arms linked in unity, and variation in cladding panels represent diversity of humans. Photo © Gene Phillips Photography

Ruled surfaces or curved framing?
While the Anderson Collection building’s ceiling geometry was complex, it had few interfaces with building elements other than perimeter. The same cannot be said for exterior wall framing of the recently completed National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) in Atlanta, designed by The Freelon Group (now part of Perkins+Will) in collaboration with HOK as architect of record. The museum’s exterior walls have compound curvatures, lean inward from bottom to top, and interface with fenestration and curving floor and roof decks.

The A/E designed the walls as ‘ruled’ surfaces—that is, one that can be generated by straight lines. In theory, this should have made it simple to build with linear studs. However, to conform to the complex geometry, studs had to be installed out of plumb, and the degree and direction of inclination varied from stud to stud. Combined with walls’ inward tilt, this meant gravity and wind loads, along with deflection of superstructure, had to be resolved as forces acting both axially and perpendicularly to double-leaning studs. For example, each connection at intermediate floor levels required a unique hot-rolled steel bracket for studs to lean against in addition to normal stand-off clips.

Faced with the complexity, framing contractor Principle Partners retained the SME to model structure, establish X-Y-Z coordinates, and assist with installation.

For the NCCHR in Atlanta, CFS studs lean inward from bottom to top, and are inclined to various degrees left and right. While the resulting ruled surface is intuitively elegant, curved framing members might have simplified installation, connections, and window openings. Photo courtesy Principle Partners

While the project was executed with the straight framing members the architect envisioned, SME determined installation could have been simplified by using curved CFS framing members instead of straight studs. Curved studs could be installed plumb to resist gravity loads without the customized brackets. Eliminating the brackets and simplifying labor would more than offset the cost of curving the studs.

Window openings would also be simplified because the hot-rolled steel used to frame openings could be replaced by conventional CFS headers. The project had advanced to the point, however, where it was impractical to accept the proposed redesign.

This demonstrates why subject matter experts are best brought onto project teams early in the design process. According to the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA’s) 2007 Integrated Project Delivery: A Guide, this:

allows the designer to benefit from the early contribution of constructors’ expertise during the design phase, such as accurate budget estimates to inform design decisions and the pre-construction resolution of design-related issues resulting in improved project quality and financial performance.

The SME was also able to expedite construction by panelizing a multi-faceted suspended ceiling that zigzagged above the NCCHR’s 230-m2 (2500-sf) events space. The installer initially hired the consultant just to prepare shop drawings for the complex framing. However, as the deadline for the museum’s opening drew nearer, the general contractor determined either scaffolding to assemble framing in-place or fabricating the ceiling on the floor would have interfered with other activities to be performed in the building.

The light weight of light-gage framing made it simple to transport and handle panelized elements. Panels as long as 9 m (30 ft) were light enough to be carried into the building as needed, and then quickly lifted into place with two or three scissor lifts (depending on configuration).

The success of each of these projects was a team effort that included an A/E to establish vision, a contractor to execute that vision, and an SME to provide specialized expertise. This type of three-way relationship is relatively new in the light-gage steel industry, but well-established in many other aspects of construction. With precast concrete, for example, the architect or engineer of record will specify loads and performance criteria for structure, but design of actual members is delegated to specialist consultants and fabricators.

As mentioned, the SME could be one of a number of parties, ranging from vendors and consultants to suppliers, as defined in the project documents. However the team is put together, SMEs can be said to fill the role of the guilds that built the Gothic structures referenced at beginning of article—applying the art and science of their trade toward making great architecture.

Chuck Mears, FAIA, is CEO and chief design officer of Radius Track, a firm specializing in engineering and fabrication of curved and complex cold-formed steel (CFS) framing tools and systems. He can be reached at chuck@radiustrack.com.

Ryan Rademacher, AIA, is design director at Radius Track. He uses building information modeling (BIM) and parametric design to integrate digital fabrication with artisanal craft. He can be reached at ryan@radiustrack.com.

Sheri Carter, AIA, is the marketing manager at Radius Track. She has a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Buffalo and was in architectural practice before moving into building product sales and marketing. Carter leads the firm’s efforts in product development, sustainable design, and continuing education. She can be reached at sheri@radiustrack.com.

Michael Chusid, RA, FCSI, CCS, started his career working for a cold-formed steel framing manufacturer in 1978. He has been a marketing and technical consultant to many firms in the industry since then. He can be reached at michael@chusid.com.


The Benefits of BIM for Interior Steel Framing

Image © BigStockPhoto/AndreasG

Image © BigStockPhoto/AndreasG

by Mike Murzyn 

Building information modeling (BIM) is quickly becoming a formal procedure for modern steel construction. From software that optimizes the building envelope with information on dead load and structural load inputs for wind, seismic, and other requirements, to programs enabling sustainable design by addressing energy efficiency and green product specification, BIM processes are being adopted across the country.

Recent research conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction shows BIM adoption in the construction industry expanded to more than 70 percent of architects and engineers in 2012, compared to 17 percent in 2007 and 49 percent in 2009.1 However, while use is increasing, the concept of component-specific BIM for applications such as wall, floor, and ceiling systems is only beginning to gain traction among design and building professionals. Sometimes referred to as ‘add-ins,’ these tools allow specific products and systems to be directly imported into a larger BIM design and shared with the entire construction team, enhancing project coordination and collaboration.

Component-specific BIM for wall design
Accounting for nearly 60 percent of all metal studs in the United States, interior, non-structural wall partitions are one of the most common applications for steel framing—specifically light-gauge studs.2

In this example, the conduit and wall framing have been planned to work together. The bank of electrical outlets was known in the design phase. As a result, each trade was able to understand how the elements should fit in the field. Not only does this look clean, but the coordinated effort also allowed it to pass inspection and prevent delays in the field. Images courtesy ClarkDietrich Engineering Services LLC

In this example, the conduit and wall framing have been planned to work together. The bank of electrical outlets was known in the design phase. As a result, each trade was able to understand how the elements should fit in the field. Not only does this look clean, but the coordinated effort also allowed it to pass inspection and prevent delays in the field. Images courtesy ClarkDietrich Engineering Services LLC

Steel framing used for interior wall partitions comes in various shapes, thicknesses, and sizes. Each of these components has a specific function in the wall assembly. Selecting the correct size and thickness depends primarily on spacing of framing members and the wall’s height. Other considerations throughout the selection process include the application of the wall finishes, whether they will be applied to one or both sides, full height for composite design, and any applicable impact resistance requirements.

Through use of building information models, each element of a wall assembly can be created as an ‘intelligent’ object containing a broad array of product information in addition to its physical dimensions. Every element in the BIM project knows how it relates to other objects and to the overall design. This helps manage complex plans from multiple trades, as well as identify and avoid potential clashes or inconsistencies before reaching the jobsite. This is of particular importance as the wall framing phase of a project can significantly impact several other trades.

Additionally, the level of detail available through BIM add-ins is of value to architects and engineers looking to develop data-rich 3D images of interior spaces or component load-bearing wall framing. It helps in the creation of infinite views, perspectives, schedule data, and facility and operational management for the life of the building. In addition to detail on code requirements and strength, a BIM project that has taken wall types to the next step by using framing add-in software can identify the location of wall penetrations, as well as provide accurate wall shapes and opening dimensions on individual panel drawings.

Wall design and construction
There are hundreds of different wall types being used in steel framing, however, there has been little information about incorporating interior framing into BIM projects until recently.

Building information modeling (BIM) is helping streamline the cold-formed steel (CFS) framing process by providing detailed 3D models to track the framing through the construction process and allowing them to frame around other trades without the mechanical systems being in place.

Building information modeling (BIM) is helping streamline the cold-formed steel (CFS) framing process by providing detailed 3D models to track the framing through the construction process and allowing them to frame around other trades without the mechanical systems being in place.

In response, some cold-formed steel (CFS) framing manufacturers offer BIM add-ins allowing users to seamlessly integrate a significant amount of wall data into new or existing models, improving comprehensiveness. The programs can also eliminate the need for temporary wall libraries requiring users to change each individual wall element to accommodate updates.

When considering different wall framing BIM add-ins, it is important to ensure the program includes all the information the design team needs, such as:

  • detailed wall assembly data with product information;
  • type and number of wall sheathing layers;
  • overall wall width with the ability to add resilient channel and/or wall insulation;
  • recycled content details for projects pursuing points under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program;
  • product submittal sheet links;
  • fire test data, including Underwriters Laboratories (UL) test number;
  • sound test data (e.g. sound transmission class [STC] performance rating); and
  • limiting height tables based on stud spacing, deflection, and interior lateral load.

In many cases, when a wall type is created, it displays the actual materials and assembly needed for correct installation. This amount of programming and detail allows the design team to see exactly how the wall needs to be constructed, what the limitations may be, and how it fits into the overall building’s construction. However, it is important to remember not all manufacturers’ BIM software add-ons are the same, and users need to be aware some systems may be more robust than others.

During the construction process, a common change order is for the removal or relocation of partition wall framings. Partition framing removal and relocation occurs due to design changes by the owner or architect, or to accommodate unanticipated intrusions, such as mechanical, electrical, or plumbing penetrations. Unfortunately, every time these changes take place, it increases the cost and time spent on the project.

However, through BIM and component-specific add-ins, building professionals can virtually identify these clashes and design the necessary changes prior to the contractor putting labor on the job. Add-ins now offer tools to simultaneously detect multiple clashes with mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) and structural members into wall types, then automatically create openings in the wall around these clashes. This extra level of detail opens the lines of communication between members of the design team and increases the likelihood of open, productive conversations where changes can take place in real time. Wall framing BIM add-ins can include a wide range of information relevant to installation, code requirements, LEED guidelines, and future maintenance.

Large BIM projects typically have onsite work stations allowing workers of all trades view 3D models to identify and avoid potential clashes or inconsistencies.

Large BIM projects typically have onsite work stations allowing workers of all trades view 3D models to identify and avoid potential clashes or inconsistencies.

Accurate estimates and best practices
The integration of a BIM wall framing add-ins greatly benefits structural engineers and architects looking to increase their participation with the design team and produce interior drawings more efficiently and accurately. The ability to look at a BIM object or wall type and quickly understand a wall’s construction, fire and sound requirements, and limiting heights and design helps the engineering team more effectively answer questions about performance characteristics and structural integrity as well as other associated building elements.

Bid accuracy is essential. By accurately building interior walls using BIM, the framing contractor can confidently describe construction costs and immediately anticipate areas that may require additional work to prevent clashes. This information helps the contractor stay in line with the project’s budget, and better understand the time and materials needed for a particular phase. Possessing this level of information while bidding on a project can help other stakeholders easily process the data and showcase how the interior walls integrate with other plumbing, electrical, and HVAC components.

BIM also has benefits after the structure is complete. Providing as much detail as possible to facility management and building owners can help reduce costs for the lifetime of the building and make maintenance and updates more cost effective over time. A small example would be the ability for the facility management to be able to see wall framing backing locations for cabinetry or hand rails. What makes BIM unique is its ability to integrate information from various stages of the building lifecycle and easily communicate this data to the appropriate members of the construction team.

To increase efficiencies and reduce confusion, it is important BIM models and drawings provided to the construction team are as complete and detailed as possible, which encourages active and collaborative coordination between all involved parties.

As BIM continues to gain traction for projects of all sizes, there are three best practices for any individual or project team to consider:

  • discuss how to organize the BIM model;
  • decide on the level of detail to include; and
  • share the design intent with other professionals who play a role in construction and may interact with the model.

By incorporating a wall framing add-in into the larger BIM projects, design teams are ensuring there is an elevated level of detail and awareness regarding the installation of the interiors, resulting in fewer changes and less confusion.

This proprietary add-in incorporates and fi lters detailed information on wall elements and design properties, such as UL assemblies based on fi re-rating requirements, sound transmission class (STC) ratings, and limiting height design.

This proprietary add-in incorporates and fi lters detailed information on wall elements and design properties, such as UL assemblies based on fi re-rating requirements, sound transmission class (STC) ratings, and limiting height design.

This proprietary BIM add-in incorporates detailed information on wall elements and design properties, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) assemblies based on fi rerating requirements, sound transmission class (STC) ratings, and limiting height design.

This proprietary BIM add-in incorporates detailed
information on wall elements and design properties, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL) assemblies based on fi rerating requirements, sound transmission class (STC) ratings, and limiting height design.

The sustainable qualities of cold-formed steel framing make it a natural fit for high-performance buildings. With various environmental and economic benefits, incorporating steel framing into a project can result in labor and cost savings for the construction team. Additionally, when using BIM add-ins, such as those for designing wall assemblies, specific system components can be seamlessly integrated into an easy-to-share information-rich model.

BIM opens the door for architects to pass models with various wall elements and design properties onto contractors with the assurance all materials will work together within the overall building design. This type of interactive platform, in which details have been linked together, gives architects and contractors a truly collaborative framework to successfully design even the most challenging wall assemblies.

1 For more, see McGraw-Hill Construction’s The Business Value of BIM in North America SmartMarket Report. Visit at www.construction.com/about-us/press/bim-adoption-expands-from-17-percent-in-2007-to-over-70-percent-in-2012.asp. (back to top)
2 See M.Reisdorf’s “Light Gauge Metal Stud Framing” at buildipedia.com/aec-pros/construction-materials-and-methods/light-gauge-metal-stud-framing-planning-and-practices(back to top)

Mike Murzyn is a technical product and marketing manager for cold-formed metal framing manufacturer, ClarkDietrich Building Systems. He was a key developer in the company’s building information modeling (BIM) add-in wall-type creator. Murzyn has more than 15 years of experience with design, engineering, product, and software development. He can be contacted via e-mail at mike.murzyn@clarkdietrich.com.

AIA Convention: CSI endorses Contract Documents Digital Practice set


The American Institute of Architects (AIA) held its annual conference in Chicago last month.
Photo courtesy Jacquie Clancy

Last month, the 2014 annual American Institute of Architects (AIA) Convention welcomed nearly 20,000 attendees to Chicago.

Beginning June 25 and wrapping up three days later, the event was packed with educational seminars, keynote presentations, and a bustling tradeshow. Close to 800 exhibitors filled the McCormick Place hall, showcasing new products, materials, and technologies. Also included on the show floor were various education sessions taking place in learning lounges and at numerous booths. These were held in conjunction with the traditional seminars that included topics such as:
● “Innovative Global Approaches to Solar Shading Strategies: The Interplay of Climate, Culture, and Construction” (Melanie L. Berkemeyer, LEED AP, and Fiona Cousins, LEED Fellow, PE, FCIBSE);
● “Innovative Applications in Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel” (Terri M. Boake, BES, BArch, March, LEED AP);
● “Deep Energy Retrofits and the Architect’s Role in This Emerging Opportunity” (Nicholas Docous, LEED AP, NCARB, Jeremy Kalin, and Maurya McClintock, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP); and
● “Increased Project Delivery Efficiency on Renovation Projects Utilizing Building Information Modelling (BIM) Strategies and Workflows” (Jennifer L. Costanzo, AIA, LEED AP).

Outside the convention center, organized tours took attendees to view some of Chicago’s landmarks and architectural hotspots. These events included a running tour along the Windy City’s lakefront, a walk exploring the transformation of its South Loop area, and a bus tour to check out Wilmette, Illinois’ Baha’i House of Worship and Welcome Center.

AIA also used the convention to announce the endorsement of its Contract Documents Digital Practice set by CSI. Reviewed by a technical committee for consistency with CSI’s technical values, the endorsed documents include:
● AIA C106-2013, Digital Data Licensing Agreement;
● AIA E203-2013, Building Information Modeling and Digital Data Exhibit;
● AIA G201-2013, Project Digital Data Protocol Form; and
● AIA G202-2013, Project Building Information Modeling Protocol Form.

“We are pleased the AIA documents incorporate the 2010 edition of UniFormat and OmniClass Table 21–Elements into the BIM protocol as methods of organizing and identifying BIM information,” said CSI’s immediate past-president, Casey F. Robb, FCSI, CCPR, LEED AP. “This use of CSI standards help align the AIA documents with established industry BIM best practice.”

The 2015 AIA Convention will take place in Atlanta, from May 14 to 16. Click here for more information about registration, submitting presentation proposals, and exhibiting.

Four Ways to Maximize Your BIM

A building information model (BIM) of a residence halls project for Miami University’s Western Campus. Image courtesy CR architecture + design

A building information model (BIM) of a residence halls project for Miami University’s Western Campus.
Image courtesy CR architecture + design

The design/construction industry is in the early stages of a revolution centered around a concept known as building information modeling (BIM). From early concept, programming, and document production to construction management and facility operation, BIM is a steadily growing delivery tool. Continue reading