This past Tuesday, March 20th 2018 the NYC Revit User Group (RUG) met up at the Lutron Commercial Experience Center in Midtown. Typically, past NYC RUG events have focused on how different stakeholders within the construction project life cycle leverage BIM, and specifically the information derived from the model to design, communicate and ultimately shape the built environment.
The presenting company for this Meetup at Lutron was WeWork, the global co-working space giant. WeWork was founded in 2010 with a simple goal: build more than beautiful, shared office spaces - build a community. A place you join as an individual, "me", but when upon joining, you become part of a greater "we".
This presentation from WeWork today was no exception and definitely followed the lead from the previous events in the series - and by my estimation - put an exclamation point on several themes that have been percolating to the surface of the industry. More on that in a moment.
The presenters on this night were Grant Foster and Libo Li, both Senior Building Information Managers at WeWork. The heart of the presentation was a focus on the internal BIM team's response to interdisciplinary needs of a vertically integrated company. The approach demonstrated small, two-way integrations and multi-party authorship through enabling access. By connecting those closest to the source of truth by lowering the technical barrier of access, Grant and Libo deliver a greater sense of certainty to those who access the information. The goal is to provide techniques and frameworks their team has tested and therefore can help get more value out of your BIM workflows.
While multiple trends were discussed, I want to focus on two of them: the societal change that's happened and how that has impacted today's workflow.
The Societal Change
Having personally just eclipsed the decade experience mark in the construction industry, I know certain things to be true that were discussed. There has been a generational shift. The industry is getting younger. This shift brings with it a dependency upon tech which is forcing widespread adoption of new technologies and software.
The Impact on Workflow
BIM for these professionals isn't an option, it's the default and how it will be done. It isn't even a question for this generation. This is how they work. The digital representation of the building product needs to be as reliable as the physical manifestation of the product.
It is critical for building product manufacturers to have BIM but arguably just as important to make it easy for guys like Grant and Libo to find, view and download. The expectation is that the information is up to date and accurate from the manufacturer.
Last, efficiency in workflow is king, and generally trumps all. It has to be super easy for them to find and use or they'll just go elsewhere or do it themselves. They're not going to call a manufacturer. They're not going to pick up the phone. They'll just quickly find another way to fix the problem by using another digital asset.