Building Chicago - Spring/Summer 2012 - (Page 5)
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR INFORMATION IS TODAY? How about tomorrow?
As an owner, you may want to get some cloud cover when choosing a contractor.
interactively with all members of the building team. Information and documents can be delivered instantaneously. The most current set of drawings is always available to everyone. Communication is vastly improved. Contractors can get on with the building of a building instead of fulltime administration. When you select a contractor, by default you choose the way information ﬂows. This question should be investigated in all evaluations of potential contractors. You, as the owner, have the ability to dictate the project management system to be used. With either choice you need to make sure the barriers to communication and the gatekeepers are kept to a minimum. The contractor generally has the role of project information administrator. Most contractors’ systems protect information. They are not designed to share information with any other members of the construction team, including you, as owner, the architect, engineers, consultants and specialty contractors. This is the key issue to be evaluated. How information is shared and collaboration is facilitated by the system is the key to success and savings. The challenge for contractors is to decide what information they should share and what information is conﬁdential to their operations. The ﬁrst category would include invitations to bid, Requests for Information, potential cost events and pricing, change orders, contracts, etc. The second category for the contractor would be his ﬁnancial
By Stan Pepper Plans and Specs
istorically, drawings and specs were schlepped around from office to office, person to person. Key information was distributed almost by pony express. Today, the Internet has changed the way information goes out. Unfortunately, information is now shared through many vehicles - emails, FTP sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is usually done with little, if any, thought about how the information is to be sent, received or saved. Emails are sent out to project team members with meeting minutes, schedules and punch lists. Your computer is overwhelmed with information from all sides, and you are responsible for organizing it. Inevitably, when you need something you can’t ﬁnd it. With the development of the Cloud, the opportunity to use project information in new and more efﬁcient ways to build faster and more effectively is here. Now, owners and contractors are able to communicate information to the entire team in a matter of seconds. Interactive systems in the cloud make project information ubiquitous. New cloud systems enable the team to work
statements, estimating system, job cost systems, etc. The ﬁnal question on information that you, as owner, need to ask is how will the close out documents be completed and delivered to me? In the past, project closeouts usually were 20 banker boxes and 15 rolls of drawings. These were received and put into storage. When your maintenance or building management staff needs to access this information, they usually have to recover ﬁles from on-site or off-site storage which is expensive and time consuming. In fact, delays may be critical and impede actions. Today, close outs use DVD and BluRay technology. There are problems with both. DVD’s degrade in time and sun. Blu-Ray holds greater bits of information but needs a special player in order to read the bits and bytes. Why not leave it in the cloud where you can access needed information at any time from any place? It is important for you, the owner, to know how and what your contractor will be doing with your information. The cloud by itself is necessarily the answer. How the cloud is used and the advantages it brings to communications and collaboration is the key. You need to take responsibility to control your building information’s destiny. A Stan Pepper is a veteran of the construction industry and the CEO of Plans and Specs, a communications and collaboration platform for the construction industry. Contact himb for more information at 847-876-1003. Building Chicago Spring/Summer 2012 • 5 o
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Chicago - Spring/Summer 2012
A Message from the Builders Association President
Do You Know Where Your Information is Today? …you may want to get some cloud cover.
Public-Private Partnerships in the U.S. The perfect storm.
Four Sustainability Trends to Watch in 2012 Sustainable development enters a new phase.
Member Projects Continuing to “Build Chicago.”
Questions Abound in Financial Outlook Prospects and predictions.
Index of Advertisers
Building Chicago - Spring/Summer 2012