Monthly Archives: September 2010

NYC Revit Users Group to Acquire Chicago BIM-IPD Group

CHICAGO – Sept 24, 2010. New York to Become One of the World’s Leading Revit Groups Through Planned Merger With Chicago

With more and more BIM groups forming, interoperability advocates wonder how the industry can best consolidate its efforts.

Today, they may have found their answer.

In what could only be described as a sign of the times, the NYC Revit Users Group (NASDAQ: NRUG) purchased David Ivey’s Chicago BIM-IPD Group, its 2nd acquisition in 2 weeks.

Megalith NYC Revit Users Group (USA) (NYSE) 28.75 -0.06‎ (-0.45%‎)  Sep 22 4:00pm ET 27.65‎ -0.09‎ (-0.20%‎) After Hours in heavy trading, said Thursday it will buy the Chicago group outright.

It was unclear whether Andre Baros’ Chicago BIM Community, whose members were in attendance for Thursday’s monthly proceedings, was part of the deal.

Terms of the deal were not released

In after hours M&A movement, NYC Revit Group (TSX: NYR, NYSE: NROD) is taking a giant leap forward with its plan to become one of the world’s leading BIM groups through a signed letter of intent for the Chicago-headquartered BIM-IPD Group.

Whether the NYC Revit Users Group intends to acquire all of the buildingSMART alliance Interest Groups by the end of 2010, to create neutral ground and to bring unity to the growing trend, remains to be seen.

“That’s the $64,000 question,” says Bill Simmons, KIRK executive vice president.  “I believe it’s in the industry’s best interest to provide a unified vision that we can work toward which is meaningful and deliverable.”

There has been no announcement whether the combined groups will continue to meet in their respective cities or in a mutually convenient location such as Cleveland, which currently doesn’t support a Revit Users Group, or for that matter, a restaurant.

NYC Revit Users Group (NYC-RUG) has its designs on other groups

The new megalith will promote open standards that link national and international stakeholders in development, construction, design and building management sectors and serve refreshments.

Revit Users Group Sydney did not comment for this post.

There is no word at this point as to New York’s intention to maintain the IPD identity.

“That’s the $64,000 question,” said Simmons.

James Vandezande, HOK Senior Associate in NYC, was in town Thursday to give a masterful talk to the two Chicago groups in attendance at HOK’s Chicago offices on the subject of buildingSMART in Architecture, and to give away a copy of his new book, Mastering  Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011, to a lucky winner.

Turnout for another outstanding meeting of the Chicago BIM-IPD Group was standing room only, overflowing out into the adjoining lobby and beyond.

Vandezande, President of NYC-RUG, prolific co-author of the magisterial Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture 2011 and blogger at All Things BIM, where they have recently featured the London RUG which NYC-RUG is also currently looking to acquire.

David Ivey, an Associate with HOK, who will maintain his current role and title through the merger, was unavailable to comment.

Chicago is the BIM Group No. 3 in the crosshairs after last week’s announcement that NYC Revit Users Group had acquired the Seattle BIM Group.

Vandezande said the acquisition will give the group a much stronger presence in the Midwestern U.S., while the Seattle BIM Group buyout will help it grow in Northwestern states.

With would-be architect Barack Obama in the White House, could the Washington DC Revit Users Group be next?

The final purchase price for the Seattle BIM group hasn’t been disclosed. However, a recent filing with the Northwest Securities Administrators shows that NYC Revit Users Group used $70 of its cash flow to acquire refreshments in 2009.

It recently agreed to buy Seattle BIM Group, an architecture and engineering Revit users group with more than 30 gatherings in 13 conference rooms.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced.

Architectural Record, a trade publication, ranked Chicago BIM-IPD Group as the 2nd-largest BIM-IPD Group, with $126 in total snack fund reserves for 2011.

NYC Revit Users Group is quite the acquisitive firm, with some indication that it plans to acquire nine Revit and BIM groups in 2010.

Chicago BIM-IPD Group traces its roots to 2007, when Ivey founded the group while meeting before work hours at a local restaurant. It came to HOK in 2009.

The two purchases help move NYC Revit Users Group toward its goal of world domination, becoming the leading global Revit Users Group, the group said. This acquisition brings the total anticipated purchases of BIM or Revit groups announced this year to eleven.

So who will find its way next into NYC-RUG’s acquisition crosshairs?

“That’s the $64,000 question,” said Simmons.

Copyright © 2010 The Associative Press. All rights reserved.

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Filed under BIM organizations, impact, Integrated Project Delivery, IPD

BIM in a Time of Disruption

What’s meant by Disruption?

Why not just say Disturbance?

Or Difficulty, Dissonance, Disorder?

Why not just fall back on the old chestnut, Turbulent?

Why introduce a new adjective when an old one will do?

Tumultuous?

Because the times we are facing as a profession and industry are just that.

Disruptive.

Requiring unusual levels of exertion on our part.

Marked by a shifting.

Resulting in displacement or discontinuity.

A break with the past.

A rupture (dis-rupture.)

Interrupting and impeding progress.

Leading to undesired consequences.

Facing challenges that act on us.

Not consecutively, in sequence, but simultaneously.

Preventing learning from taking place.

And a restful night’s sleep.

Placing us squarely outside our comfort zones

Feeling that things are not entirely in our control.

Like having your legs knocked out from under you.

What changes and doesn’t change

What doesn’t change in these disruptive times?

  • Values
  • Ideals
  • Goals
  • Culture

One thing that does change is the environment we’re living and working in.

Our context.

A shift in context

Think of the world we’re living and working in as our context.

The context in which we operate is shifting.

The challenge is how to remain productive and engaged while the world around us is changing.

Individuals, teams and organizations all over the world are faced with unprecedented levels of change in today’s social, economic and technology environments.

Here’s a quick survey through the litany of current disruptions to our familiar way of doing business.

Here’s the new context as I see it for working in BIM and Integrated Design.

3 types of disruption

  • Social
  • Economic
  • Technology

or S.E.T.

As in

  • mindSET               (social)
  • skillSET                  (technology)     
  • reSET                     (economy)

How to face the current disruptive challenges

  • social mindSET  
  • technology skillSET                         
  • economic reSET                               

And how to recognize them.

Like our president, design professionals today are confronting multiple problems at once.

Confronting us from all sides.

Compounding upon itself.

1. Social disruption

Workflow challenges.

Due to the fact that BIM has a completely different workflow from CAD.

And that senior management doesn’t understand this.

Caused by fellow teammates asking questions every 20 seconds.

Individual user frustration over inflexible access to elements needed for their work.

And team-wide loss of productivity while waiting for updates to complete.

Model data integration goes up.

Flexibility of workflow and performance in collaboration go down.

Work-sharing issues.

Working more collaboratively.

And focusing on creating new strategic collaborative relationships.

Interdisciplinary teams come together earlier in the process — at the onset of project team development.

Collaboration between architectural firms and other disciplines involved in the built environment ensue.

New types of agreements that promote cooperation.

Participation from all three major players – owners, architects, and constructors – simultaneously.

For the 1st time in history there are now 4 generations in the workplace at the same time.

Mutual mentoring.

Demand for accountability.

Quality problems often follow hastily put together reduced fee models worsening the problem and perception.

Architects finding their title shared with other industries.

Decisions expected to be more evidence-based.

Measured and then monetized.

Results-based compensation.

When we’re compensated.

2. Economic disruption

Brought about by the economic downturn, recession.

Running cold to hot.

From frozen credit and promotions to outright firing people.

Firms facing increasingly stiff competition.

Cutting fees to the bone to get new work.

Experiencing brand erosion.

Individuals and firms.

And still losing work to firms who low-balled fees.

Firms doing what they need to do to keep from having to layoff employees.

Shortened work weeks.

Furloughs.

Replacement of full-time technical employees with contract or outsourced workers.

Clients carefully considering the cost/benefit ratio of the services they buy.

Feeling more squeezed and threatened.

Wanting more but desiring to pay less:

The new less is more.

Client procrastination.

Clients want more for their money.

More complicated buildings delivered faster.

Schedule acceleration.

Unrealistic client expectations.

Turnover increasing.

Backlogs reducing.

Training considered an overhead cost.

Employees considered an overhead cost.

Feeling vulnerable and anxious.

Survivor’s guilt.

Making adjustments.

Working hard to maintain creative standards of design.

Striving to increase productivity of senior management.

Taking on more work, less time, less appreciation, less perks, less pay, rising expectations and fear.

More closely managed projects lead to more micromanaging, more oversight of senior management, less freedom and more scrutiny, less autonomy.

And happiness.

Taking on more risk to stay viable.

Or just to stay.

Going after work outside our area of expertise.

Smaller projects.

Outside your comfort zone.

In project type, in services rendered, in locations where you do business.

In the technology we use.

3. Technology disruption

Brought about by staying current with new tools.

Investment in new technology.

The sudden advent of building information design tools and digitally-driven fabrication of building components that integrate the design-to-build supply chain.

BIM, while not yet a ubiquitous tool, settles in.

Although still underleveraged.

And misunderstood.

HR thinks BIM is just the latest software.

As does senior management.

Clients start to expect BIM models as part of the deliverables. 

BIM helps meet quality, speed of delivery, energy consumption, sustainability and capital cost goals.

Design and construction marketplace, historically slow in its pace of disruption and change.

Suddenly isn’t.

BIM and Integrated Design require the use of collaborative tools.

Employees spend the day on Skype or in GoToMeeting sessions.

The firm sounds different with more frequent conference calls over speakerphone and web conferencing.

1000’s of clashes, conflicts and coordination errors are aired publicly in front of the whole team.

Like hanging your dirty laundry out to dry.

For everybody to see in the main conference room.

Employees are told this is part of the new process.

And not to equate the airing of clashes, conflicts and coordination errors with being criticized in public.

It’s best for the project.

We look for impact on morale.

Projects are better now for making course corrections in design rather than out in the field.

No longer worn-down by contractor RFIs and change orders.

While working in BIM, we learn about construction and constructability and sequencing.

And if it’s hard to build in BIM it’s hard to build in the field.

As Eric Hoffer said: “In times of change,

learners inherit the earth

while the learned find themselves

beautifully equipped to deal with

a world that no longer exists.”

Social, Economic and Technological Disruption

This is a time of economic, technical as well as social transition for practitioners.

Dealing with disruption requires

  • Agility, flexibility, adaptability, resourcefulness
  • Playing smarter, not only better
  • Listening, being observant, asking questions
  • Being attuned to the present so that we can anticipate the future
  • Perhaps most importantly, the right mindset and attitude

And yet, despite all of this disruption, according to Gallup, employees are still very much engaged.

How could this be?

Employees know what is going on.

But they don’t see much of the disruption.

They’re protected from it.

This is our new role in the age of BIM.

To do all we can to protect each other from the disruptors that are all around us.

In this time of less, we accomplish this as much by what we do

as by what we don’t do.

We do this by not doing or saying anything

unwittingly or purposefully

to demotivate or disengage one another.

Primum non nocere. “Do no harm.”

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Filed under BIM, BIM organizations, collaboration, construction industry, design professionals, Integrated Design, process, workflow