Three Years Ago Todayby Michael BordenaroFebruary 1, 2011Chicago54 million square feet of spaceHundreds of buildingsUsing 800 million kWh of energy annuallyCreated by 133 peopleObserved by 700 peopleIn 24 hoursWith 2.8 million pages of paper not printedThe LA BIMStorm AIA BIM Awards submittal was turned in three years ago today. Thesubmittal was generated from content created the day before before during a 24-hour globalonline charrette – a web-based brainstorm using Building Information Models.LA BIMStorm won the 2008 AIA BIM Awards Jurys Choice Award. “BIMStorm is beyond BIM,it moves the industry forward,” said juror Vladamir Bazjanac, PhD, with the LawrenceBerkeley National Laboratory, University of California.Today being Groundhog Day, it is interesting to note thesimilarity between BIMStorm and the movie of the samename. In the movie, Bill Murrays character keepsrepeating the same day over and over.BIMStorms keep happening over and over.Since the first official public BIMStorm three years ago,ONUMA, Inc. has conducted more than 24 BIMStorms ofvarious scale all over the world. More than 4,000 peoplehave participated in these demonstrations of web-basedbusiness process that are slowly becoming the norm in anever evolving global economy.In January 2011 alone, there were three BIMStorms -Hong Kong, San Diego and Chicago.Hong Kong San Diego Chicago
What has changed since buildings were firstlanded around Dodgers Stadium in LosAngeles in 2008 and when buildings raineddown on Grant Park in Chicago in 2011?First of all, things are a lot easier. Technologyhas advanced and people have become moreaware of doing business on the web. Fourfields of information – building name, buildingtype, number of stories and total square feetcan now be “landed” any where on GoogleEarth in less than a minute using an iPhone.That was not possible three years ago. Not that it matters. Whether a person conducts abuilding census using a piece of paper and pencil or an iPhone, the information gets put intothe same data base and can help influence.Getting information on the web is still the way to show value asthe building industry moves forward.BIMStorm demonstrations allow people to try their hand at web-based business processes on a practice project.For the first BIMStorm, six weeks of lessons were conducted toprepare 133 people for participation. This year, three shortBIMStorms allowed more than 300 people to see the value ofweb-based business practices in three weeks.The experience is repeating at a higher rate than 3 years ago. The “Groundhog Day Effect” isaccelerating. More people are engaging in real BIMStorm style business processes. TheDepartment of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the General ServicesAdministration, the California Community College system and other are using web-basedprocesses to achieve dramatic improvements in productivity and profitability.As part of the BIMStorm Chicago, Deke Smith, FAIA, included a case study of a project thatsaved more than $5 million using the open standards that make BIMStorms possible. Asexecutive director of the buildingSMART alliance, Smith promotes all software vendors tomake data available so all software can work together to solving the increasingly complexproblems of our societys need for efficient buildings.In the week that President Barack Obama called for firstresponders being able to look up a floor plan on the wayto a fire, BIMStorm Chicago demonstrated how that ispossible today with no cost and low cost software.In the same State of the Union speech, President Obamasaid we need to take on the mission of renewable energyfor all the same way leaders in the 1960s took on themission of landing a man on the moon.
In the same week, Deke Smith said it would take less effort to save $400 billion in a year inthe building industry than it took to put a man on the moon.BIMStorm Chicago might have landedhundreds of millions of dollars worth ofbuildings on Grant Park in Google Earthwhere they will never be built. But it wasclear that more is possible today than mostpeople realize.If a moon landing effort were placed onsaving significant savings of time andmoney for federal, state and localgovernment building departments, acumulative cost reduction could have apositive impact on public funds. Energysavings could be realized on a meaningfulscale. Reduction of greenhouse gas can beclearly measured and positive impactstracked.This was visible 3 years ago through BIMStorm LA. It is more clear today.As BIMStorms are repeated over and over, cost saving, web-based business processes willbecome so prevalent in the building industry that the “Ground Hogs Day” clock will stop goingoff and we will wake up to find our moon mission accomplished.