Local architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing business leaders came together for BuildingSuccess Boston in early October for an open forum discussion about how getting manufacturing involved in the BIM process can help reduce the time, risk and cost associated with project delivery. It was an educational evening that could not have been done without the amazing panelists. A huge thanks to – Siggy Pfendler, Director of Virtual Construction at Columbia Construction, John McFarland, VP of Contractor Strategies at Hubbell Wiring Systems, Luke Voiland, Principal at Shepley Bulfinch and Dariusz Raczkowski, Director of Engineering at Tufts University for sharing their insights during the event.

Siggy Pfendler
Siggy PfendlerDirector of Virtual Construction
Columbia Construction
John McFarland
John McFarlandVP of Marketing
Hubbell Wiring Systems
Luke Voiland
Luke VoilandPrincipal
Shepley Bulfinch
Dariusz Raczkowski
Dariusz RaczkowskiDirector of Engineering
Tufts University

After brief introductions of each panelist, Dariusz from Tufts University jumped in to discuss the benefits of BIM from the owner’s perspective. With the help of BIM, owners can locate information needed quickly and have a better understanding of how to prioritize their work when dealing with staffing issues. Since adopting BIM technology, the Engineering department at Tufts has specifically become better at managing their installation/operations/maintenance schedules. In turn, they’ve been able to spread the knowledge across the team so there is an understanding of what needs to be maintained during construction. Dariusz commented, “This has created a win-win risk management strategy, keeping the owner and manufacturer out of hot water.”

Jody Reynolds, Vice President of Consulting at Microdesk and the evening’s moderator asked, “How do you bring content from manufacturers into a project?”. This started a great conversation amongst the panelists. Luke Voiland from Shepley Bulfinch mentioned that architects rely on 2D documents during the design phase of a project and that the models manufacturers provide are often too in-depth for their project needs. Both Siggy and Luke mentioned that graphically, they just need the physical size and simple drawing to represent the product.

From the manufacturer’s perspective, John is simply looking to ensure the BIM content that is downloaded from his website is providing the information needed. If he has a better understanding of what these models are being used for then he can work to ensure they provide the necessary information. Siggy mentioned that over-detailed models can cause project delays and often forces sub-contractors to take modeling into their own hands to develop the specific level of detail needed for a project. The panelists agreed, if owner requirements are defined in the early project phases, information can be streamlined which saves time and money across the design, building and construction phases.

The evening ended with a cocktail and networking reception where attendees furthered discussions around the evening’s topics. In closing, BuildingSucess may be over but industry leaders should continue to have these conversations to further uncover the challenges affecting the industry. Microdesk looks forward to bringing together another panel discussion at BuildingSuccess 2019.