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What Do You Think: Change One Thing About the Construction Industry

By CSI Editorial Staff posted 08-09-2018 16:31

What Do You Think, a weekly CSI conversation starter to help you share your experiences, insights, and observations about the work you do was introduced last month on the CSI-Connect Community.

This week’s post asked: What's one thing you would change about the construction industry, and why?

“Overall, the construction industry functions well to deliver buildings to owners. From planning, through design, on to construction, the process works well.

For a little background: What the ‘industry’ (designers, builders, owners) needs to change is how a building’s information is turned over to an owner. This change must start with the owner’s attitude about what they need to operate a facility. For decades, owners have been trained by designers and builders to accept documents that the designers and builders deem necessary. The very term ‘close out documents’ communicates the attitude behind the documents made available to owners for their use. There is boilerplate wording in the major spec services that perpetuate this attitude. How often do we see ‘three ring binders,’ and ‘red lined drawings’? The information contained in these sources is invaluable to owners. But it’s not enough. And it’s in a less-than-accessible form.

For a change: The owner’s attitude toward building information needs to change. Owners have a right to all the information generated during design and construction. In the last century, this information was in paper form. The buildings were also simpler. Buildings are now more complex and information is digital. Builders, designers, and owners all use electronic systems to design, build, and operate buildings. Why are we still using paper (or its digital counterpart) to turn over information to owners? Owners have to convert documents into a format that can be used in a facility management system. The information chain is broken at turn over.

For a little drama: Owners, rise up. Demand accessible, complete electronic information. It is your right. Also, keep in mind that files on CD's are like paper files. They are not as accessible as possible. Owners, BIM for FM is on the way. Our industry has a lot of work yet to do on it. So be wary of sales hype.”

- Thomas Schwetye CSI
  St Louis MO

Read all of the insightful replies to this week’s What Do You Think, and add your own take right here. Remember, please log-in with your user account to see the discussion thread.