Construction has a “faster horse” problem

Henry Ford is (excessively) quoted as stating, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

For decades construction softwares have digitized blueprints and the processes that manage them, but digital blueprints are just a faster horse: the faster version of a manual process.

Using discs to transfer files so someone can print plans in the office.

Using onscreen take-off to scale digital versions of paper.

Using LTE connectivity and cloud-hosting services to access these digital papers outside of the office.

Don’t get me wrong we have improved the manual processes immensely. We have made this horse faster.

That being said: How much more can we digitally evolve practices that are rooted in a manual, physical world?

We all know now what Ford knew then, people didn’t really want a faster horse. They wanted an automobile. Duh.

So, what is the equivalent of this automobile in construction? Building Information Modeling (BIM) has set itself as the next generation of construction management practices. But there are still gaps, processes that still require paper style documentation.

Filling the gaps that limit BIM has been my mission from the beginning.

I am trying to beat a dead horse, (see what I did there?) and we have a lot to do in converting the world of construction to this new practice.

Just as the fuel for transportation changed from hay to gasoline, we will have to change what we put into our processes and how that input is utilized. And yes, you had to hire a mechanic in lieu of a horse trainer, and the roles and skillsets of our construction teams will have to change as well.

Construction faces a chasm that it must cross to truly unleash the immense power of technology. That being said, this revolution is imminent.

The BIM vehicles of today are more powerful than ever, and we are building the roads that will allow them to adventure where they have never gone before.