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USGNN Original StoryBEC Division Learns More About BIM During GANA Fall Meeting

Once you go BIM, you'll never go back. So was the caution from Will Ikerd, II, P.E., C.W.I., gave a presentation on building information modeling (BIM) at the Glass Association of North America (GANA's) Fall Conference here in Dallas.

Ikerd presented an overview of the system (CLICK HERE to read a related article on BIM), and some cautions. For instance, "Industries that change to this type of modeling never go back," he said, citing the automotive and aerospace industries.

(From left) Henry Taylor of Kawneer and Greg Carney of GANA were among the crowd listening to Will Ikerd discuss BIM at the Building Envelope Contractors meeting during GANA's Fall Conference.

He also noted, "This BIM adoption will happen faster than many will realize."

While many presentations given in the last several months have provided overviews of the system, Ikerd spoke specifically to the role the contractors sitting in the room would play in design-construct teams using BIM.

According to Ikerd, "When someone's talking about BIM you need to know their perspective of where they're coming from." Specifically, know which of the various databases the other party is referring to as there are systems that hold information on fabrication, dimensional control, value engineering, clash detection and other factors.

Ikerd also noted that BIM changes the working relationships among the individuals involved on a given project, since no one really owns the project model to which each group-architects, owners, general contractor and subcontractors-each contribute. As a result, subcontractors are often brought into the process earlier than in traditional projects to contribute their knowledge to the model. "Instead of viewing [glazing contractors] as subcontractors you start viewing them as 'specialty contractors,'" Ikerd said.

Since these projects become much more collaborative in nature, one of the questions surrounding BIM is the matter of ownership. According to Ikerd, unique situations have arisen where the architect, owner and contractors essentially become a single entity through the collaboration, and even indemnifying one another for the work within the tri-party agreement. According to Ikerd, that can pose potential problems for subcontractors and sub-consultants who remain on the outside of the agreement. As Ikerd pointed out, "It won't be for all buildings, it won't be for all owners." But for those special situations, a glazing contractor may have little recourse should a problem arise.

Ikerd also noted that BIM is becoming more involved in code and standard setting organizations. For example, touching on the topic of energy, much discussed at the Fall Conference, Ikerd noted that "as BIM emerges more, it will go hand in hand with LEED."

He also explained that the International Code Council (ICC) has used BIM to automatically check for code compliance through the SMARTcodes™. According to ICC, "a SMARTcode is the provisions of any code in an interoperable format that provides a rule set from or limitations based on criteria in the code that can be used by model checking software to identify items in a design represented by a building information model that are outside the bounds established by the code."

The GANA Fall Conference continues today with meetings of the Tempering, Insulating, Mirror and Decorative Divisions.

Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for further updates.

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