Build Before You Build Featured in Multi-Housing News

It is true that building information modeling (BIM) is revolutionizing the design/build industry today, but it’s also true that BIM is far from a new concept. “BIM is a re-introduction of historical design-build practices with a twist of technological advancement,” says Adam Lega, BIM coordinator for KAI, a Texas-based design/build firm.

Lega likes to stress that despite the cutting-edge buzz around Building Information Modeling (BIM), BIM is really a reintroduction of traditional practices using current technology. BIM software is used to produce working, 3D models of a facility during the planning or design phase, which contribute to enhancing communication and collaboration among the project team throughout all phases of the project. The models are also valuable for expediting construction, and for use in long-term facilities maintenance and operations. “KAI applies BIM best practices to all of its projects, including its substantial portfolio of multi-housing and affordable housing projects,” Lega adds.

Throughout the history of architecture, scale models of projects have always been valuable tools. Before beginning construction, great architects such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Calatrava, Gherry and Wright all built mock-ups of their projects to uncover potential design issues and check for constructability.
Lega was part of a recent seminar in Dallas, Texas entitled, “Build Before You Build.” A panel of experts discussed how owners and general contractors can reap the cost, quality and scheduling benefits of using BIM without having to invest time or money trying to implement the software in-house.

“We began using BIM architecturally in 2003 and MEP BIM in 2006. In 2007 we made the commitment to produce all major projects in BIM, and we’ve invested well in excess of seven figures in software and training to get to where we are now,” says Darren L. James, AIA, KAI Texas’ president and COO. “Using our services saves many of our clients from having to make a similar investment.”

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