Building Information Modeling (BIM) update
What is happening in our industry regarding BIM
I wanted to bring to your attention what is happening in our industry regarding Building Information Modeling (BIM). As you are probably aware, BIM is becoming an increasingly larger component in the design build process. As a result, our industry is embarking on one of our largest projects as an industry. What is even more exciting is that this project is truly going to require the unifying of our industry under the masonry umbrella.
Our industry recently tasked Georgia Tech with a request to provide us with a BIM development model. Georgia Tech is the ground zero for BIM development and they have developed every BIM program currently available for the concrete, precast and steel folks. This effort will tie the entire process from the design phase of the project through the maintenance of the building in perpetuity. It is an opportunity for our industry to present our “System” to the design community with real numbers so apples can be compared to apples. It is also a fantastic opportunity for the contractors to truly innovate the way we build our projects. It will allow contractors to develop and use technology to make them more efficient and productive on the job-site thus making them more profitable. It will be an opportunity for contractors to identify typical problems on a job-site and have solutions to those problems before they set foot on the job using state of the art technology in the BIM process.
In other words if we as an industry do not develop a cohesive BIM program we will be left with dwindling market share and continued lost markets. Development of the Masonry BIM program should help to regain the Masonry market share lost to competing products. Georgia Tech has rolled out a 5 year plan for the development and implementation of a cohesive Masonry BIM project (you can view this entire report at www.masonryfoundation.org). While our industry will be challenged to unify our systems and product categories, an even bigger challenge will be to raise the funds necessary to complete this project. It is projected that the entire project will cost in the range of 1.5 million to 2 million dollars, with some uncertainty based on potential software development costs.
The great news is that contractors have a huge return on those dollars. The first two years have an intensive education program outlined for bringing contractors up to speed on utilizing current and then future technology on the job-site. Contractor implementation of BIM is critical to the success of the program. You will see many opportunities to offer education to mason contractors and we will likely be asking local and state groups to assist in hosting and promoting programs to their members. It will undoubtedly be the largest industry educational activity ever created and implemented.
We are asking folks in our industry to be as supportive of this effort as possible. The MCAA has pledged $100,000 in year one and will likely have to commit this much or more in the four years to follow. As you very well may be aware, times have been tight for all and we need to raise those funds and are asking for your support today. We are blessed to have a large industry and if we all participate in this process, it does not have to overly burden any one group or company. We are asking companies to consider an annual pledge to the masonry BIM process. We know everyone has been hit hard the past few years and we would appreciate any level of support. We are providing our share of funding through our Masonry Foundation so contributions can be made there and if you would like to contribute to the effort, you may do so and take a charitable gift tax deduction. If the year has been good for you, your company may want to consider the tax benefit of the contribution to the foundation. It is a direct write off and would decrease your tax liability (see your tax prepare for exact benefit for your company).
The MCAA has seen some of our local groups step up and make firm five year commitments. We would like to recognize those who have made commitments to date. The St Louis Masonry Industry is one as is the MCA of Milwaukee. The time is now for the Masonry Industry to pull itself together and invest in its future. I truly appreciate your consideration and thank you in advance for your support.
You may make a contribution today via secured web-site by clicking on the link below:
If you would prefer to write a check or make monthly payments, please download and complete the contribution form and return it to the address on this letter. All contributions are tax deductible as a charitable gift as The Masonry Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.
About the Authors
Jeff Buczkiewicz is the President and CEO of the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has worked in the masonry industry for several years as the Executive Vice President of the Building Stone Institute and the Director of Marketing and Membership for the Mason Contractors Association of America. Jeff has also served as Secretary on the Board of the Natural Stone Council and is a former Board Member of the StonExpo Federation.
Tom Daniel, owner of GBC Concrete and Masonry Construction, Inc. in Lake Elsinore, Calif., has worked in the masonry industry since the 1980s. During that time, he has volunteered countless hours for the masonry industry locally in California and on the national scale. Daniel spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2008-2010 and was the recipient of the 2011 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.