Tag Archives: collaborative working

2016 Built Environment Challenges

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

One: 2016 is the year Building Information Management in the UK becomes mandated for public sector projects. Our ongoing challenge is increasing the scope and application, across all the built environment sectors and organisations, moving us towards a digital and data driven industry.

Two: The 2015 Paris Agreement sets ambitious intent to cap global warming to 1.5deg C. Current built environment sustainability strategies and approaches are based around a 2deg cap, with targets too low or too slow. Our challenge is to enable the built environment to play it part, for which we will need all the restorative sustainability tools we have at our disposal. We need to flip our 40% negative impact, but can no longer seek to be near zero or net positive but need to push towards being demonstrably ‘very positive’.

ThreeHealth is the new GreenBuild. We have seen a big increase in health and wellbeing awareness with biophilia now firmly within the sector’s lexicon. Our challenge is to ensure health and wellbeing is a key driver in design, in materials, in the construction process and within building operations.

Four: our biggest opportunity is to now create the conditions that allow for leadership in integrated and collaborative thinking, combining the innovative approaches and development from the BIM, Restorative Sustainability and Healthy Buildings agendas.

FR_Visuals_FINAL

 

These challenges are explored in depth in forthcoming RIBA Book:
FutuREstorative

Advertisements

It is time to move on from theTriple Bottom Line …

It is time to move on from theTriple Bottom Line …

We have become very familiar with the Triple Bottom Line approach for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, ie Environment, Society and Economic. It forms the basis of many environmental and sustainability visions, policy statements, and development initiatives.

In the business arena, this is the acknowledged responsible ‘bottom line’ of meeting economic goals (usually profit) whilst also meeting environmental (impact) and social (community) goals in carrying out business activities. The triple bottom line approach provides a practical framework for the development of policies and strategies to drive institutional change.

roots coyo triple bottom line

Triple Bottom Line as drawn by COYO students

And of course we are now familiar with the well used triple bottom line venn diagram. If like me you loved Venn Diagrams at school, then its a real pleasure to see such vital and complex issues such s sustainability expressed as three interwoven circles. The Triple Bottom Line has also been represented as a three legged stool or as three columns.

As mentioned previously on this blog, this triple bottom line thinking can be traced back to Patrick Geddes who, now recognised as the Grandfather of Town and Country Planning coined the triptych Place, Folk and Work. Its current concept however is credited to John Elkington in his 1998 book Cannibals with Forks:Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business.

Whilst we can easily identify Geddes’ Place as being the Environment circle, (note, interestingly the Living Building Challenge renamed its Site Petal as Place for version 3), the Work aspect is readily identified as the Economy circle, there is an uneasy fit with people or folk within the Society circle. Are staff part of society, and where do the governance arrangements of a business (including vital for sustainability ISO 9001 related quality and organisational arrangements / controls) fit into the sustainability three circles?

Quad Bottom Line

Quadruple Bottom Line introduces Governance as the fourth ‘Petal’

The Quadruple Bottom Line introduces Governance as the fourth bottom line, or perhaps better, as Culture

Governance, or Culture is defined here as including both the formal business, administrative and ‘control’ processes of an organisation, as well as the informal networks, traditions and cultural and behavioural norms which act as enablers or disablers of sustainable development.

Sustainability governance therefore could include those organisational items that are increasingly seen as the vital enablers for sustainable development – many of which are embedded within the modern sustainability building programmes such as the Living Building Challenge, JUST, or Well Building Standard, including:
Diversity
Equity
Fairpay
Education
Collaborative Working
Working Places
Biophilia
Health and Wellbeing
Happiness
Communications and social media

This new, fourth leaf on the sustainability venn diagram, raises both important questions and huge opportunities for advancing sustainability development, and could usher in a new generation of sustainability thinking.

For example, what are the ‘governance’ issues of construction site facilities, welfare and administration that enable sustainable construction … more

Extract from forthcoming FutuREstotative

Responsible BIM

We are hearing more and more of ‘Responsible Business‘ approaches, generally taken to mean a combination of sustainability and CSR. But what happens when this emergent thinking in Construction meets BIM? Responsible BIM?

Below is the transcript or notes behind my pecha kucha presentation, exploring Responsible BIM, made to the excellent ThinkBIM event on 2 April in Leeds, .

I wanted to inject a balance of current ‘soft issues’ thinking against a prevalent hard technology thinking. I have no  issues with the passion behind the BIM approaches, I am constantly impressed and think it amazing, but sometimes feel BIM technology and language is a runaway train. Unfortunately just about every BIM event I attend I hear at the outset, BIM is about the people not the technology, with the rest of the event focuses on the application of the technology, with very little soft skill content. When was the last time we saw a BIM event focus solely on collaboration without mentioning software? Having said that, its is the balance of views at ThinkBIM events is what sets it apart from other BIM events.

The title ‘Flatland to Wonderland’ comes from a brilliant article and the work of Petra Kuenkel, who we interviewed as part of our Sustainability Leadership Conversation (#sustldrconv) twitter series recently. In short, we need both the flatlands of reality along with the possibilities of the wonderland for a sustainable future

Flatland

3D modelling, and offsite component manufacture with simple on site assembly isn’t new, as illustrated in the Building article that covered the BAA Project Genesis project in 1997. Pre Egan and pre Building Down Barriers we were doing BIM, so why didn’t it take off as the Egan Report did?  (Egan was at BAA and also involved in Project Genesis).  Somehow we lost the 3D collaborative conversation, maybe the Egan agenda itself ,with a focus on KPI’s and customer satisfaction masked some of the brilliant emerging work of that time?

One of the BIM wake up calls for contractors I work with recently has been the inclusion of BIM questions within PQQ’s in particular the PAS 91 BIM options – and the need for bidding contractors to have a BIM Strategy, signed as commitment from the CEO, detailing milestones, training and development, information management and more. “Lets write one quick”

And on the issue of information management – lets start to align to ISO 9000  documentation control requirements. How many BIM users (real and say-they-do’s) have embedded their BIM information and data communication processes into their Quality Systems. I am currently helping a good number of organisations revisit their management systems and inject current information management thinking. Particular so on how and what information is shared with supply chain members. Doing so enables us to audit, and improve information management using the Plan Do Check Act approach

But, yes, we have BIMwash. BIM language is not that difficult to learn, the technology is not that difficult to purchase, and hey presto we are BIM compliant. Not surprising then that contractors sit and wait for a client to insist or require BIM on a project before applying BIM thinking. As a BIM community we need to change the conversation away from BIM being just a design tool or client requirement to a continuous improvement tool with many many benefits.

And on to the wonderland …

If we really want to co-create a sustainable built environment, and isn’t that what BIM is all about?, then we need to have both the harsh reality of the flatlands with the spirituality of the wonderland. This resonates with Lucy Marcus Be2Camp BE2Talks back in 2011 where she described the need for leaders to be both Grounded and Stargazers.

I am impressed with the Collective Leadership approach and model (developed by the Collective Leadership Institute), and the necessity to move beyond collaboration. (How many times have I heard or read a contractor claiming to be collaborative simply because they have a supplier progress meeting once a week)  The Collective Leadership Model provides the scope of elements leadership and collaboration could, should, look like in a modern construction environment. Covering both technicality and people issues of diversity, and mindfulness

Ah mindfulness …

Currently we seem to be struggling with two drivers, on one hand the sustainability agenda of being simple, of realigning with nature. biophilic approaches and natural renewable solutions and on the other the ever increasing complexity of data, be it BIM data or big data and technology.

It is not surprising that one of the most sought after advisors to silicon valley is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, (Thay), seen by many as the the modern guru for mindfulness.  Such practices are seen to be key for business, enabling focus on real innovation, free from clutter of distractions. We will see much more of this in the construction sector I am sure, as we learn to balance people with technology, simplicity with data, well being with efficiency.

US BIM write Randy Deutsch approaches this thinking in a recent blog article for Design Intelligence Beyond BIM Boundaries – “in order to master BIM, we have to do less BIM, we have to do other things” And if we focus on better communications, people skills, listening, empathy and understanding, then BIM will flourish without effort.

Perhaps BIM is now is seen by many as a big hammer, an approach that if not adopted then we are not doing construction correctly, “if the only tool we have is a hammer then every problem is a nail”  BIM practitioners and advocates need more tools in their conversation and offerings covering both technology and soft skills. As Randy commented ‘ go against common wisdom and fortify your soft skills”

We had a brilliant twitter based conversation with Casey Rutland as part of the #EXPOC21 series this week where the conversation led to whether BIM will simplify or complicate sustainability. Many people re-tweeted the question, but with few answers offered, other than when done correctly, BIM will enhance sustainability, done incorrectly it will harm sustainability. Incorrectly here can mean overloading buildings with technology solutions when natural solutions would work (but harder to model perhaps) or by not taken cognisance of where materials are coming from or their health impacts. Casey introduced the concept of SustainaBIMity – the mash up of sustainability thinking with building information management. A far better description than Green BIM

Aligning BIM thinking to progressive sustainability thinking such as the Living Building Challenge is exciting and has huge potential. In the near future we will see BIM objects cover the attributes of health data, justice in production data, carbon and travel data. (Note the dialogue in the US between Autodesk and the Healthy Products Declaration database for example)

And we know that carbon, embodied and transportation will become a key BIM data element, procuring kitchen pods from China for modular construction on the other side of the globe may be a data and cost solution but it is not a restorative sustainability solution. (cf Modular Construction on Souremap)

In our pursuit of designing and creating buildings that work for people, planet and purpose, we perhaps need to address both the higher Maslow needs as well as focusing on basic shelter needs, and in some way build them into data and modelling,  Biophilia at last is opening up a whole new chapter for design, and BIM, and well for the built environment as a whole. In the UK the term Sick Building Syndrome has dropped out of use, but we need to be aware of the dangers of creating buildings through BIM that don’t model or promote health and well being.

There are examples of this, for example by early involvement mind and health charity experts to view and comment on proposed buildings in a 3D environment, advising on the potential enhancement or damage to end user well being. And only yesterday,(01/04/14)  Rick Fedrizzi, President of USGBC writing in EDC called Health the next frontier of green build performance, and more recently calling on the built environment to use medical data for improved building solutions.

My final slide proposed that every BIM project should have an educational element, to inform and motivate the industry and that this should be embedded into PAS1192 or equivalent documentation. No project or organisation should be allowed to claim BIM compliance unless they openly share their approaches and lessons learnt, covering both the flatland BIM and the wonderful healthy buildings that enable people and organisations to flourish.

 

BIM: Gaming Down Barriers

I had the opportunity to experience the gamers device, the Oculus Rift, at a recent Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club event on BIM, courtesy of Vin Sumners from Clicks and Links, taking a virtual tour through the Manchester Town Hall linked to the BIM model for that project.

Interesting to see then that Second Life friend, Jon Brouchoud at Arch Virtual is pushing commercial boundaries of BIM and Oculus Rift in his article BIM Goes Virtual: Oculus Rift and virtual reality are taking architectural visualization to the next level 

“The first thing people do when they put on the Rift is to reach out trying to touch the walls or furniture they see in the virtual model, even it doesn’t really exist,” said Jon Brouchoud, “It’s an almost involuntary reaction, which I think that says a lot about how immersed they are. They really do feel as if they’re occupying a completely different place.”

Rift-side-by-1024x306

(Jon presented live from the USA / Second Life at the first Be2Camp event way back in 2008, there is a link to Jon’s Be2camp presentation on slideshare here)

At the time I tried the Oculus Rift I commented that we can add much more data, augmented reality, into the virtual experience, for example when touching walls, if we could see for example the sustainability data of components, health data, manufacturing data, time to replacement and cost data.

But more importantly such gaming devices can make construction and BIM exciting for all generations, fostering greater collaboration across disciplines in both a virtual and real environment – Gaming Down Barriers.

Gaming Down Barriers is the title of a Innovation Voucher funded report produced by Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson for Clicks and Links which should be publicly available in the near future. The report makes the argument that BIM through gaming could break down collaborative working barriers as did the original Building Down Barriers programme.

Towards New Innovative Collaborations

cover

Our recent publication

“Towards New Innovative Collaborations”

exploring PPP Public Partnerships and Collaborative Working within the changing built environment sector, is now available through Amazon

Extracts from the publication follow …

Introduction

This report presents an industry perspective and context of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), the discussion of which is supported by evidence from extant literature, current thinking, and through a recent Public Private Partnership Body of Knowledge International Conference in 2013, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire, Grenville-Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment, in conjunction with the research Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD).

This report highlights the key issues needed for industry stakeholders involved in Public-Private Partnership research. It also provides additional insight into CIB TG 72: Public-Private Partnerships for Research and Development. The report is structured around core priorities and emergent themes in PPP research, the main issues of which include the following areas:

  • The historical and current context of PPP and collaborative working from Building Down Barriers to 2013 Construction Strategy
  • Industry perspectives on PPP developments;
  • Key themes and outcomes arising out of the PPP Industry Day
  • The scope, reach and impact of international and industrial engagement through social media in relation to Public Private Partnerships.

Headlines

  • Public Private Partnerships need to emerge as collaborative, knowledge sharing, innovative and purpose-driven partnerships
  • Defining value, creating value and measuring value within and across Public Private Partnership projects is not fully understood by all…
  • There is a need for research and academic organisations to play a key role in Public Private Partnership projects to drive continuous improvement…
  • Building Information Modelling changes everything – from procurement, to collaborative working, to technology and innovation. This will undoubtedly change Public Private Partnerships…
  • Public Private Partnerships need to be seen as relevant to all sectors of the built environment …
  • Social Media and open sharing is an emerging and critical dimension for knowledge sharing, engagement and improvement…
  • Future Research and Development in the Public Private Partnerships arena should address issues outlined within this report…

INTRODUCTIONS

Martin Brown, Advocate and Consultant at Fairsnape Chair, Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club / CE Collaborative Working Champion “Our built environment collaborative working journey is now venturing into new territories. The future for a responsible built environment will increase both the pressure and opportunities beyond collaboration and partnerships to co-collaborate and co-create hybrid projects, moving to open innovations that in turn stimulate further opportunities. Such new and emerging agendas include social responsibility, managing increasingly scarce resources in purpose-driven circular economies, addressing restorative sustainability, adopting transparency and meeting the challenges of BIM and social media connectivity”…

“We believe that the innovations required to create the future won’t come from a single source. Not from science. Not from technology. Not from governments. Not from business. But from all of us. We must harness the collective power of unconventional partnerships to dramatically redefine the way we thrive in the future.” Hannah Jones, Nike’s Global Head of Sustainability and Innovation

John Lorimer, JLO Innovations, Local Authority BIM Liaison Officer, Construction Industry Council. “A successful Partnership is one that comes together and delivers more than the sum of its parts. Understanding how collaborative business relationships actually work, defining the benefits, articulating and sharing that with Industry and Clients are a significant challenge” …

“Changes are always coming and innovations such as BIM will act as a driver of effective integration of the supply chain. BIM is probably the biggest single change to hit the Industry in the past 50 years. Partnership working skills aren’t new, but they must be refocused to fit today’s delivery processes, including the use of BIM”  (John Lorimer keynote at #PPPConf2013).

Don Ward Chief Executive, Constructing Excellence. We believe a number of improvements can be made to the process to improve value-for-money through collaborative working,  ten years ago we identified that the process should consist of the following: identify and develop a business need; appoint the best team (not a worked-up solution) using award criteria focussed on evidence of predictability of outcome measures; agree a target cost (‘unitary payment’); value engineer with pain-gain share to arrive at an optimum solution; deliver and operate the solution with continuous improvement and equitable sharing of financial savings over the concession period” …

Professor Akintola Akintoye Dean, Grenfell-Baines School of Architecture, Construction and Environment, UCLan “The need for innovation through procurement strategies is now more important than ever before. The industry is faced with the need to deliver enhanced value for money, with increasingly complex projects, enhanced competition, and additional pressures to comply with legislative demands and requirements (e.g., sustainable development). Innovative construction procurement methods have developed out of these new demands, and have helped to improve risk management, value for money etc; and these new methods are now transforming the industry” …

Partnerships in Construction – A Reflection

Partnering and collaborative working relationships are considered the most important vehicle for successful project delivery, the rubrics of which have been embedded in many international construction strategies. This highlights the importance of working together to not only achieve successful project outcomes, but also the collaborative infrastructure required to fully leverage an integrated and resilient client/supply chain to deliver real ‘value’ to PPPs.

 

Understanding the Social Value Act for better bids …

The Social Value Act 2012 was established in part to help understand the difference between a contracts cost and a contracts value and to encourage greater collaboration between voluntary, community and private sectors.

Bid responses for public sector work can be greatly improved by a through understanding of and addressing the concepts of the act. Waste and recycling company Veolia Environment Services have recently released a new and useful youtube video explaining the Social Value Act from their perspective

Also, from – Towards New Innovative Collaborations

The Social Value Act 2012 introduces social benefits into public procurement of private services. It requires local authorities and other commissioners of public services to consider how their services can benefit people living in the local community. Under this legislation, local authority procurers must now consider how they can improve the social impact of their public service contracts before they start the procurement process.  More…

Towards New Innovative Collaborations

cover

Our PPP Publication, “Towards New Innovative Collaborations” was recently released  and available via Amazon.

Starting with a fabulous quote from Hannah Jones at Nike:

” innovations required to create the future won’t come from a single source. Not from science. Not from technology.Not from governments. Not from business. But from all of us. We must harness the collective power of unconventional partnerships to dramatically redefine the way we thrive in the future

this publication covers a number of insightful perspectives on Collaborative Working, PPP and other Partnerships, an overview of key strategies and approaches, a record of the PPP Body of Knowledge conference held at UCLan earlier this year and a set of challenging recommendations to move Towards New Innovative Collaborations

From the introduction by Martin Brown:

Our built environment collaborative working journey is now venturing into new territories. The future for a responsible built environment will increase both the pressure and opportunities beyond collaboration and partnerships to co-collaborate and co-create hybrid projects, moving to open innovations that in turn stimulate further opportunities. 

#P3Report13

*Copies of the publication can be ordered via email