Emerging Project Delivery Methods

Buehler & Buehler has historically placed a high value on ensuring that our designs and construction documents are well integrated with those of other team members. Efficient design and constructability are high priorities in B&B's culture. Using this as a springboard, B&B has enthusiastically embraced the application of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) and Building Information Modeling (BIM). A substantial investment in infrastructure and training has been implemented in making IPD our delivery method of choice and BIM our primary working platform. We see the benefit to all the project stakeholders in the team approach that IPD has as its core value. Recent technological advancements in 3D design and drafting will provide improved designs that feature advanced coordination, clash detection, and better visualization of the finished building. From a construction standpoint, we are utilizing alliances with construction firms to build buildings virtually before building them in reality. This facilitates the preconstruction of building systems, advanced scheduling, and early conflict resolution.
Three dimensional modeling (i.e. BIM) is not new to B&B. Our structural analysis software has provided 3D modeling/analysis capability for over 20 years. Recognizing that REVIT Structure would become the industry standard software tool for both modeling and drawing production, B&B has dedicated the time and energy needed to successfully deploy REVIT; as of January 2009, all new B&B projects are produced in REVIT. We began this conversion process with an intense focus on the end goal of creating and publishing structural drawings of the absolute highest quality. Consistent, clear graphical presentation is how we communicate to our clients and the end-user, the contractors who assemble our designs. To that end, structural plans, sections, and details produced by B&B in REVIT preserve the high quality drawing presentation our clients have come to depend on.
B&B's long standing culture of collaboration on traditional projects is a natural fit in the evolution to integrated project delivery. For a successful IPD project, we believe the structural engineer's role must move forward in the design process, working shoulder-to-shoulder with our architectural clients at the earliest conceptual stages. B&B has taken the AIA Integrated Project Delivery guidelines and tailored our in-house education programs to train our staff on the latest 3D design software. Our 3D design models can be transferred to the construction team members for integration with other disciplines. In addition, we can transfer our 3D design models to structural steel detailers and fabricators to speed the delivery of structural steel and increase the accuracy of the delivered ironwork, yielding a dramatic reduction in the construction schedule.
Lean Project Delivery is a revolutionary method to design and build capital projects. The principles of Lean Design and Construction are adapted from Lean Production Management which has revolutionized manufacturing design, supply and assembly. Lean focuses on maximizing value while minimizing waste, both in design and construction. One key benefit is the reduction in linear thinking that occurs when several designers work independently. Utilizing IPD, designers and builders are brought together to allow concurrent activities; this reduces schedules and produces a more efficient delivery of the project, which is at the heart of Lean. As active members of the Lean Construction Institute, we have incorporated lean principles into our infrastructure and thinking, as well as our projects.