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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Is the "The End of CDs?" the End of Phases as Well?

Phil Bernstein, or "Uncle Phil" (as I like to refer to him on this blog), published an interesting article the other day questioning the future of construction documents (CDs).

Click here to read Phil's post...

This is a topic I love discussing.  For me, personally, it is fascinating to be part of the paradigm and to embrace it.  When I started working in the field 7 years ago the shift was just beginning.  It feels as if a shift has been occurring throughout my 7 years and I am curious to see what is made of it.  My generation has not had the luxury (or I would call it a non-luxury) of being introduced into the field at a time where the process is exactly the same for the next 20 years.  Could it be more beneficial to us to enter in a time of elasticity in the process than the generation before who have been doing things the exact same way since the 80's?  

I couldn't help but make comparisons to a project I am currently working on.  The firm I work for has "checklists" for each phase of the project.  This checklist was put into place years ago (at the beginning of the AutoCAD days or even earlier) and basically states the items which should be on the drawings to makes the set s "SD" or a "DD" set.  Well, thanks to Revit and some experienced users the "SD" printing of the project completes both the "SD" and "DD" checklist along with some items on the "CD" checklist.

Working on the model has allowed us to make more decisions earlier, bang out a serious amount of sheets, and interact with the CM and consultants at a traditional "SD" phase of the project.  We have yet to evolve into Phil's prediction of the sub-contractors involvement in such early stages but I can see where it will be beneficial.

This leads me to add to Phil's assertion of the possible end of Construction Documents to my own assertion of the possible end of the traditional "Schematic Design", Design Development", and "Construction Document" workflow.  I know, principles, partners, and managers will scream "HOW AND WHEN WILL WE INVOICE!?".

Well, maybe that needs to change too.  It is not like anyone ever pays those invoices anyways.  Perhaps the end of CD's and the end of the traditional workflow could spark the beginning of an accounts receivable that actually receives!?