Stuck on old habits? Be the change!

Not too long ago, a drawing of a building meant pulling out a piece of paper and a pen. Today, that process has been up-leveled to a digital 3D model, which can be instantly uploaded to the Cloud and shared allowing people to continuously work on it together with everyone involved in the project.


· The key to efficient drawing with a team is to fully understand who and what the demands are.

· By being aware of every demand of the building (owner) requirements, drawers or engineers can set themselves up for success by realizing projects.

· Technologies are continuing to evolve to help simulate what any given customer will do before they even make a decision.

This industry is in the middle of a transition.

Over the past 10 years, I have experienced many Project Managers who have come to me pushing incredible amounts of content to sub-contractors and building owners — but without really understanding the context in which that information is delivered. Project Managers expect sub-contractors will simply follow a drawing’s generic content and at the end start performing. In reality, it’s not that easy, sub-contractors and construction companies today expect on-demand, personalized information that comes from BIM Managers who understand their preferences and working habits.

That’s why Project Managers need to ditch their drawings and revamp their approach to content. If their intention is to succeed, they need to guide (sub)contractors with tools that will change course if an individual sub-contractor doesn’t take the right turn — which would help them get back on track to perform.

Here’s where to begin.

1. Get to know them: The key to effective communication with sub-contractors is to fully understand where their specializations lie. One can do it by continuously updating their part of the job, including the owner’s demands and value score. The communication process will become more effective and a lot simpler as soon as you set it up. In essence, the BIM Manager now knows who he is talking to and is able to interact with them in the right context.

Technology help

If you update a regular drawing, for example, a new roof needs to be added. It used to be complicated to try and keep track of all these changes and to communicate it appropriately. But nowadays with the new 3D-models, it is a lot easier to keep up with all the changes made to the drawings and to communicate them right away to the parties that need to be notified of the changes. The same holds true when a sub-contractor engages into a part of the project. The previous engagement gives context to where the current construction work should go to stay relevant. It also keeps the sub-contractor engaged in a more positive and efficient manner.

2. The connected contractor:  While the digital drawings have increasingly become a central base for the latest technologies and work processes, individuals are still dependent on their paper drawings and working gear that takes them through their everyday lives. It is expected that the best 3D software drawing tools will be able to easily sync with a sub-contractors day to day working processes. Whether it is to find a type of material or the latest construction adjustments which he is working on. Either way, they will be able to stay up to date consistently, something paper drawings are not able to do.

The same goes for Architects.

With sub-contractors now interacting with drawings from varying types of works in both hard copy and via online platforms. As consumers increasingly adopt tablets, mobile phones, and other technologies. BIM Managers and sub-contractors need to figure out how to optimize their design and building processes using these new technologies.

Sub-contractors can set themselves up for success across platforms, monitoring every sub-contractor. It does not matter where and how they get their information from. Cutting-edge technology can help to track and blend sub-contractors’ online and offline engagements with a BIM model. Also, technologies can help BIM Managers to facilitate an omni-channel experience that drives efficiency.

3. Creating the unknown: Everyone has an occasional moment where they might not know how to continue their work. A smart 3D drawing can recognize that. So while a sub-contractor might not search for the right job to do, the gauge indicates it’s probably a good idea to suggest they stop or to continue. BIM Managers, also need to be able to make predictions based on limited information. As someone who will understand the digital 3D drawing or mobile work order without any interruption. Technologies are continuing to evolve to help predict what any given building owners, contractors or sub-contractors will do before they even make a move. This can be incredibly helpful for BIM Managers. It helps to guide through the unknown to the construction decision they ultimately want to make.

Context is critical to maintaining a dialogue with a sub-contractor. It is ultimately the key to increasing design and building efficiency during the design, building processes, and building performance. By implementing software tools to simulate or predict building performance navigating system-style building design more easily. BIM Managers provide sub-contractors with guidance in a way that makes sense to them.

About Frank Schuyer

Frank Schuyer is founder and CEO of Xinaps B.V. The company helps design professionals to optimize tasks in their workflows, make better-informed design decisions.