Pages

coming down from cloud 9

Recently, I've been working in a BIM bliss: I've been talking to and working with architects, contractors and owners who are BIM friendly (some even BIM savvy).

So on Thursday, when I was asked to contact an engineer about obtaining a structural model (in this case, a Risa file), I didn't think twice about it. I was excited - less modeling for me to do!

After playing a few days of phone tag with the structural engineer, I finally talked to him this afternoon. I started by explaining what Tocci is doing with BIM, making sure to stress the point that we were finally catching up with them (because structural analysis has been done with 3-models for quite some time now). I told him that I noticed references to a 3-D analytical model of an existing building that we are renovating in a report that he had written. Then, I asked for the model.

His response: why?

I explained to him (again) what we might do with it: clash detection, scheduling, etc.

His response: a long and uncomfortable silence.

I wait for him to break the silence. He didn't. So I said, "Do you have a nondisclosure and file exchange policy form that I could sign? I understand that some firms might be uncomfortable sharing files. Do you have any questions that I could answer? Maybe that would clarify some things."

His response: Yes, I'm very uncomfortable with all this. We'll have to work something out.

Click.

That was that. And I almost forgot about my past experiences with designers.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Disclaimer: I am a structural engineer.

I would be very wary about sending a model with loads, boundary conditions, etc. in it to a contractor. Geometry only I would be much more comfortable with.

This is cutting edge territory for legal issues and liability. I would be very nervous having information about a project I designed out in the wild, based on recent legal decisions:
http://otb.manusoft.com/2007/01/autocad-drawing-files-possession-is-910.htm

Intellectual property is actually the easy part of this equation. Liability is much scarier. I wouldn't want to be the "Test Case" for a peer review instigated by someonene who isn't the EOR with the full analytical model, who doesn't agree with the design.

Structural engineers have the highest rate of lawsuits/claims made against them of any other engineering discipline:
http://www.gostructural.com/article.asp?id=80

These guys are trying to make some $$$, and they're only a mouse click away:
http://www.expertlaw.com/experts/Failure/Structural.html

I can completely understand his hesitancy. That said, with a good working relationship and some selected editing of the model, I could be persuaded.