Analogous Industries: Is Construction More Like Detroit or Hollywood?

We are used to hearing the future state of the construction industry compared to the automotive industry. It makes sense: we will be able to use an intelligent 3D model to wring out much of the waste in the process.
However last night, at a presentation made to a WPI grad class, Jeff Millet compared the construction industry to Hollywood. In Hollywood, a diverse group of individuals and subcontractors get together to produce one movie. After that movie is over, they break apart and move on to different projects with different individuals and subcontractors. It might be a good movie or it might be horrible, but it is still one product.
I found his analogy particularly interesting because it is one that Davis Chauviere used at the BIMForum meeting in earlier this year. However Davis was referring to both the technology and the process/relationship.
Davis brought up the point that the technology and the process go hand-in-hand. When older films were created, they used casts of thousands, elaborate scenery and older recording technology. The director and producer shot all of the scenes and then pieced it together. Because of the expense of the actors, extras and scenery, they were never able to go back and reshoot anything that they wanted to change.
This can be contrasted with George Lucas, who includes a line item in contracts with the major actors in a film for extra takes after the entire movie is filmed. Because of recording technology, he is able to reshoot the majority of the scenes in the film, once the entire cast has seen it and gone through it once. Much like in BIM-enabled construction, they are able to "build it twice".

1 comment:

John said...

I am relatively new to all that is BIM - as the CAD Mgr for a Pittsburgh, PA Architectural firm, I am beginning to dive into the hows, wheres, whats etc that our firm needs to do to get on board with this process. I recently attended an AIA/AGC event touting the positive nature of BIM, and yet I'm not surprised as I dig into the practitioner's viewpoint, that all is not so rosy! I recognize the effort it takes to move a mountain, or another analogy of having to crawl before learning how to walk. I am anxiously cautious in this process...and look hopefully forward nonetheless. Thanks for your thoughts and experience.