November 20, 2013


Patrick Saaverda, York University’s planning and architectural manager believes that the collaborative nature of Building Information Modeling can drive Integrated Project Delivery.

BIM collaboration seen as natural IPD driver

The collaborative nature of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a natural catalyst for Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), creating a top notch building, says the manager of planning and architectural design at York University.

“There’s something to be said about working together, we basically extract the best of each of us in working together,” said Patrick Saavedra while speaking about IPD at the Canadian Construction Association’s recent Construction Industry Leaders Forum in early November.

The new school of engineering at York, which will be shaped like a cloud, is being delivered through BIM and IPD. Creating an alliance of people, systems and business practices and the ability to harness the talents and insights of all project participants are some of the aims of using IPD on the $85-million project. In order to facilitate this, the construction managers are located across the hall from Saavedra, at no charge.

“Having construction managers in our office has been amazing — the rapport we have, the discussions we have,” he said.

He spoke about a costing problem that the team was having with the skin of the new engineering building.

“We all pulled out a chalk and went to the board and did it together. No one cared who brought up the ideas, we worked together as a team, as a partnership,” he explained.

Integrated document management and using collaborative software also help deliver the IPD principles. In the request for qualifications, it was clear that Revit 2013 was the software the team would be working with. It was important to find trades willing to work in this environment, noted Saavedra.

He also said it’s important to raise the bar and get more people to understand BIM and IPD, especially in Canada where adoption has been slower than in other countries.

“Traditional methods will result in traditional results,” he said.

Saavedra said the landscape architect had not worked in BIM before and now says he won’t do any more projects without it.

“The more he designed in Building Information Modeling, the more he realized he could better make decisions with the architects and the engineers, which in turn solved any potential conflicts,” he explained.

BIM has been involved in various scales in about 14 projects at York, including the Robotics Pavilion, the Pan Am Athletic Stadium and the Schulich School of Business. He noted that the Pan Am stadium was constructed with Infrastructure Ontario (IO).

“Every team who went after these projects were being done in fully integrated BIM...if we’re not BIM savvy we’re not going to be able to make renovations in the future.”

Looking at the return on investment, Saavedra said working with BIM saves up to five per cent on construction costs and adding the IPD process could save another five per cent or more. A study by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) California supports evidence of up to 10 per cent lower construction costs through IPD, which he pointed out add up on a project worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to the AIA, almost 21 per cent of American architects are already working in some method of IPD.

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