Construction Labor-Productivity Declines

Aloha Fellow AEC Professionals

For those of you who are familiar with me, especially my fellow toastmasters friends at HDCC Toastmasters  and DBA Toastmasters, know that I am constantly preaching how the construction industry is the only industry that has decreased in productivity over the years.  Construction Labor productivy graph

There are several reasons for this and if we were to get into all the factors this would be a very long post.   We at Pacific Rim Builders are constantly evangelizing how Virtual Design and Construction (VD&C), also know as Building Information Modeling (BIM), has the greatest potential to change that trend.  VD&C/BIM allows for the leveraging of information which allows for more opportunities for modular and off-site fabrication.

Construction pie chart

A Dr. Paul Teicholz wrote an article in AECBytes back in March 2013 which I feel is an excellent article on the subject  of Labor-Productivity Declines in the Construction Industry: AECbytes Viewpoint.

In the Article he shares how BIM and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) provides for a better use Data.  The efficient use of Data is at the core of Pacific Rim Builders, LLC, “The Knowledge to Build”

Dr. Teicholz states in his article states

By better use of BIM, I mean its use as a source of design and construction information from the earliest stages of a project.  BIM has been in use now for over 10 years and still is often used to produce coordinated drawings which then are used in traditional design-bid-build contracts.  This reduces the ability to closely coordinate the project team and produce a superior design and construction effort.  Clearly, a team that can design and build in a virtual environment before getting to the site will be better prepared for an efficient construction process that can take advantage of engineering and construction analysis.

I have also had the honor and pleasure to learn about Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) from Mr. James Salmon of Collaborative Construction Resources.  Mr. Salmon has been a great leader in educating the AEC industry on the benefits IPD and how it provides for better projects.

I look forward to sharing more with you IPD.


Modular Construction to Take On Infrastructure Problems

Here it is Building Information Modeling and Modular Construction to the rescue.  Modular Construction is ready to tackle the nation’s infrastructure challenges.  Think of it as an Ikea way of fixing all of those Bridges. Don’t worry Engineers will be dealing with those pesky directions. Take a look and a listen to the attached article.

Pennsylvania installs prefab bridges |

This is a good thing. It is a time and cost efficient, it provides for a better quality product how is this not good to tackle the nations infrastructure.


Modular construction

Are Prefab Homes Ready for the Mass Market?

Are Prefab Homes Ready for the Mass Market?.  This blog post really struck a cord with me.

With Building Information Modeling (BIM) or Virtual Design  & Construction (VD&C) we are always looking for ways to automate and make things more efficient.  Manufactured housing and BIM/VD&C go hand and hand

We in the Architectural Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry are all too familiar that the construction industry is the only industry that has decreased in productivity

Construction productivy graph

Construction Labor productivy graph

Then we have Hawaii with its highest cost of housing n the nation.  Per the Current medium price for a home in Hawaii is $690,000 .  This price buys a Mansion in Texas.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  The lack of affordable housing in Hawaii is a direct result of Hawaii’s antiquated and protectionist building practices.  Not to bore you with laws, lists of antiquated governmental regulations and inspection requirements make it almost impossible to receive a Certificate of Occupancy for true manufactured and/or mobile homes.

I am aware that Mobile home parks have had a reputation of not being an ideal place to live. However they do provide for an affordable alternative that is not available in Hawaii.  There are many mobile home parks that are actually very nice places to live like the Orange County Mobile Home Park. Parks like this allows for residence to live in neighborhoods and locations that they normally wouldn’t be able to live in.

There is a gentleman on Maui that has done extensive work on getting approval for the Tiny House

The Housing Authority has begun to realize something has to be done and per thier September 12, 2014 Draft for Review and Discussion

d) Revise Housing Construction Standards without Sacrificing Health and Safety (2015-2016) Although the City and County of Honolulu already allows for the construction of compact residential units, the Building Code and Land Use Ordinance will be reviewed to identify and remove barriers to allow the construction of more affordable rental options, such as accessory dwelling units, microunits, row houses, townhouses, modular units, and other innovations.

It is not going to be easy.  There will be significant resistance from the trade unions embracing manufactured construction methods such as the 29 story Soho Project erected in Darwin Australia.

We can only hope that all parties will realize that by using new and improved methods of construction is a win for everyone. The phrase is commonly attributed to John F Kennedy, “A rising tide floats all boats”.


Virtual Reality Becomes Affordable for Engineers


Virtual Reality Becomes Affordable for Engineers.

Fellow BIM Geeks This is Awesome!  I ran into this Article and find this to be really good news.  For a full disclosure I am a graduate of BYU – Hawaii Campus.  However I do not have any sort of affiliation with this technology that is being developed.  When technology allows for an even playing field it is a good thing for everyone, especially for those of us who are small businesses



Building Information Modeling PM Planning


Building Information Modeling (BIM) use to be for the most complex projects.  Now more and more projects are required to be BIM compliant.

We would first like to share what BIM isn’t.  It is not a digital 3 Dimensional model that can be spun and viewed.  Building Information Modeling is so much more.  Done correctly it is the information that the model provides is what causes the OOOOOHS and AAAAAHS not the rendering and animated movies.  The Building Information Model provides the knowledge to make informed decisions.Wire Frame Printed Hidden lines

The US National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee has the following definition; Building Information Modeling is the digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility.  A BIM is a shared knowledge resource of information about a facility forming a reliable bases for decisions during the life-cycle of the Facility; life-cycle it is defined as from earliest conception to demolition

Recently I practiced a presentation on the Benefits of BIM during an HDCC Toastmaster’s meeting, the gentleman who evaluated my speech, a seasoned construction professional whom has built several projects prior to the use of BIM, stated “Your presentation was great!  You really sold the benefits of Building Information Modeling.  However, have I not had experienced BIM projects I would have believed you that if BIM was in human form it would walk on water”.

Yes we at PRB, LLC are firm believers that BIM is one of the greatest game changers to the Architectural Engineering & Construction (AEC) industry.  However, we do understand in order for Building Information Modeling to be successful the BIM Manager must understand how BIM can be leveraged and also understand its limits.

We constantly see our seasoned professionals that have seen it all and just know where the problems are going to be.  However, they do not understand the technology and how it can harness and leverage their experience.  Then there are the new AEC professionals that have grown up with the use of technology and believe that technology will address their inexperience. Often these worlds collide leading to disappointing results

shared Model diagram

For Building Information Modeling (BIM) projects to be successful, there needs to be a comprehensive BIM Plan.  We at Pacific Rim Builders, LLC are proponents of the use the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management methodologies.  The BIM Execution plan needs to include proper Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing practices.  A BIM Plan will allow for the best use of the Building Information Model.  All of the team members will be able to communicate and collaborate more efficiently, reduce risks and ultimately provide them with the knowledge to build a better project.

We look forward to sharing more with you in future posts on BIM and BIM Project Planning.

Virtual Design & Construction


Welcome to the World of Virtual Design and Construction (VD&C).  Please stay tuned to learn more about the ever changing world of the Architectural Engineering & Construction (AEC) Industry .  We at Pacific Rim Builders, LLC (PRB) look forward to sharing with you how VD&C and is revolutionizing how Structures are Built.  It allows for better Communication, Reduces Risk and provides for better Quality projects.

With Warmest Wishes of Aloha I look forward to sharing and learning with you this process