Aggregating project data into one integrated system promises to help optimize projects in the architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) sector — leading to what architect and Autodesk fellow Phil Bernstein calls “the end of the data rainbow.”
Phil’s fifth and final post in a five-part series published by ArchitectMagazine.com envisions a project management platform that provides a digitally integrated, transparent process that operates as efficiently as the internet.
Ideas culled from six Autodesk workshops on project delivery — including more than 100 architects, engineers, builders, and clients from around the world — helped Phil distill the challenges and opportunities related to using technology to improve workflows for design, construction, and building projects.
“The ideas that emerged from workshop participants can be synthesized in three themes: technical integration, procedural flexibility, and cultural alignment,” says Phil, who is associate dean at the Yale School of Architecture and a former vice president at Autodesk from 2000-2016.
Taken together, Phil adds, the three core themes “coalesce to create trustable processes and information” that can help align goals and expectations among project stakeholders.
What Phil hopes for in the future is an integrated project ecosystem in which AECO data has a standardized system of protocols for creation, deployment, and use. “Workflows must both adapt to the particular responsibilities of one party, and be able to consolidate logically with dependent procedures for others,” he says. “The integration of these factors depends on standards and protocols that exist in support of this interdependence.”
But, Phil adds, reaching the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow requires a fundamental shift in the underlying culture of the AECO sector. “Digitally integrated project delivery methods do not guarantee nirvana,” he says. “But the building industry, so long hamstrung, might bend toward efficiency, effectiveness, and maybe even greater profitability.”
Learn more about Phil’s thoughts on the need for better information alignment by reading the full series on Architect’s site.