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Lucky's Blog

This blog has been created to keep our customers, partners and friends up to date with pertinent information relating to our industry, technical or otherwise. It will also keep everyone up to date with M.C. Dean's ever expanding capabilities. Thanks to all my followers and I hope you find this blog both helpfull and informative. Best Regards: Lucky Drake

Monday, January 31, 2011

What Is BIM?

What is BIM?

BIM Stands for Building Information Modeling. It takes the idea of CAD drawings and puts them into a virtual environment where you literally can virtually build an entire project from the ground up before ever breaking ground. This allows you to see any problems, conflicts, design flaws, etc… as well as test the buildings efficiencies and performance before a project is started.

In the past a project would get built from a set of one dimensional drawings. Conflicts would arise, the delays would start and the costs would grow. More evolved contractors would hold coordination meetings to create overlays, and determine conflicts before they impacted the schedule, but that was still limited to the foresight and quality of the people creating the overlays. Furthermore, the change orders would still be priced in a no compete environment, which did not benefit the customer.

Since the development of 3D CAD, huge advances in BIM have evolved. Now we have the capability of tying in 4D (the project schedule), 5D (the project costs), and 6D (the owner’s manuals and scheduled maintenance documentation). This will be the way all projects in the future are built. This takes what was once a simple set of drawings that got lost after the project was complete, to a powerful, fully integrated, set of contract documents that will be used throughout the entire life cycle of the building.


Construction Phase: Imagine being able to build a project based on hindsight. There have been billions of dollars spent studying completed projects, to understand where money could have been saved, how things could have be foreseen, and better methodologies to improve the finished product. With BIM you have that ability. You can fix all conflicts, get a complete view of the project from its inception all the way to the final product, even interior design concepts, colors and furniture, virtually eliminating any unscheduled delays and costly change orders. You can test the performance of the systems and add money saving efficiencies to reduce energy costs. You can test the functionality of the furniture, office lay-out and anything else that may be of importance to your business. Then once you have a completed design, free from encumbrances, the prices can be negotiated at a flat friar price to the owner with huge financial benefit for them.

Post Construction: If you have never had to take over a building after construction then you are one of the lucky ones. Most Facilities Engineers will tell you that is when the real work begins. Training staff, understanding the systems and inter-workings of the building, designing maintenance plans, etc…, etc…, etc… With a properly implemented BIM model all that work is completed during the design process. When the building gets turned over to the owner, they are given a copy of the BIM and all the documents, maintenance schedules, O&Ms and everything needed by the Facility Manager is on one disc. The startup savings are something that many owners forget are even a benefit of a properly designed BIM.

Monday, January 24, 2011

50% chance of having a good Day


Everyone knows the question, is the glass half empty or half full? As cliché as that may sound, it really is about how you look at things. Every day good things and bad things happen to each of us. Which group of events we focus on will depend on how we perceive the day has gone. In other words if we focus on what went wrong we will perceive that we had a bad day, but if we focus on what went right we will perceive that we had a good day. It is all about perception.

I remember a particular date that I perceived as a really bad day. I was complaining to my wife about the events that had transpired that day and how stressed it had made me. As always she was a good listener. Once I had exhausted ‘my poor pitiful me rant’, she simply smiled at me and said, “I am sorry you chose to have a bad day honey.” What! What do you mean I chose to have a bad day? She continued that life is all about choices, and you chose to let an event dictate your mood and things just snowballed from there. A little discombobulated I exclaimed, “O-yea! Well I am choosing to ignore you.” She smiled, grabbed my hand, and looked into my eyes and said, “I mean really think about it, are you going to remember any of this 10 years from now? If not, how important can it really be?” It’s times like that when I realize I would be lost without her support. My wife is one of those people that doesn’t let others control her mood. Someone cuts her off in traffic or in line, she just smiles and moves on. Someone gets upset and starts yelling, she just smiles and lets them finish their tantrum. Events like that make me wish I were as evolved as her. We continued our date night and enjoyed the rest of our weekend.

The following week I tried to keep in the forefront of my mind her words of wisdom. While it was hard at first it became much easier as time went on. I started keeping a list of everything that went right and what went wrong, sort of a pros & cons list. I noticed something really strange. The list seemed to come out balanced almost every day. As time went on I started only writing down the good things and if something bad happened I would review the good list. This made it much easier to focus on the good and control my perception of the day. Today it is almost automatic and I have strayed from an actual written list and just keep it committed to memory. I would like to say that I never get down, frustrated, or off track, but that wouldn’t be accurate. Every now and then I need another reality smack from my soul mate. However, there is one thing that I have come to realize after actually tracking my daily events. While there may be varying degrees of magnitude, on any given day there will be 50% of the day that goes right and 50% that goes wrong. It is up to you which part you focus on and thus your choice of how you perceive the day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have been tasked with some pretty challenging goals this year, and have been finding things to be much harder to implement than I originally thought. It seems that people don’t take well to change. Go figure, right? No one likes change, but change is good. In fact, change is responsible for constructing our greatest memories.

Driving into work today I was thinking about some of my past experiences. You know, kind of trying to figure out how I got myself into my current situation. I, myself, was battling change but didn’t even realize it. I was reminiscing about past companies and projects, where everything seemed great. I missed the ease of those efforts, and the comradery that was built amongst those teams. Deep down I knew that we had our challenges and conflicts, but the mind has a funny way of blocking out the bad things and only remembering the good times. It’s ironic that my main complaint with this new task has been that everyone continues to fight change, and yet, here I am doing the same thing. It is so easy to get into that “remember when” phase, how everything was so perfect before, a virtual utopia.

The truth is that life is based on experiences. The fondest memories one will have is their first time experiences. Think about it. Your first love, your first date, your first kiss, the first time you drove a car, and how about the first time you went on a vacation. These are all examples of great memories that people hold dear.

What I realized on my way into work today is the same holds true at work. Most everyone can remember their first job, their first raise, their first promotion, etc... When I started to analyze the experiences I was reflecting on, I started to see a pattern. They were all comprised of first experiences.

Life is filled with firsts and we should embrace them. If you think about it, firsts can’t exist without change. In fact; change is the catalyst that causes first experiences to happen. So embrace change, embrace the now, chances are that later in life, you’ll be reflecting back on these times and thinking, why can’t things be like they used to be?