October 21, 2013
|The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners appoints the Building-Development Commission (BDC) as an advisory board to Code Enforcement. Membership includes representation from the design, construction and development communities, as well as the public. Check out www.meckpermit.com and go to "About Us" for more information. Contact your representative if you have any specific issues you would like the BDC to consider. |
The following is a brief summary of significant matters impacting the design and construction community on which the Building-Development Commission and the Code Enforcement Department have focused from July 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013. Further details on each of these follow:
- New BDC Members
- Code Interpretation Web Search Engine Goes Live
- Owner-Developer Web Page
- "Starting A Small Business" Web Page
- BIM-IPD of Future Department Challenges
1. New BDC Members
In the BDC’s October 15, 2013 meeting, BDC Chair Jonathan Bahr introduced two new BDC members.
Chad Askew, representing AIA Charlotte. Chad is employed by The Housing Studio as a Senior Associate assisting the Managing Principal in firm management, marketing and client development. Chad has a BS in Design from Clemson University and obtained his Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech.
Melanie Coyne, seated as a public representative. Melanie is employed by HM Properties as a Real Estate Broker since 2009. She has worked for Bissell-Hayes Realtors and prior to working for Bissell-Hayes, she was a small business proprietor working as a Regional Sediment Management Consultant in California. Melanie has an MS in Geology and Geophysics.
2. Code Interpretation Web Search Engine Goes Live
This project began last fall, with a management request to web search current building-electrical-mechanical-plumbing (BEMP) interpretations. The Code Administrators (CA) worked on it and presented in the February 19 BDC meeting, showing the current interpretation search tool. BDC members requested the ability to search both current and archives (historical reference comparison) and extending the search to archives became a real challenge, running into several hurdles which were finally resolved by technology staff. The CA’s presented the solution to the BDC in their September 17 meeting. With final changes, the CA Search Engine tool went live on October 1. The webpage is located here.
3. Owner-Developer Web Page
This initiative grew from the BDC and Department’s observation that Owner-Developers are more like homeowners than GC’s or AE’s, in that they are in meckpermit.com infrequently; so they don’t have favorite pages tabbed, and the site may not be like “riding a bicycle”. Consequently, the Department launched a design project last spring, with the aid of a customer focus group, addressing this issue. The solution expands the meckpermit.com front page to include an “Owner-Developer” button, with this new front page broken into three categories; “getting started”, “department lead time”, and “check project status”. The new web page went live on September 6 and is located at this web address.
4. "Starting A Small Business" Web Page
At the request of BOCC member Matthew Ridenhour, on July 24 the Directors presented to the Small Business Advisory Board, reviewing the permitting & inspection (P&I) process and supporting technology. Based on comments in that meeting, the Department designed added features to the new Owner-Developer web pages (noted above), focusing on small business needs including:
· A new button in the “Getting Started” column, entitled “Starting a Small Business?” connected to a webpage devoted to Small Business startups.
· Links on regulatory requirements to license and tax, permits, zoning, CTAC and other.
· Resource links, including; Charlotte Chamber, Charlotte Business Resource, CPCC, SBA, and others.
· Also includes a Department summary page on the benefit of using NC licensed AE’s and contractors.
The added “Starting a Small Business?” webpages are now live, located at this web address.
5. BIM-IPD and Future Department Challenges
While the Department has some of the most advanced technology in the country supporting permitting and inspection (P&I) work, the current process is largely designed around the design-bid-build (D-B-B) project delivery method which has prevailed in the private sector since before 1900. This is the norm in P&I work across the country. However, since 2007, the Department and BDC have monitored the growth of two new trends in commercial project delivery.
· Building Information Modeling (BIM): model based technology linked with a data base of project information, using three dimensional, real time dynamic modeling software, to plan all building construction. The model encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components. The model may be used for project design and construction, as well as facility management.
· Integrated Project Delivery (IPD): a project delivery method that integrates key participants (owner, Architect, Engineer, contractor, code official, et al), systems, business structures and practices into a process that collaboratively plans and constructs facilities. The collaborative process begins in early design and continues through all phases of design, fabrication and construction.
Spurred by a documented 50 year declining trend in the efficiency of design and construction project delivery, many commercial property owners, especially those with large campuses or large fleets of buildings, are turning to these tools to both help them deliver projects more effectively as well as manage assets for decades to come. We believe BIM combined with collaborative project delivery will become a significant part of the commercial project landscape in the near future. This poses a major challenge to the Department, as it studies how to modify a D-B-B based P&I process, to operate effectively in a collaborative project delivery environment.
To stay ahead of customer demand, the Department has launched four initiatives related to BIM-IPD.
· Currently working with Carolina Healthcare Systems on three pilot projects, where our code officials actually work inside the BIM tool.
· Running a virtual inspections pilot, using the BIM tool to check for code compliance issues and details before the full scale model is constructed, testing and documenting both its benefits and limits.
· Managing an NC Architect/Engineer Licensing Board approved pilot testing AE seal use in BIM-IPD delivery process, with a goal of informing both Boards on how to amend or modify their board rules to work effectively in a future BIM-IPD environment
· In 2011, the Department led an effort, advancing the BIM-IPD change in NC Administrative Code through the NC Building Code Council’s code change process. This change keeps BIM-IPD project delivery from being buried in a mountain of (electronic or hard copy) permitting paperwork.
The Department and BDC continue to study the future impact of BIM-IPD on our work, with an eye toward staying ahead of customer service demand in this area. We will continue to update our customers as we identify P&I process or technology changes necessary to work effectively in the BIM-IPD environment.