The method of design delivery in the modern era is changing. Sophisticated technologies provide more information, quicker than ever before. Building Information Modeling programs (BIM) such as Revit, ArchiCAD, or Civil 3D are powerful tools that are quickly being adopted in the industry.
What does this have to do with staffing? In the “old days”, as the project moved through the design process, more and more staff needed to be added to the team to produce more and more physical drawings.
Contrast that with the modern era. The process for BIM is to create an accurate, detailed model with embedded information about all the products and materials being used. Then, the computer can easily produce the construction documents relying on this “accurate model.”
What does this mean? It means that there is pressure to make accurate decisions much quicker. The model that gets built in schematic design produces the construction documents. There is a danger to this, in that decisions made too soon may not be the best, and they may be made by the most junior staff. The junior staff are often the ones who know this BIM software best, but do they have the experience to be making these decisions?
That is why the attached graphic shows a different approach to design, one where more care and time are taken in schematics and progressively less is needed as the project moves on. The progression is inverted. In the new era, early information must be much higher quality than in the past. Will firms adapt their process and fee schedules to reflect the new reality?
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