From the Editor
The Software Revolution
Almost six years ago, when I first entered the world of masonry, I was highly impressed with the different types of software available to contractors and project managers. Then came the rounds of estimating software, which really changed the way contractors do business – right there on the jobsite. Back then, the configuring was done on a laptop. Today, it’s more likely an iPad.
As of late, I’ve been blown away again by the software ingenuity in our industry. This time, it’s a little different. Not only are software companies staying atop their game, but also manufacturers are leaving their footprints. Super-sophisticated applications (apps) for mobile devices seem to be popping up everywhere. The creativity is amazing. From Holcim’s Weather App that tells masons if conditions are right to lay brick that day, to General Shale’s new app that allows users to browse product colors and sizes in brick, thin brick and pavers, and then email favorite selections or final cost calculations without leaving the app. The innovation is growing by leaps and bounds.
Of course, we have the big, tall, fat, imposing elephant in the room: Building Information Modeling (BIM). The old saying, “Get on board or get out of the way,” applies here. BIM is prevalent for architects and engineers who are designing buildings. But masonry is not currently an option as A&E look at different available wall systems. But that is about to change.
But that’s going to change. Thanks to six determined and dedicated funding organizations, masonry is knocking at the BIM door. The Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the National Concrete Manufacturer’s Association (NCMA), the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC), Western States Clay Products Association, the International Masonry Institute (IMI) and The Masonry Society (TMS) have banded together to urge software developers to include masonry in BIM software. To do this, the groups are working with The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), which is creating a “roadmap” that has just been completed.
Masonry will update you on this roadmap in our May issue. Stay tuned. Technology is changing your world, like it or not. And, from what I’ve seen, there’s plenty to like about it.
- 78SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY By David T. Biggs, PE, SE By all accounts, the BIM for Masonry (BIM-M) Initiative is moving at an ever-increasing pace. In April 2015, the first BIM-M Symposium brought together architects, structural engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, software vendors, construction managers, mason contractors and others. You should have been…
- 50January 2013 Building Information Modeling Masonry and BIM: The Next Level Building information modeling, or BIM, has been in the construction industry’s vernacular for several years. Understanding what BIM really will mean to the future of our industry is paramount. If BIM is to be the go-to building concept, then…
- 46April 2013 Software Leaps and Bounds By Jennifer Morrell It’s amazing: Project management and estimations software have never been more advanced. And whether you need it on your laptop, iPad or smartphone, it’s available. As software platforms designed to make contractors’ lives easier continue to improve and expand, masonry industry…