Paradigmi Industriali e Arte del Costruire. Information Modelling, Strutture di Committenza, Società di Sviluppo Immobiliare: Istruzioni per l'Uso
Construction has come to be seen as a modern industrial activity, partly through the development of building science, partly through the demands of wartime and post-war reconstruction, partly through the development of a new discipline of construction economics and partly through the enthusiasms of modernist architects and engineers. Despite political and technical failures of building under this banner, the industrial paradigm is alive and well. It continues to underpin academic work in construction management and economics, and government initiatives to improve construction behaviours
We believe that an essential step is for suppliers, clients and Government to adopt a new vision for the industry based on the concept of the built environment. This means understanding how value is created over the whole life cycle of an asset, rather than simply looking at the building cost, which is only a part of the total equation. It is about how the relatively small up-front costs of design and construction can have such huge consequences for future users, whether expressed as business or social outcomes, as well as for the environment. The impact of this vision is potentially immense for our industry. We need to abandon our existing business models that reward short-term thinking. Instead, we should incentivise suppliers to deliver quality and sustainability by taking a stake in the long-term performance of a built asset.
Never Waste a Good Crisis
It is widely acknowledged that a key factor in obtaining better value for money in the supply chain is greater integration of the entire team and more collaborative working. Time and time again, it has been shown that by encouraging early involvement of the supply chain, an integrated project team can work together to achieve the best possible solution in terms of design, buildability, environmental performance and sustainable development. However, one of the difficulties of improving construction procurement by adopting this process of integration is that the industry is highly fragmented, which naturally runs counter to integration of delivery. To add to the problem, there can be several tiers of subcontracting firms below the main contractor as well as designers and other consultants, all with their own liability and insurance arrangements. This does not lend itself to supply chain integration and leads to much more expensive and potentially adversarial projects...As Paul Morrell, the Government’s Chief Construction Adviser commented, writing in Building in May 2011: “Until now, the industry hasn’t changed because it hasn’t had to. It has been relatively protected from international competition, and has enjoyed one of the longest booms in its history. And when things are going well, it is only natural that we congratulate ourselves on how clever we are, rather than seeking better ways of doing things. More encouragingly, he added: “Now, by contrast, I think everybody gets it: there is no money. There is still, however, a government that needs to build to meet social needs, and an industry that wants to build"
Commission and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment
The roles of designer and builder have diverged, are acknowledged as different professional disciplines, and are heavily elaborated into hierarchies of architects, engineers, specialty consultants, construction managers, subcontractors, suppliers, fabricators, erectors and others. Even a simple construction project today might involve hundreds of such people, and the means of transiting the gulf from “design intent” to “construction execution” is regularly unpredictable and often worse. The separation is exacerbated by the structure and approach of project delivery itself. Architects and engineers are responsible for creating the intent of the design but ignore, to a certain extent, the means and methods of construction. This state is manifest in “construction documents” that describe, in the abstract two-dimensional language of plan/section/elevation, the highly complex interaction of pieces that form a building. Builders, burdened with the frequently incompatible demands of aspirations of quality and short budgets and schedules, rarely find the insight in such drawings needed to complete the task at hand. Gaps, conceptual or otherwise, in these documents between design intent and completed artifact are manifold, and consequently the building industry is generally considered to face considerable challenges in terms of productivity and efficiency
When procuring products, it is important to have project managers who are open to asking questions of the supply chain and are experts in the fields they work in. Allowing a supply chain that you trust to deliver the most effective product opens up the process to innovation. The most intelligent customer is not necessarily the most technical person, but the person who has an understanding of the system and is an effective communicator
Royal Academy of Engineering
Information Modelling & Management (IM&M) is the preferred term for BIM within TfL as it prevents the misconception that BIM is only about Buildings.The themes of ‘Information Modelling’ and ‘Information Management’ are separate in terms of the people, technology and process but are also integral parts with significant interfaces in the context of delivering BIM throughout the lifecycle of an asset.
Transport for London
Simulation and performativity are connected through the operationalism inherent in both. Performance is a close synonym for operation...Throughout the project, the architect decides what information to share with whom and when. He becomes the gatekeeper of information generation and distribution, most of which takes place through drawings: developing the design, sharing information, coordinating consultants’ work, and informing the client of the project’s progress. The architect has the opportunity to review every such transfer of information before it takes place and determine its content and timing. In this central position, the architect is also the only person who has a comprehensive view of the project at any time, lending their judgments unique weight. When the drawings are issued for bid, the architect has determined what information they contain. The experienced architect knows how to select and exclude information so as to preserve the design intent while observing the legal strictures that relate the drawings to the work of the contractor. At every stage of a project, drawing gives the architect control of the flow of information and thus the ability to see to the integrity of the design intent throughout the process...New methods of project delivery have been put into practice that attempt to overcome the inefficiencies of a strict separation between design and construction. These inevitably tend to displace architects from the central position that allowed them to endow projects with coherent design intent. The fact that their position has become a function of the structural needs of the building production system rather than a perceived innate value of their knowledge has made architects’ position subject to changes in those needs. Now the building production system is changing due to the introduction of new technologies—building information modeling and computational design—and therefore architects are finding that their role is changing as well...the vast amount of information associated with building has led to a gradual recognition of the collaborative nature of its creation, with the consequent transformation of the idea of the architect as author into something resembling that of the composer–conductor leading an orchestra, whose artistic achievement consists not only in conceiving the desired result but also in eliciting a great performance from a group of specialized, creative individuals...There are several possible project leaders: the owner's representative, the general contractor, a construction manager, or the architect. Deign decisions can be made collaboratively since everyone has access to the relevant information...Understanding form in terms of relationships rather than objects is not our natural mode of perception
David Ross Scheer
How are new technologies and techniques from BIM to robots and smart materials changing the production of buildings and the roles and environments of architects, constructors and users? How are ‘immaterial’ forces such as law and regulation materialised in building and with what effects? How and in what ways does risk management or the requirement for comfort or the performance imperative transform materials, practicesand the possibilities of design? As built-environment information modelling (BIM) matures, both technologically and culturally, traditional professional and other roles will be increasingly challenged, particularly those built around computation such as the various engineering disciplines. On the other hand, some architects see BIM as an opportunity for their profession to reclaim the central position it once enjoyed in traditional procurement. Is this likely, possible, or even desirable? Or is the profession of architecture as currently practised more likely to be replaced by one or more new design professions, in the same way that the design role of the medieval master builder was replaced by the dilettante architect during the information technology (IT) revolution of the Renaissance?
Industries of Architecture
Nel 1966 comparivano i saggi di Robert von Hala?sz, Industrialisierung der Bautechnik. Bauen und Bauten mit Stahlbetonfertigteilen (Du?sseldorf: Werner-Verlag), di Gérard Blachère, Savoir ba?tir: habitabilite?, durabilite?, e?conomie des ba?timents (Paris: Eyrolles), e la prolusione di Duccio Turin, autore di Building as a Process, What do we Mean by Building?», pubblicato in The Builder, February 18, pp. 345- 49 and February 23, pp. 385. Si trattava, da un lato, di sistematizzare le esperienze dell'Industrializzazione Edilizia, sin lì conseguite dagli Anni Quaranta nel difficile Matrimonio (un Marriage de Raison secondo il Centro Georges Pompidou) tra Industrialesimo e Architettura, ben esemplificato negli Anni Cinquanta dalla Hochschule für Gestaltung di Ulm, dall'altro di fondare una Teoria Economica delle Costruzioni, definita dagli allievi dello studioso argentino di origini italiane, Ranko Bon e Patricia Hillebrandt presso quella Bartlett School dello University College London in cui ora insegna Peter Morris. Si trattava, dunque, di conferire uno Statuto all'Industria delle Costruzioni sia sotto il profilo tecnologico sia sotto il profilo economico. A fronte di ciò, negli anni avvenire sorgeranno le critiche sociologiche e cinematografiche ai Grand Ensemble in Francia oppure l'interpretazione ironica del Programma di Prefabbricazione dell'Edilizia Scolastica definito nel Regno Unito CLASP come Collection of Loosely Assembled Steel Parts, per non parlare delle Platte realizzate nella Repubblica Democratica Tedesca. Eppure la storia, assai controversa e persino fallimentare negli esiti (che, peraltro, concerne anche una parte considerevole della odierna Riqualificazione Edilizia delle Periferie Urbane) di quel periodo "eroico" è strettamente connessa all'attualità, nel senso della Costruzione del Settore Industriale dell'Edilizia. Si domanda, infatti, Andrew Rabeneck "how has building, an ancient craft-based activity, come to be recognized as a modern industry and treated as an industry both intellectually and politically? The shape of today’s construction industry results less from interventions of architects, engineers and entrepreneurs – the story we find in most narratives of modernism – than it does from government housing initiatives following World War I... Building and its parent «field» construction are today counted with modern infrastructure and manufacturing industries. Nevertheless, they continue to disappoint those who take their benchmarks from manufacturing, who hope for industrial coefficients of «efficiency». It is a disappointment that fosters a rich literature about the relative «backwardness» of construction...most authors remain in some way shackled to the notion of construction-as-industry, and construction industry or building industry have entered the language as an idioms, certainly since the inter-war years. Thinking about construction is generally trapped within the industry paradigm". Il caso del Regno Unito, forse più refrattario di quello Francese o di quello Sovietico all'applicazione di alcune logiche della Prefabbricazione Pesante, secondo lo stesso studioso, mostra come la Scientificità o lo Scientismo si introducano nelle Costruzioni: "the focus on science-led industrial transformation was helped in a num- ber of ways throughout the 1950s. BRS started working more closely with industry on specific projects (e.g. nuclear power plants) and through its information and enquiry services; BRS undertook research into productivity, costs and management for ministries and their in-house development groups; BRS scientists, architects and engineers eventually left the Station to join industry, other government departments, professional institutes, universities and technical colleges, building up «a web of influence, often at high level»". Parimenti, "Industrialization nevertheless gained political traction through large-scale public building programmes fostered by elite development groups within mi- nistries and through specialist public-sector bodies, such as the National Building Agency (founded 1960). The Ministry of Works was renamed the Mi- nistry of Public Building and Works in 1962, acquiring the extra responsibility of monitoring the building industry. The 1964 Labour Party election manifesto was technically optimistic about construction: The crucial factor governing the number of new houses that we can build –and indeed the schools, hospitals, factories, offices and roads that can be completed– is the output of the construction and building supply industries". Di conseguenza, "this impulse culminated in The National Plan of 1964, a plan that included the promise to build 500,000 houses a year by 1970-7169, greatly in excess of the previous best of 338,000 in 1938. The demise of the National Plan in the 1965 economic downturn did little to dim the power of the industrial model of construction. Issues of quality and efficiency continued to be transformed into issues of management, information and feedback. Genuine areas of conflict were recast as problems of communication. Building economists explored the notion of the industrial capacity of construction". Comunque, sia nata, nel 1992 ovvero nel 2002, l'espressione Building Information Modelling (BIM), qualunque studioso la abbia coniata (Robert Aish, Chuck Eastman, Phil Bernstein, Jerry Laiserin, Frits Tolman, Sander Van Nederveen), nella sua articolata evoluzione tecnologica, narrata da Michael S. Bergin, gode oggi di una vasta notorietà a livello internazionale e nel suo nome si ripongono grande attese nei diversi Continenti, e, sia pure con ritardo e approssimazione, persino in Italia. In realtà, l'acronimo cela una tematica assai antica, tutta basata sul ruolo della Committenza Pubblica nella Configurazione del Mercato delle Costruzioni, sorto negli Anni Venti in Germania con la Vorfertigung, proseguito con la Factory-Made House e con l'Industrialisation du Bâtiment per l'Edilizia Residenziale e per quella Scolastica: si pensi al cosiddetto Plan Courant del 1953, alle case prefabbricate metalliche della MAN-Werk del 1948, alla Verordnung über wohnungswirtschaftliche Berechnungen nach dem Zweiten Wohnungsbaugesetz del 1957 o al Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme dello stesso anno. Ciò non perché l'Information Modelling si sposi con l'Off Site nell'Edilizia Ospedaliera in Australia, nel Regno Unito o negli Stati Uniti, bensì, perché in entrambe le epoche, come si constaterà, il paradigma dell'Industria si abbina a quello dell'Architettura, a partire dalla Domanda Pubblica. Il tema che appare predominante nella riflessione sullo stato presente del Settore delle Costruzioni sembra essere quello del mutato Statuto della Funzione di Committenza nell'Epoca della Digitalizzazione, laddove, nel tessuto polverizzato degli Attori e degli Operatori solo una lenta e graduale evoluzione, ma con alcune rotture epistemologiche relativamente rapide, propiziata e determinata da una forte Committenza Pubblica può ingenerare il Cambiamento verso ciò che, in antitesi a Taylorised Serial Production, è stato definita come Digitized Customization. Per questa ragione, appare pregnante ritornare, in più occasioni alla funzione esercitata dalla Domanda Pubblica nel Dopo Guerra, (ad esempio, nella Francia di Eugène Claudius-Petit e di Adrien Spinetta) supportata dal brevetto di Raymond Camus del 1948 e dai successivi Coignet e Balency, nonché dalla suddivisione tra Prefabbricazione Pesante e Prefabbricazione Leggera, tra Prefabbricazione in Fabbrica o in Sito, tra Sistemi Chiusi e Sistemi Aperti, tra contiguità tra Europa Occidentale ed Europa Orientale (sia pure non sotto il profilo estetico, come Die Platte per la Repubblica Democratica Tedesca o i Sistemi à la Camus dell'epoca kruscheviana: vedi Khrushchyovka, Panelház, Panelák, ovvero si confronti il rapporto tra Stati Uniti e Unione Sovietica sulla Rapid House). Non è, peraltro, casuale il fatto che studiosi come Joseph Abram, Pedro Ignacio Alonso, Barry Bergdoll, Jean-Louis Cohen, Yvan Delemontey, Marija Dr?mait?, Adrian Forty, Kenneth Frampton, Christine Hannemann, Kurt Junghanns, Antoine Picon, Natalya Solopova, Kimberly Zarecor, si siano interessati a queste vicende, all'interno di una riflessione intorno ai nessi che intercorrono tra Architettura, Edilizia, Politica, Modernità e Industrialesimo. Ricorda Jean-Louis Cohen che: "dans la France de l’entre-deux-guerres, les recherches se multiplient sur la pre?fabrication, que Le Corbusier appelle de ses vœux lorsqu’il revendique que «la grande industrie s’empare du ba?timent». Elles portent alors surtout sur l’utilisation de syste?mes me?talliques, alors que les grandes ope?rations d’apre?s 1945 feront appel massivement au be?ton arme?. La diffusion de la pre?fabrication lourde n’est pas dissociable des conditions politiques dans lesquelles se de?roule la reconstructio n d’un paysde?vaste? par la guerre, puis la re?ponse a? un exode rural massif qui peuple les pe?riphe?ries des grandes villes. L’E?tat s’attache a? cre?er de grandes ope?rations, permettant l’intervention de grandes entreprises du ba?timent et des travaux publics, seules capables de consentir les investissements ne?cessaires. La pre?fabrication par grands panneaux de be?ton avait e?te? expe?rimente?e dans les anne?es 1920 a? Francfort-sur-le-Main, et aussi sur des chantiers franc?ais, comme celui de la cite? de la Muette. La reconstruction du Havre donne a? l’inge?nieur Raymond Camus l’occasion d’e?laborer un proce?de? utilisant des panneaux de grande taille, re?alise?s en usines. Les grands chantiers lance?s par l’E?tat, comme celui de 1953 pour re?aliser 4000 logements dans la re?gion parisienne, imposent le recours aux proce?de?s comme celui de Camus, que les architectes utilisent au prix de modifications esthe?tiques de de?tail. Composant caracte?ristique du nouveau paysage des pe?riphe?ries franc?aises, le panneau marque ainsi a? la fois la diffusion du taylorisme, avec la stricte division du travail qui pre?side a? sa production et a? son montage, et celle du fordisme, dans la mesure ou? il permet aux salarie?s d’acce?der a? des produits standardise?s et a? bon marche?. Rapidement visite?s par les experts e?trangers, les chantiers ou? se met en sce?ne la pre?fabrication conduisent a? l’exportation des brevets Camus, qui seront utilise?s tant en Allemagne fe?de?rale qu’en Re?publique de?mocratique allemande. Largement employe?s en URSS, ou? ils seront produits dans des combinats ge?ants, re?exporte?s a? Cuba, et «tropicalise?s», ils seront utilise?s sous le nom de KPD dans le Chili de Salvador Allende". Naturalmente i corsi storici sono profondamente diversi, sia per l'indebolimento finanziario degli Stati, sia per la natura del fabbisogno sociale da soddisfare, sia per i mutati paradigmi industriali da seguire, ma le caratteristiche strutturali del Settore non sono granché mutate. Certo, il passato non può che proporre interrogativi, tra cui il legame che sussiste tra le dinamiche sociali di una popolazione europea che invecchia e che si confronta con la multiculturalità e l'interetnicità, gli immaginari politici che potrebbero evolversi per l'Ambiente Costruito verso una dimensione più intangibile della Costruzione, per il Settore delle Costruzioni che potrebbe ripensarsi alla luce di una mutata concezione di Produzione Industriale e delle sue conseguenze sul dibattito architettonico.