Lee Fithian is the first to admit that while she's getting to lead a “dream course” at the University of Oklahoma with the upcoming international online charette using building information modeling software, she also acknowledges local participation so far is less than what she expected.
The associate professor of architecture is hoping that an imaginary bit of time-traveling might spark a last-minute flurry of registrations. She asks those in design, engineering, construction and development fields to imagine being invited in the early 1980s to be an early adapter of AutoCAD, software that is now an essential tool used for 2-D and 3-D computer assisted design.
The same opportunity is being presented, Fithian said, with building information modeling software in what is being termed a “BIMStorm.”
The upcoming 24-hour charette, supported through a $20,000 grant, will be held Nov. 7 starting at 8 a.m. The charette will provide fourth-year architecture students and construction sciences students a chance to work with professionals worldwide to use building information modeling software in an online cloud to create a hypothetical development of the area south of downtown known as Core to Shore.
By working with Oklahoma City planners and industry partners throughout the charette, labeled “BIMStorm,” Fithian and Associate Professor of Construction Science Tamera McCuen hope students will gain experience in a project-based learning environment that represents leading-edge technology and innovative project delivery methods for the 21st-century architect, planner and construction manager.
Firms currently registered to participate include Manhattan Construction, FSB, Flintco, Crafton Tull, JEDunn Construction, Austin Commercial Construction, and U.S. Air Force Academy Construction Division.
Fithian, who is hoping to see more local firms participate before the BIMStorm's start on Nov. 7, said the software and use of cloud technology allows for more real-time collaboration on design, better cost estimation, and adjustments that can include a couple of clicks to swap out one material for another to see the difference in cost, appearance and energy efficiency.
Core to Shore was a natural pick, Fithian said, because it involves a large blighted area that is going to see significant development over the next half century.
The ability to assemble a team of architecture, planning, and construction professionals as a virtual team, using the Internet, is now a reality in the 21st century construction industry, Fithian said.
“The opportunity for our students to interface and work with potential national and international firms and designers on a critical project in Oklahoma City is unique to this dream course,” Fithian said.
“Without the intensive atmosphere and sophisticated interface provided by the BIMStorm, this type of exposure would just be too cost prohibitive and linear in nature rather than the interactive venue we will enjoy. It will be a great experience for all faculty, students and professionals.”
For more information
Contact Tammy McCuen at tammymccuen