I think we have all been a part of projects that have strayed from their original scope. Sometimes, it is OK because it leads to a better project. Sometimes it seems like it will lead to a better project, but it doesn’t. It is important that when you hit a fork in the road, you take advantage of the right tools to make a proper decision. How much will this alternative cost me? Am I better off sticking with the original design? What other factors are at play? What are the real consequences of taking the design or construction a certain direction? Can I simulate the process to experience them in the office instead of the field?
This weekend, Baby Galileo and I were at home alone while the big kids were off at flux capacitor training camp.
Baby has spent more time learning calculus than fine motor skills, so there were a lot of cheerios on the floor.
I let the dogs in to eat the cheerios. My dogs are a bit old and they don’t get in the house much. In their excitement over such an impressive floor buffet, one of them distracted me with cuteness while the other wet on the carpet. So now instead of just picking up a broom to sweep up some cereal, I am pulling out the giant carpet cleaning machine. Which Baby hates. And screams when I use it. So now I am cursing and furiously scrubbing and thinking about what a big waste of time this stupid carpet is anyway, and weren’t we going to replace it with hard floors? Why haven’t we done that yet? Oh, but before I invest in hard floors, we really need to consider knocking down a few walls here and making a bigger mudroom and laundry room and a side entrance while we’re at it. It may seem cheaper and easier in the here-and-now to keep our house as is, but what are the long term impacts? And the potential maintenance and ease-of-use implications?
Original Scope of Project: Clean up Cheerios
Final Scope of Project: Demolition and Renovation
In the end, I wound up lighting a candle and spraying some Febreeze while I mocked up the house in Revit and ran a Navisworks simulation to discover the pitfalls of future cheerio maintenance. Or even the dreaded spaghetti bowl inversion.
I was having a conversation with Roberta Oldenburg of Mortenson Construction a few weeks ago about one of her projects that used Civil 3D, Revit Structure, Navisworks Manage and more to upgrade a freeway. One of the most interesting observations from our talk was the power of experiencing the design at all stages of the project from many angles. For example- how does the final configuration stack up for snow removal? And not just the final configuration, but what does the construction look like from November to March? How will drainage be handled? What seems like an easy fix may ultimately wind up costing more money and more drama.
Roberta will be talking about this project at Autodesk University 2011 in her class: 3D Modeling and 4D Simulation: Mitchell Interchange Construction/Zoo Interchange Design, SE Freeways, Wisconsin. Be sure to sign up!