Technology in Architectural Practice


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The AIA Technology in Architectural Practice Knowledge Community (TAP) serves as a resource for AIA members, the profession, and the public in the deployment of computer technology in the practice of architecture. TAP leaders monitor the development of computer technology and its impact on architecture practice and the entire building life cycle, including design, construction, facility management, and retirement or reuse.

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New technologies and risk management

  • 1.  New technologies and risk management

    Posted 10-26-2016 15:45
    Hi all, is anyone working on or knows where to find information about how to deal with risk management when new technologies such a virtual and augmented reality, apps, devices everywhere, information distributed instantly, drones, people trackers, and all that, are introduced in our practice?  I could not find too much on this in the Manual of Practice.

    Gloria Rasmussen AIA CSI CCS LEED AP
    Quality Management

    RMW architecture & interiors
    1718 Third Street, Suite 101
    Sacramento, CA 95811
    Tel 916.449.1400 x 415    Fax 916.449.1414
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  • 2.  RE: New technologies and risk management

    Posted 10-27-2016 18:15

    I'm not surprised you didn't find anything in the CSI Manual of Practice.  It was replaced by the Project Resource Manual in 2005, which, in turn was replaced by the series of Practice Guides in 2011.  However, even the Practice Guides don't address what to consider with this newer technology relative to insurance.

    The Game Changer speaker at last month's CONSTRUCT/CSI Convention was James Benham, of JBKnowledge, Inc. who spoke (very passionately) on the technology you mention and its use in construction.  He did not address liability concerns, but may be able to help or point you to someone who can.  James' contact information is, (866) 888-8538 x 901.

    Hope this helps!

    Steven Groth AIA
    Project Architect, Director of Specifications, Computer Systems Manager
    Uihlein-Wilson Architects
    Milwaukee WI

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  • 3.  RE: New technologies and risk management

    Posted 10-28-2016 17:43

    I lead the Tech Studio in our firm and we have had recent experience with this. Simply put, I would say: to talk to your insurance provider.

    To use a specific example: Our company recently created a contract for hiring drone photographers / companies to do contract work for us. We had a small internal Drone group form and work out issues with the industry and our insurance provider. We also sent the draft to a photographer that we work with that was considering getting into drone photography, and he had some helpful comments about who holds the copyright of the photos. The result was a contract that dictated the liability and insurance that the people that we hired would be required to hold before we would hire them.

    I would assume that this process would work for all the items you mentioned. For VR I assume that it would be a similar contract to what a photographer that you might hire to take photos of your buildings. 

    Let me know if you would like more info specifically about the Drone contract and I can look into if I can share it.

    Ryan Johnson AIA
    Clark Nexsen, Inc.
    Raleigh NC

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  • 4.  RE: New technologies and risk management

    Posted 11-07-2016 11:20

    Hi, thank you all for your responses.  I actually made a mistake in my email; I meant to say that I checked the AIA handbook, not the CSI manual.  Anyway, I still could not find anything.  I checked with our insurer, and what they have addresses BIM issues only.  I attended James Benham's talk in Austin, and I agree that contacting him is a very good idea; that is next. Thanks Ryan for sharing your experience in hiring photographers using drones, I know that will happen in our firm soon. In the meantime, I will post what I find out in this forum. 

    Gloria Rasmussen AIA
    RMW Architecture & Interiors
    Sacramento CA

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  • 5.  RE: New technologies and risk management

    Posted 11-08-2016 17:25

    A great question.  Personally I think its a real issue that seems to have been "overlooked" or at least not tested in a litigation setting.

    I have not seen anything.

    Stephen Angelo AIA
    Offices of Stephen Michael Angelo, Architect AIA
    Livermore CA

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  • 6.  RE: New technologies and risk management

    Posted 11-08-2016 18:09

    Sort of a broad question for a lot of different topics.  

    I would recommend defining your risk before you start down the path of advanced technology with your clients and participants.  Create non-disclosure and hold harmless agreements with your clients, and subject matter experts.  If you are transmitting digital assets (i.e., BIM (Building Information Modeling), AR (Augemented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), MR (Mixed Reality), imagery) to consultants, owners, or contractors create a document that states that the end user can not use the models for anything except for reference and that the construction documents are the elements to be referenced in all cases when there is a discrepancy between the two (or various different mediums your are delivering).  A good reference is within the Architects Handbook of Professional Practice with regards to Integrated Project Delivery (IDP).  If your team understands that you are leveraging advanced technology to enable better design decisions earlier and you clearly state that nothing that they consume from your office is to be used construction expect for the construction documents,  I think they will understand that these deliverables aren't a final, fully rendered concept from which they should hang all of their hopes from, nor should they build from them.

    In terms of drones you are going to need get your drone registered with the FAA which allows to you fly up to 400 feet with various other clearly defined restrictions.  KNOW BEFORE YOU FLY

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    All of these emerging technologies are here to enable us to explore what the possibilities may be in the future, with our clients, consultants and team.

    Willard E.Williams Jr., AIA
    Hoffman Construction
    Seattle WA

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