BIM – Why It Should Be On Your To Do List This Year

November 3, 2021

At Jigsaw Solutions we are busy working with our Electrical Contractor Partners to assist them in realizing the benefits of BIM. In addition, we are helping them tap into the efficiency BIM can bring to their projects. With the recent trends in lack of workforce, BIM can enhance their ability to pre-fab much of their work for a more efficient install. While we are focused on bringing value to our clients, we don’t want to forget about those contractors that have yet to embrace BIM as part of their construction workflow.

For those contractors that are still tiptoeing on the edge of the BIM waters, here is some information you might find helpful.  An article from said that:

“the building information modeling market was valued at USD 5.4 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 10.7 billion by 2026.”

Similar articles identify BIM (Building Information Modeling) as not just a fad but as a tool that is becoming an engrained piece of construction. Large to mid-sized projects are becoming more and more difficult for sub-contractors that are unable to utilize BIM services, to be a part of. This trend will continue to make it more difficult for resistant contractors to grow their business.

We have helped many contractors to qualify for these projects and have taken away the concern of providing these services in-house. We partner primarily with Electrical Contractors to handle the BIM effort of a project for them. We work closely with your team in the field to coordinate the project. We keep your workflow and best practices in mind. We have developed great relationships with many General Contractors, who have referred us to Electrical Contractors that lack the ability to perform BIM for their projects.

Jigsaw has transitioned many Electrical Contractors into the world of BIM. We know there are many more looking in from the outside. We wanted to step out of the trenches for this article and encourage those still hesitant contractors to embrace the technology and realize the benefits that others are seeing from having Building Information Modeling as an integral part of their workflow.

Please reach out and let us know how we can help you!

Coordination World versus Real World

August 8, 2019

Building Information Modeling

I enjoyed a field visit a couple weeks ago with Scott Henman from Parks OV Electric. What a great job they did on the electrical installation of the new downtown Kroger Grocery, parking, and apartment complex on Court and Walnut in downtown Cincinnati!

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a critical part of successful construction on complicated projects.  Even more important is the Construction Team adhering to an install that was coordinated by the BIM Coordination Team.

These pictures demonstrate not only the accuracy of our BIM Coordination model, but the attention that was given to the model during construction. Notice how similar the 3D model is to what was installed in the field months later. Great job to all involved! Can’t wait to see Kroger opening in September of 2019!

Who’s Leading Your Project’s BIM Effort?

April 9, 2019

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Coordination has become a common, yet critical, part of large construction projects and complicated renovations.  When providing BIM Proposals for my Contractor partners lately, I’ve been surprised by how many General Contractors are placing the responsibility of “VDC Manager” (Virtual Design and Construction) on the Mechanical Contractor.

What Is The Role Of The VDC Manager?

The VDC Manager is responsible for organizing the efforts of the BIM Coordination Team.  This person typically establishes the meeting schedule, organizes the team, manages clash detection, encourages off-line coordination, and most importantly, keeps the effort on track so that construction deadlines can be met and direction from the coordination team can be ready.  Many other tasks are handled by a good VDC Manager (see list below).

Who Should Be The VDC Manager?

The General Contractor reasons that since the Mechanical Contractor has the largest part of the BIM Coordination effort and typically a good grasp on the coordination process, they are in the best position to lead this effort.  The challenge is that the Mechanical Contractor DOES have the heaviest workload of the BIM Coordination team.  With all that they have to model and coordinate, they can easily be distracted from the responsibilities of the VDC Manager.  We typically partner with Electrical Contractors, it seems to me to be a conflict of interest.  The Mechanical contractor, understandably, has the Mechanical piping and HVAC installation and efficiency as their priority.

It would be like asking the Tater Tot manufacturer to set the menu for school lunches – you know tater tots will be on the menu every day.

The most successful BIM Coordination Teams we have been a part of were lead by a dedicated VDC Manager.  His focus is to:

  • Encourage communication between the trades throughout the effort
  • Organize and facilitate solutions to clashes
  • Act as a liaison between the General Contractor, Design Team, and the BIM Coordination Team
  • Ensure the integrity of the Coordination Model
  • Enforce the diligence of all involved to adhere to the BIM Execution Plan
  • Provide the coordinated model according to the project schedule

The Challenge For Small To Medium Sized General Contractors

Large General Contractors typically have a department that handle the VDC Manager position on each project.  At times however, these departments can be overloaded.  As a solution, sometimes smaller projects they are managing will delegate the VDC Manager role to the Mechanical Contractor (see above challenges with such a decision).  Other small to medium sized general contractors do not have a department that handle the BIM Coordination effort, resulting in this, again, being handled by the Mechanical Contractor.

A Better Solution

For a multitude of reasons, having a dedicated VDC Manager is a better solution for all BIM Coordination Teams, Owners, and Projects.  To assist with this need, Jigsaw Solutions is now offering dedicated VDC Manager services.  Contact us today if this is a service your company could benefit from.

What Does BIM Mean To You – “Leading The Way” (Part 3 of 3)

August 28, 2018

BIM Building Information Modeling

The Reaction

The project requires BIM – Bring it on!

This is the response from contractors that have seen the value of BIM.  These contractors have made the investment in BIM by hiring a leader, purchasing software, investing in the hardware, and researching more efficient and productive workflows.

The Reasoning

Contractors with this perspective recognize the advantages of BIM in their bottom line.  That journey has no doubt been a learning experience fraught with some mistakes they’ve had to work through.  In the end it has reaped rewards for the overall project.  It offers the ability of offsite prefabrication, coordinated install drawings, and making use of positioning technologies for simple onsite locating of hangers and other devices.

By using the available technologies that have been proven and stable, it makes it simpler to adopt other advances as they arrive on the scene.  It’s much easier to reach the finish line from the last lap than from the starting line.

The current challenge for contractors staffed with BIM Coordinators is balancing workload.  Not every construction project requires BIM Coordination.  Managing the workload of your BIM Coordinators can present a challenge.  Hiring additional people to handle peaks in schedule also requires the purchase of software and hardware.  Jigsaw Solutions has proven to be a good solution to assist contractors through schedule peaks.

The Solution

Hiring a qualified and experienced BIM Coordination consultant can assist contractors to even out their workloads that can be a challenge for their BIM Coordination Team.  Jigsaw Solutions can assist in many different ways, we can do any of the following:

  • Consult with your team to develop strategies or assist with in-house standards
  • Assist with the initial modeling effort of the project
  • Completely handle the project from start to finish, including coordination meeting attendance.

We can completely handle the coordination effort for your company.  Our team will work with your project manager/foreman to coordinate and provide installation drawings customized to your best practices and installation standards.  Contact us today!

Other posts in this series:
Introduction  |  Part 1 of 3  |  Part 2 of 3

You might find these blogs beneficial in choosing a good BIM Coordinator to partner with:

Who Should Represent You?  |  Be A Team Player

What Does BIM Mean To You – “Follow The Leader” (Part 2 of 3)

July 23, 2018

BIM - Follow the leader

The Reaction

I’ll see if I can opt out of the BIM Coordination or just hire the General Contractor to handle it for me

This is the response from some contractors that want to participate and bid on large projects.  Typically the General Contractor on large projects and complicated renovations will require BIM Coordination to be performed by all sub-contractors.  Contractors that do not have this capability in-house or have a partner they can team with to provide BIM Coordination will often decide one of two things:

  1. Hire the General Contractor to handle BIM Coordination on their behalf
  2. Opt out of the coordination

The Reasoning

Contractors with this perspective typically view BIM Coordination as a necessary evil in order to participate in these large projects.  To this contractor, BIM Coordination is just another “hoop” that the General Contractor is requiring them to jump through.  There are some things to be mindful of when choosing to handle this requirement in the two ways listed above that the “Follow The Leader” contractor chooses.

  1. Hiring the General Contractor to handle BIM Coordination on your behalf
    The General Contractor has realized the benefit of BIM Coordination, which is why they insist on participation by all the trade contractors – even if they are coordinating for you.  The danger is, the General Contractor’s BIM Coordination Lead has their own agenda.  Their priority is delivering a “clash-free” model on schedule.  If they are responsible for modeling and coordinating your trade (HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire Protection, etc) in addition to the work under the General Trades, where do you think you rank in the priority list?  Most likely the priorities go like this:  Project schedule, then General Trades, then the trades that are participating in the BIM Coordination every week, then YOU.  This is no fault of theirs.  You’ve chosen to take the back seat by not fully participating in the coordination effort.  The results will be a set of install drawings with routings of your trade that are not in-line with your company’s best practices.  Also, typically not with an efficient and cost-effective design in mind.
  2. Opt out of the coordination
    This is even a worse option.  If the contractor allows you to opt out of the coordination effort, think of what you are missing out on… Think of the conversation around the table about your trade throughout the weeks/months of coordination the other trades will be participating in.  Typically, you will be required to agree that you will work around in the field what the other trades have previously coordinated.  What response do you think you will receive from the General Contractor and other trades when you come to them with problems in the field following the coordination effort you chose not to participate in?

From these two scenarios, you no doubt recognize that neither of these options are in the best interest of the project, the client, or your bottom line as the trade contractor.

The Solution

The challenge for the “Follow The Leader” contractor is, how can I participate in the BIM Coordination effort?  The cost of hiring people, purchasing equipment, and the cost associated with software licensing and training can be intimidating to tackle this challenge.  At least on some pilot projects, team with a BIM Coordination partner.  Someone who has the required experience, reputation, hardware and software to sit at the table representing your trade with your best interest at heart.  The cost would most likely be less expensive than hiring the General Contractor to handle the coordination for you.  Partnering with a BIM Coordination Team (like Jigsaw Solutions) creates a team member working with you to achieve installation drawings with your trade’s benefit in mind.

Other posts in this series:
Introduction  |  Part 1 of 3 |  Part 3 of 3

You might find these blogs beneficial in choosing a good BIM Coordinator to partner with:
BIM Outsourcing helps…  |  Be A Team Player  |  Who Should Represent You…

What Does BIM Mean To You – “Kicking & Screaming” (Part 1 of 3)

June 21, 2018

What does bim mean to you - kicking and screaming

The Reaction

I just avoid bidding on projects that require BIM Coordination

This is the response from some contractors as they sift through the available projects to bid.  Seeing the requirement of BIM Coordination on a project will cause some to avoid bidding the project.  Smaller contractors have been able to get away with this method for the past few years.  General Contractors on most residential and small commercial projects are not requiring BIM.  There are even some large projects that can still be bid without providing BIM capabilities, but those projects are getting scarce.

The Reasoning

Contractors with this perspective typical view BIM Coordination as an evil additional step that just costs them money from their bottom line and wastes time.  Depending on the BIM Coordination team, there could be some truth to that!  A successful BIM Coordination effort requires three things:

  1. A qualified BIM Coordination Leader
  2. Accountable BIM Coordinators representing each building trade
  3. Sub-contractors that find the value that BIM Coordination brings

If any of these three pieces are missing from the process, it can become a challenging part of the construction process.  This contributes to the “kicking and screaming” contractor’s opinion that BIM Coordination is a necessary evil.

The Solution

The challenge for the “kicking and screaming” contractor is two-fold:

  1. As time goes on, there are fewer projects to participate in that do not require some form of BIM Coordination
  2. Avoiding projects that require BIM Coordination makes it very difficult to grow your business

In order for this contractor to grow and survive, there needs to be a trust for the process.  Obviously there is some value to BIM Coordination, otherwise the large General Contractors would not be pushing to include this effort on their projects.  It can certainly be intimidating to hire, train, and invest in equipment and software, to find out what these benefits are.  Partnering with an experienced BIM Coordinator that can represent you at the coordination table can be a valuable way to step into the BIM waters.  This coordinator can step you through what benefits BIM Coordination can bring to your construction effort.

Other posts in this series:
Introduction |  Part 2 of 3  |  Part 3 of 3

You might find these blogs beneficial in choosing a good BIM Coordinator to partner with:

Who Should Represent You?  |  Be A Team Player

Introduction blog to this 3 part series


What Does BIM Mean To You?

May 21, 2018

What Does BIM Mean

A baby first learns to roll over and then in no time, they are crawling.  Once they get mobile it gets scary, for everyone involved!  But are babies satisfied with just being able to crawl?  Next they want to walk – now they are really dangerous!  Do they stop there?  As they grow and mature, they want to run, that’s where they really learn to cover some ground!  Each of these progressions have their challenges, but get better with more practice.  With crawling, their going to fall on their face a few times.  With walking, their going to trip initially.  With running, they will collide into something.  But to be safe, should they just never become mobile?  NOT AN OPTION!

Construction Contractors follow a similar progression throughout their growth.  As they grow they improve in their processes and strengthen as a company.  Unfortunately though, recently, many have become resistant to the progression of including BIM Coordination into their workflow.

For some contractors seeing the requirement of “BIM Coordination” on a project is exciting because they know the benefits it brings to the project.  For others, it is a stop sign – They do not have the ability to provide these Coordination services and thus it becomes a challenge to bid the project.  Standing still is “NOT AN OPTION” in this fast paced construction world.

Why The Reluctance?

It’s fun working in an industry where new technologies are being introduced (like Building Information Modeling – BIM – in the Construction industry)!  I have found that businesses typically fall into three categories:

  • Early adopters – “Leading the way”
  • Mainstream adopters – “Follow the leader”
  • Late adopters – “Kicking and screaming”

We work in assisting the first two groups.  When speaking with the third group (those that are being dragged along “kicking and screaming”) there are several excuses as to why they are resistant.  We will address each of these with the goal of easing them into the waters of Building Information Modeling:

“I just avoid bidding on projects that require BIM Coordination”

“I’ll hire the General Contractor to handle BIM for me if it is required”

“We’ve tried BIM projects before, unsuccessfully”

Overcoming These Hurdles

Let’s address each of these three reasons.  In my opinion, every Construction Contractor that is seeking large commercial (not “cookie cutter”) work should have the capability of offering BIM Coordination services.  Although it may evolve and adjust to an ever changing construction environment, this trend is not going away.  With refusal or lack of ability to bid on projects that require BIM Coordination, the field of projects to bid on will continue to get smaller.

Other posts in this series:
Part 1 of 3  |  Part 2 of 3  |  Part 3 of 3

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to see the follow up articles as they are available.

If you would like to team with Jigsaw Solutions to go after projects requiring BIM Coordination, contact us today!

Is It Really “Impossible”?

March 12, 2018

Roger Bannister

A recent post by Seth Godin reminded me of some research I did a couple of years ago.  It’s been a little while since I’ve posted an inspirational “piece”, so here it is…

I did some research on Roger Bannister and it is a very interesting story.  For many years scientists felt that it was impossible for a human to run one mile in less than four minutes.  Until May 6, 1954 at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Track, Englishman Roger Bannister ran one mile in 3:59.4 minutes!

Once he proved a 4 minute mile was humanly possible, it soon became no great achievement!  The “four-minute barrier” has since been broken by many male athletes, and is now the standard of all male professional middle distance runners. In the last 50 years the mile record has been lowered by almost 17 seconds, and currently stands at 3:43.13 (held by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj, who ran a time of 3:43.13 in Rome in 1999).

Never turn away from a task, a challenge, or an obstacle that seems “impossible”… That only means no one has yet accomplished it – you could be the first!

Another perspective on this event was that Bannister was not the only runner in this record setting event.  There were six other men in this race:  Alan Gordon, George Dole, Nigel Miller, Tom Hulatt and Bannister’s two pacemakers – Brasher and Chataway.  Although very little is known about these other runners and Bannister’s name appears in all the record books, plaques, and memorial events, is it reasonable to think he could have achieved this without them?  They were key to his success, providing the challenge, the drive, setting the pace for Roger to reach this speed.

Never underestimate the value of those around you.  Family, friends, and co-workers who are cheering you on, pushing you, to be the best “you”!

No female has been on record to run a 4-minute mile… Maybe it could be you!

Associated Links
Further information regarding the 4-minute mile
Roger Banister

The Benefits of a Design Model Built for Coordination

January 29, 2018

BIM Coordination Architects Engineers Contractors

Why Is There a Problem?

I’ve spent 25 years in Architecture and Engineering firms on the design side of construction.  For the last 4 years, I have been focusing on the construction side, providing BIM Coordination services for Electrical Contractors.  As a result, I have a unique perspective on the design/construction industry.  It amazes me how quickly Architects and Engineers can develop either a good or bad reputation for their modeling capabilities by the Contractor’s BIM Coordination teams.  Typically, one of the first questions I hear asked by members of the BIM Coordination team is, “Who is the Architect/Engineer?”.  We know that the quality of the Design Model greatly impacts the required effort in beginning coordination and throughout.

I always enjoyed working with the design team to coordinate our designs and deliver a Revit model that could continue to “live” past the bidding phase.  Now, I am often surprised at the quality of the models I’ve received from design teams to carry into the construction side of the project.  Designers, in general, seem to build the model with the intent of delivering PDF drawings to convey the design intent.

Although the drawings are complete, the construction effort relies on the models to be accurate, not just correct on a printed drawing.  When utilizing Navisworks to coordinate the design for construction, an accurately modeled project from the design team is critical to meeting tightening project schedules.

How Can It Be Improved?

Speaking from an Electrical perspective, accurate coordination requires a consistent design model.  Here are some things that make for a great design model to begin coordination:

  • Modeling not only equipment, but equipment with required NEC clearances
  • Power, Fire Alarm, and Lighting devices not only modeled in the correct location (X,Y), but at the accurate elevations (Z)
  • Modeling with Revit families that provide parameters for modification
    • Typically designers are modeling for basis of design.  In construction, we are coordinating with the actual, submittal approved, products.  This typically requires an adjustment in size
    • Families for lighting and equipment that allow for a clearance to be added and modified is very helpful
      • For example, we not only need the accurate size of a 2×4 lighting fixture, but also a clearance behind the fixture to allow for installation (a duct can not be flat against the back of a light fixture)
      • For pendant mounted light fixtures, modeling the aircraft cable, stem, or chain allows for these to clearly be hung, rather than just floating in space

The Benefits of a Good Model

When the contractor receives an accurate design model it then allows them to focus on the details of coordination.  Having to replace families, re-host content, and confirming elevations of devices cuts time out of the already progressive construction schedule.  Also, this benefits the Design Team, enabling the Coordination Team to use in whole what was originally designed rather than having to rebuild the model with usable families and content.

Now more than ever, it is critical that the design team and construction team work together with the best interest of the project and the owner in mind.  Engineers and Architects that develop a reputation for delivering quality design models will find Contractors that are eager to work on their projects.


BIM Coordination provides more than just “Coordination”

July 3, 2017

BIM Coordination is a great tool for many pre-construction advantages:

  • Resolving collisions prior to finding them in the field
  • Avoiding expensive RFI’s and Change Orders during construction
  • Keeping the project on schedule without lengthy work stoppage to resolve conflicts in the field

Currently on the Norton Audubon Hospital project I am providing coordinated hanger locations and ID points.  These ID points identify every coordinated rod for Cable Tray and Conduit Rack hangers as well as Pendant lights and Recessed Can lights that are being installed in hard ceilings.  All of these ID points have associated X,Y locations that can be uploaded to a Trimble robot to mark all these locations in the field as the slabs are poured.

This gives the contractor the ability to hang rods prior to any other trades being installed, having them ready to hang from once the Conduit Racks and Cable Tray are ready to be installed.  Rod lengths and unistrut lengths can then be pre-cut off-site, delivered to the project and assembled in the field.  All of this results in time savings and cost savings for you!

Contact Jigsaw Solutions today to find out how we can provide efficiency for your project.

Jigsaw Solutions Becomes a Member of IEC

June 8, 2017

Jigsaw Solutions has become an Associate Member of IEC.  We look forward to the opportunity of providing these Independent Electrical Contractors with BIM Coordination Services!

We enjoy showing contractors, that are new to Building Information Modeling, the benefits it can bring to their project when coordinated with other trades.  For contractors that have already tested the waters with BIM and need assistance, we can assist with  challenging workloads or taking your modeling efforts to the next level.   Jigsaw Solutions can also show you how to use this technology to contribute to prefabrication opportunities.

Contact Jigsaw Solutions today to discuss how we can assist you to get larger projects requiring BIM Coordination or take your current BIM efforts to the next level.

Who Do You Really Want To Be?

May 8, 2017

Inspiration goals viewpoint

Often children are asked the question…  What do you want to be when you grow up?

We all, no matter our age, do well to reflect on that question.  Having goals are critical to becoming the person we want to be:

  • What kind of person do I want to be?
  • How do I want people to remember me?
  • How do I want my children to remember me as a father?
  • How do I want my wife to view me as a husband?
  • What qualities of mine do my co-workers recall?
  • What impact can I have on my community?
  • What can I do to positively impact the life of those around me?

This post by Seth Godin makes the point that everything we do, every day, every minute, every second… Every decision… Is an investment in our future and who we want to become. Who do you really want to be?

If you keep that in mind with every decision you make you will be who you really want to be!

Inspiration for this blog

Be a Team Player

April 21, 2017

I often have previous, current, and potential clients contact me to ask for help.  It might be to ask my opinion on an upcoming project, working with a specific company, or dealing with a certain personality.  I’ve even been asked by a potential customer what would be required to provide my services in house, ultimately cutting me out.  I’ve always been open to helping people out without expecting some “repayment” or trade (within reason of course).  Plenty of people have helped me in the past and the thought of assisting someone else just feels good.

I have noticed a trend in people’s thinking in the past few years of tighter project budgets and schedules.  People seem less willing to provide services/assistance without some type of reimbursement.  Now I realize when there are extra services required on a project or additional scope added, there is a cost associated with that.  But the mentality of not answering phone calls, or not providing additional details on a current design expectation because you feel you somehow owe them nothing more and have met your “obligation” is not productive for anyone.

In my business, working with others as part of a coordination team, assisting others and being a team player is critical to the success of the entire team, project, client, partners, and owner.  The team is only as strong as the weakest “player”.  The ultimate results we achieve largely depend on the ability of that team to work together toward solutions.

In the interest of delivering a good product to the owner/client, why not do your best to help out where you can?  Be a good “team player”.  When I make the effort to do that myself, it’s always benefited me  in some way as well as that “feel good” spirit of helping others.

Inspiration for this blog

Clearing Up The BIM Fog of Acronyms and LOD’s

March 29, 2017

The Construction industry is full of Acronyms and the Building Information Modeling (BIM) segment is no different.  If any of the following Acronyms have left your face with that inquisitive look, You might find this article helpful:

  • LOD (Level Of Development)
  • IFC (Industry Foundation Classes)
  • COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange)

Although this article focuses on Levels Of Development in BIM, it is well written and beneficial for anyone wanting to wrap their arms around the jargon found in the industry.  It is always a good idea to get a clear LOD from whoever you are working with, as these seem to vary from company to company.

Let Jigsaw Solutions handle this BIM effort for you, so you can concentrate on what you do best.

Enjoy this article from




Force yourself to step outside your “Every Day”

February 28, 2017

Scanning this article, made me take a closer look.  How many times have you been in the shower, doing something with your family, taking a hike, sketching, researching an unrelated topic and inspiration has struck?  It’s happened to me often.  While doing something out of my normal routine, a solution to a problem I am dealing with or an illustration to teach something simply to someone has popped into my head.

Reading this article reminded me how important stepping away from your every day tasks is to being productive, realizing solutions, and finding inspiration.  Easier said than done for sure, but I am going to make it a personal goal to be more cognoscente of this throughout my day.  So many times I find myself trying to “put my head down and push through” a problem rather than stepping back and looking at it through another perspective.

Start by taking the time to read this article and find your inspiration!

“I never came upon any of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.” — Albert Einstein

Resource: Albert Einstein’s Approach to Thinking

Who Should Represent You In Your BIM Coordination Effort?

January 5, 2017

I have been a part of many project BIM Coordination team over the years.  While much of it is similar from project to project, the one thing that always changes are the personalities of the team.  I have seen the reputation of a Contractor degrade before they ever set foot on the site. How?

In most cases, the BIM Coordination effort takes place prior to any work being done on site.  This means the individual that is coordinating the project for the contractor is the first impression of the company.  Decisions that are made in these meetings involve the General Contractor, Architects, Engineers, other Trade Contractors and Owners.  There are several situations that arise during the coordination process that can “test the metal” of an individual:

  • Working with others to coordinate conflicts
  • Assisting in issuing required RFI’s
  • Keeping up with coordination schedules
  • Dealing with “challenging personalities” among the team
  • Communicating with others in a cooperative manner in difficult situations

Many have the technical skills to carry out the coordination effort, but as you can see from the list above, professional communication skills are every bit as important as these technical skills.

I was recently speaking with one of my partners, Sidewinder Electric, regarding upcoming projects and my need to staff appropriately.  The Owner, Todd Riehle, shared this with me…

…if it’s in the specs, I’m definitely sold on Jigsaw Solutions! It’s you and the way you handle yourself that makes your company successful, and I hope you can find someone that has your same views!

This really made me feel that I was being successful in setting myself apart from others providing similar services.  I have been in the industry for over 25 years and have always prided myself on the ability to work well with others, create and maintain strong working relationships, and contribute the success of the design team and project.

If you would like to partner with someone for your BIM Coordination needs, or to assist your current staff we look forward to hearing from you!

Related topic: BIM Outsourcing helps Small to Mid-Sized Contractors Compete

BIM Outsourcing helps Small to Mid-Sized Contractors Compete

December 13, 2016

I had planned on writing a blog to address this very subject, but then found it in a recent article online (Source Article).

Here are some quotes from the article that I found beneficial:

Of the various reasons responsible for low adoption, one of the prominent one is to the smaller size of construction companies and contractors with limited financial resources. This hinders their growth and ability to compete on higher levels as their capability is outright rejected and undermined as compared to the BIM users. However, Outsourcing BIM services, productivity and quality of work can be enhanced – easily.

Contractor small or large, are aware of BIM benefits, and would surely put all his resources on the line to make it available for his company. However, outsourced BIM services, the need to risk the resources and going beyond the capacity to spend seems worthless. Through BIM outsourcing companies, even a small scale contractor, low on financial budget, can avail multiple design software and technology to improve collaboration between the designers, architects and engineers. The cost effective solutions by these firms essentially help the contractor to get the benefit of technology within their budget, and thereby making them globally competitive for bidding in major projects.

When all these benefits are achieved at a higher level through BIM, a small scale contractor is all set to aim for a better place in the global construction industry.. To focus on better outcomes, a contractor should look for a better service provider equipped with latest technology and not just shift to better and latest technology.

Jigsaw Solutions is excited to offer these BIM Outsourcing solutions.  Please Contact us to discuss your project and the many ways that we can assist you with your needs.

Is BIM needed for Design-Build?

November 28, 2016

Design Build construction models have become more mainstream as a result of the perceived view that it creates a more collaborative environment.  Proponents say that Design-Build allows for collaboration by all stakeholders from the outset of a project.  It improves communication to the point that the need for change orders during the course of a job is greatly reduced, says  This is a result of the failure of the Design-Bid-Build delivery method.  As another article states:

“design-bid-build doesn’t work” and is fraught with “delays, overruns and change orders,” she said.  “You’re paying a designer to design something you may or may not be able to bid,” Dal Gallo said. There’s no way to come up with firm costs until the project is put out to bid, and when those numbers come back, the owner is either stuck with the lowest responsible bidder or has to pay the architect to go back to the drawing board. “It’s a vicious cycle,” she said.

To reap the full benefits of Design-Build, BIM (Building Information Modeling) still needs to be a large part of the process.  The individual trade contractors still need to work with the General Contractor to deliver a coordinated design to realize the benefits of Design-Build from the design process through the construction effort resulting in the savings mentioned above.  BIM coordination is the missing piece to the puzzle that some Design-Build teams have chosen to leave out.

Although the BIM process may not need to be as intensive when the contractors have been included throughout design, it is still valuable to the coordination of all trades, resulting in a more streamlined construction schedule.

Inspiration for this post from
“Orange County, CA issues $1.2B design-build highway contract”

Sew Up Your Buttonholes

November 10, 2016

Research shows that 90 percent of five-year olds are creative, but only 2 percent of adults are.  – Lee Lilber

A professor once hit upon a great discovery while buttoning up his vest. Or rather, he hit upon the discovery because his vest wouldn’t button up. His little daughter had sewn up some of the buttonholes by mistake. His fingers were going along as usual in their most intricate operations of buttoning a button, when something happened. A button wouldn’t button.

His fingers fumbled helplessly for a moment, then sent out a call for help. His mind woke up. The eyes looked down………a new idea was born, or rather a new understanding of an old idea. What the professor had discovered was that fingers can remember. You know how automatic things can become, riding a bicycle, using a keyboard, or even driving home from the office.

Then the professor began playing pranks on his classes, and he found that the answer was always the same. As long as they could keep on doing the things they had always done, their minds wouldn’t work. It was only when he figuratively sewed up their buttonholes, stole their notebooks, locked the doors, upset their routine, that any thinking was done.

So he came to the great, and now generally accepted, conclusion that the mind of man is “an emergency organ.” That it relegates everything possible to automatic functions as long as it is able, and that it is only when the old order of things won’t work any longer that it gets on the job and starts working.

Sew up some buttonholes in your life this week. Drive a different route home from work. Read a book you would not normally read. Write your name with the hand opposite your normal dominance to see how it wakes up your brain. Take time to stop to help a stranded motorist. Volunteer to help on a community project. And welcome the unexpected “closed buttonholes” this week. You may be surprised at having your brain turn on. Who knows what creative ideas or solutions you may discover.

Source:  The Rudder Of The Day, Dan Miller

Jigsaw Thoughts
This reinforced a thought I’ve tried to remind myself of throughout my career… Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean that is still the best way.  It’s always good to step back and reevaluate methods and processes to see if there is any room for improvement.  If nothing else, you prove to yourself that your current ways are still valid!

Levels of BIM

October 31, 2016

“Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility.  A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle…”, this is the definition from Wikipedia.

Although this is a single definition of BIM, there are many levels of BIM that can be provided depending on the project requirements.  Many companies promote having the highest level of BIM Coordination for all projects.  There are some complex designs that require this kind of detailed coordination and Jigsaw Solutions is happy to provide that level of service.

After looking careful at the BIM Execution Plan provided by the General Contractor and reviewing the project with the contractor I am partnering with, we have determined that often that level of coordination is not necessary.  While challenging projects may require this high level of detailed coordination, applying this level to every project can result in unnecessary:

  • Added project cost
  • Delayed construction starts due to Coordination efforts exceeding budgeted time
  • Frustration for all involved – Design Team, Construction Team, and the Owner

Obviously, the more quality information we can include in the model, the more valuable it becomes.  In planning with the BIM Coordination Team and my clients, many times we can modify the BIM scope to make BIM Coordination possible even on smaller less complex projects.  Utilizing multiple levels of BIM, based on the needs of the individual project; we can be sure that every project, no matter it’s size, can reap the benefits of BIM Coordination.

Contact Jigsaw Solutions to see how we can make BIM work for your project.

The Future of Building Information Modeling

September 27, 2016

In July Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Market Insight – Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the Global Construction Market” report to their offering.

The report provides detailed market analysis based on a survey of project owners, main contractors, architects and others involved in the construction projects market worldwide to assess the value, key drivers and barriers to implementing BIM and to assess the levels of BIM used currently and likely to be used in the future.

According to survey results, 41% of respondents do not currently use BIM, 29% do, and 20% are piloting the system, with 10% planning to use it within the next 12 months.

The general assessment from respondents was that BIM is going to be the future of the building information industry.

Jigsaw Thoughts
I didn’t purchase the report for $4,000, but purely from the above statistics it is obvious that BIM has grabbed the attention of the construction industry.  With over 50% of our industry making, or planning to make, an investment in Building Information Modeling it is not a trend or fad.  I look forward to seeing how this technology continues to develop and contribute to streamlining the construction industry. 


“BIM” – What is it, exactly?

September 27, 2016

It’s quite the buzz word these days in the Design and Construction environment. Owners want it, but are often unsure about what they are actually asking for. This is a concise article discussing how BIM started, what it is, and how it’s evolving. Jigsaw Solutions is happy to discuss further with you how Building Information Modeling can assist you NOW, to meet tight project schedules, avoid work stoppage due to uncoordinated designs, and provide your client the best value.