Using BIM to stay current and realize potentials. Q & A With Tyler Buhr - Associate Partner - Henry Downing Architects.

June 27, 2018

Tyler Buhr is the Associate Partner at Henry Downing Architects. He graduated from SAIT in Calgary, Alberta with an Architectural Technologies Diploma in 2008. Out of school he worked as a Technologist in Lethbridge, Alberta developing construction documents and becoming familiar with different project delivery methods. After moving back home to Saskatchewan he was hired by Henry Downing Architects where he had the opportunity to leverage his interest in BIM to earn a position as BIM Manager. In 2016 Tyler was promoted to Associate Partner and over the years as BIM Manager he has implemented BIM to successfully complete multiple projects in a variety of sectors using different project delivery methods. He continues to appreciate the project specific challenges that are presented as they promote the leverage of BIM and current technologies.

Q. Please tell us about Henry Downing Architects.

A. Henry Downing Architects is a firm that has roots in architectural practice that go back more than 50 years. We have successfully completed projects in many different sectors including healthcare, institutional, commercial, recreational and residential. Henry Downing Architects upholds a long-standing reputation of producing quality deliverables and promotes a collaborative approach to design, coordination and documentation.

Q. What is the Organization’s overall philosophy towards technology/BIM adoption?

A. The overall philosophy of the firm in terms of BIM is to stay current and to realize potentials. We recognize the obstacles that come with an evolution such as BIM implementation and we work hard to overcome these challenges to gain the benefit of BIM and the tools associated with it. With the client in mind, we can stretch the boundaries of design and create diverse, functional spaces. BIM has opened many doors to explore these opportunities and achieve a successful, well coordinated project completion.

Q. What are some of the technology/BIM initiatives being undertaken within your organization?

A. We continue to develop our team workflow to incorporate an extensive amount of information into our models to enhance all aspects of the project. An example of this is advancing our materials library to include information used for quantity takeoffs and energy analysis to assist us in the design process. Another example would be advancing our BIM Execution Plans to uphold consultants to the same level of development and information to achieve better coordination and collaboration.

Q. What is an interesting project/case study/product where technology/BIM is being implemented or has been implemented?

A. An interesting project I have had the opportunity to be involved in was the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This project was challenging in several different ways ranging from the number of models and consultants involved to a late stage redesign. The implementation of BIM has been beneficial in monitoring required spaces in the building for the different groups occupying the facility as well as enhance our coordination efforts. The model was handed off to the Contractor and has been a valuable tool in helping them with strategizing sequence of construction and to avoid conflicts on site.

Q. What are some of the major challenges in the industry you feel technology/BIM will help to overcome?

A. I feel BIM has already helped in developing a better relationship between the Consultants, Clients and Contractors as visualization and information being readily available promotes communication and intent. I think there is always going to be opportunity to advance our BIM efforts for the betterment of our projects, but I do feel that providing tools to the owner post construction to assist with the management of their building is a challenge right now that has yet to be standardized. We continue to explore and develop this aspect of BIM.

Q. Finally, please share information about your technology/BIM adoption strategy.

A. We prioritize keeping current with technologies available to us and know it’s critical to incorporate the tools into our workflow that create efficiencies and add value to the projects and in turn our clients. We are fortunate in having a skilled and collaborative team that are always open to trying different methods and tools to enhance their areas of expertise and work with capable and cooperative consultants. I have found that a collaborative approach to agreeing upon a BIM Execution Plan with consultants at project start-up is a key in achieving a successful BIM implementation and project completion.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us!