WBC 16 Update #4: Get the Digits

Today finished on a strong note about building performance and metrics. It started with a keynote from Skanska - Finland's CEO, Tuomas Sarkilahti. The key notes (sorry) I took away were that their strategic planning process starts with defining their organizational values, that ethics is a muscle that must be exercised, and that process compliance results in stronger margins. Later in the day, I'd hear a dissenting opinion on that last point. The second keynote speaker was Peter Barrett from the University of Salford. He presented a wide-ranging research effort in UK primary schools to create practical strategies that are informed by student outcomes. Their report is available here: Clever Classrooms. I was pleased to hear him say our industry would respond best to client-driven change as that aligns with the paper I presented.

The morning session I attended was the AEC CEO Forum. The first speaker was Shyam Sunder, the lead World Trade Center investigator from NIST. I'd like to provide a link to his bio, but he's been the target of many of the 9/11 conspiracy theories and I can't quite sort through that noise at the moment. At any rate, I found the presentation to be convincing. It certainly demonstrates the level of building performance modeling that can be achieved in a forensic setting, as unfortunate as that may be. He was followed by A. Jack Davis from Virginia Tech, who covered their research collaboration efforts with industry. It was impressive stuff, but I'm still a little unclear as to how to get that going locally.

Vanilja on a beautiful Finnish afternoon
The session immediately after lunch was more on building performance with the Smart and Sustainable Office project figuring prominently. The most interesting session by far followed afternoon coffee. Dean Kashiwagi and Sicco Santema presented their extensive research on implementing the Best Value Approach throughout different procurement supply chains. Dean's enthusiasm approaches evangelical zeal but I do believe they are on to something. Probably the most challenging aspect of employing their approach in architecture would be to decide what form of metrics are convincing expressions of our efficacy.