BIM, Bots, and Deep Thoughts

BIM, Bots, and Deep Thoughts

How Integrated Design Became The Industry Leader in BIM Coordination

Welcome to the Integrated Design blog! I’m excited to get started. In the coming months, here is where you can find my thoughts on things like:

  • All things BIM coordination, such as how to can be implemented, what it can be used for, and how it can save money, reduce waste, improve procurement, and even help sustainability
  • The latest, greatest information on design drawings for plumbing shops, duct work, electrical shops, fabrication, and hydronic piping shops
  • The how’s, why’s, and latest news on robotic layout for vertical construction
  • the good and bad of developing technology in the construction industry
  • what practices in the commercial construction industry work and which to avoid
  • the tricks and tips to operating programs like AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks
  • the effect of technology in construction
  • ways to increase your project, cut your costs, and get the job done on schedule
  • …to name a few.

If it involves commercial construction, we’re going to talk about it. I’ve learned a ton of lessons, many the hard way, over the 20-plus years in engineering and construction. Now, I’m excited to share them so you can learn the easy way. 

But, first, I want to give you a brief introduction to me, who I am, and, as a bonus, to share the Top 3 Secrets to my company’s success. 


Turning A Project Into A Passion

My name is Shawn Simmons, owner of Integrated Design. To understand me, you could say I’m the kid who followed his engineering dad around all the time and spent hours drawing at his desk. How things work, how they fit together, how to tweak both for improvement, these are the things I’ve always been passionate about. It’s how I got started and how my path has led me to doing everything I love and making life a little easier for my clients. 

And I can help you do that, too. 

What I discovered early on in the commercial construction industry was that many things stayed the same, which was good, and other things that needed to change didn’t, which wasn’t good. As technology filtered into the industry, commercial construction took some drastic steps forward. And we’re still taking drastic steps forward. But, there are areas where that momentum isn’t yet understood, isn’t always used, or isn’t fully utilized. There is so much more we can accomplish, with far greater accuracy and precision, if we use the technology to our advantage. 

That’s where I hope to help. And how I’ve helped my clients all over the United States. 


Bringing Our BIM Across the Nation

Integrated Design started as a one-man show. All Shawn all the time. But, since I launched in 2005, we’ve grown to a full-time staff of seven, who are handling BIM coordination jobs across the nation. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the heart of heartland, Integrated Design has grown from a start-up company to a thriving small business that continues to grow. Our expertise has been used in Hawaii, DC, Atlanta, New Orleans, North Dakota, and many places in between. From 50-story skyscrapers to 2,000 square-foot school safe room additions, we’ve done it all.

Throughout our growth, I’ve been adamant about maintaining absolute precision, along with these 3 Keys to our success. They’re simple, and they work.


3 Keys to a Successful Coordination Project


1. Keep it all in house


We’re in an age of satellite staff and GoToMeeting, which works for many industries. What I’ve found is that it’s not a great fit for commercial construction. When questions arise in the field, they are usually in a rush to keep all the moving parts going. They have questions and need quick answers. If your people are spread out, or even located on the other side of the globe, those answers won’t be easy to get and could run schedules behind. 

We set ourselves apart by all being in one office and under one roof. When clients call with a question, we can pull up the drawings in a manner of minutes. This gives our clients quick solutions, which can stop any issues before construction goes further. 



2. Speak the language


In BIM coordination, you use high-end technology and high-end software, but you still need to think like a plumber or a heating and air guy when it comes to installation. You need to understand the nuts and bolts of the trades. Don’t assume the engineer or architect designs took all the installation factors into account. They probably didn’t. That leaves the boots on the ground frequently scrambling due to missing parts, missing pieces, and errors in the drawings. What happens? The guys on the ground say, ‘screw it, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I know what I’m doing,’ and plans go to the wayside. 

We’re not plumbers or electricians or HVAC guys here, but we have enough knowledge to understand their needs and the questions that must be answered for them. Maybe even more importantly, we respect their role in the project. At the end of the day, they are the guys who ultimately get the job done.



3. Accessibility


What happens when the guy in the field, in the middle of installation, standing there with mud on his boots, has a question? With us, he can call. In fact, anyone can. From the general contractor to the installers, we are here throughout the entire project. We’re part of our client’s team. 

With some BIM firms, they finish the job and that’s the end of their involvement. We take that job to completion. Our clients know anyone involved in the project can reach out to us with any questions. We’ll jump on the phone, jump online, take them through a digital tour of the plans, or bring them into the office to work face-to-face with our engineers on their project. 

Some business owners may say it’s a horrible model, that you can be too accessible. But, you know what? Everyone loves it. Our clients love it, their personnel love it, my wife…loves it less when we’re on vacation. It’s how Integrated Design maintains a personal touch.

That’s just a quick glimpse into us! If you have questions you’d love for me to discuss in the blog going forward, let me know. I’m here to offer insight and open dialogue about the industry and the convergence of construction with technology. Or, we can talk hunting, fishing, football, or swap a favorite bible verse. 



Talk to you later.


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