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November 07 Businessexcellence 57 what he considered a key element that had been missing from his arsenal, a way of integrating the disciplines. Although not the solution to integration, but a very powerful tool, Beck undertook the development of its DESTINI product—based on a software product called Refl ex, created by a small start-up in the UK. The program’s intention was to enable Beck’s integrated team to sit with owners at the beginning of a project and fi nd answers to questions about it, so they could rapidly assemble a 3D intelligent building model, from which costs, schedules, images, design parameters and other criteria could be gathered, to give a sense of what the project would cost and how long it would take to build. And then guarantee it. Stewart Carroll, who was part of the UK start-up and made the trip across the pond to become COO of Beck Technology in Dallas, says the evolution of DProfi ler was signifi cant and expensive, but it’s been well worth the effort. “It’s a decision-making tool aimed at an owner of a project, plus a contractor, and an architect, and other chosen individuals, meeting for a few hours, rapidly building a multi-dimensional model, then extracting any type of information that helps determine whether you should proceed with the project,” he says. Carroll and his colleagues have used the program in-house for some 400 projects since its inception in 2004. “Consider all the things that happen prior to an owner making a decision to move forward with a particular project, such as whether to build new, or merge two existing facilities, looking at costs and getting fi nancing in place, securing the property, working with a developer to create a proforma, and so on.” DProfi ler helps the owner answer the question: should they go ahead with the project? “The technology is graphical in nature, simple enough to use in a presentation, enables rapid set-up to a 3D model that everyone can point to, then in real time costs can be extracted, assumptions clarifi ed, development proforma automatically generated, and a realistic, holistic picture of the potential project can be appreciated. “Architecture, construction, and real estate development have become commoditized industries,” he continues, “and we’re saying that the value proposition between owners and those practitioners has been historically the same for centuries. DProfi ler empowers these practitioners to change that dynamic, so they’re not only paid to exercise their talents, but to bring knowledge to the table earlier. And we think the future of the industry is including more perspectives at the initial stages of a project—the superintendent, for example, who usually never meets the owner, could attend a meeting where the discussion includes their knowledge and experience to help the owner understand the various ramifi cations involved.” Other aspects of DProfi ler include a carbon calculator and an energy module for sustainable design, offering a simple 3D model that calculates the mechanical loads associated with a building, to enable a re-orientation of the building that will minimize energy costs. Beck has made DProfi ler available to the industry, selling it for a fee to architects, owners, general contractors, government entities, and universities. Why? “Peter Beck fundamentally believes that the construction industry is really back to front,” says Carroll. “Errors or omissions that occur in the fi eld, on the site, are typically patched-up rather than fi xed, and the earlier you make good or bad decisions, the bigger the impact of those decisions. And this technology is involved right at the beginning of the process, to help determine if and how the project should go ahead. So he wants to be involved in changing this industry, not in an arrogant way, but an ethical one, and he feels that this kind of technology has the potential to help accomplish that.” BeckTechnology “Errors or omissions that occur in the fi eld, on the site, are typically patchedup rather than fi xed, and the earlier you make good or bad decisions, the bigger the impact of those decisions”