Delivering Projects in a Digital World

Danny L. Kahler1, David Brown2 & Jason Watson,3

1Principal, Kahler Engineering Group, 1244 Derby Drive, Suite 100, Richardson, Texas, 75080. Mobile (512) 983-3453, [email protected] (corresponding author)
2Vice President, Parsons, 1776 Lincoln, Suite 600, Denver, CO, 80203. Mobile (303) 434-7408, [email protected]
3Project Manager, Michael Baker International, The Halle Building, 1228 Euclid Avenue, Suite 1050, Cleveland, OH 44115. Mobile (216) 776-6624, [email protected]


A 2004 National Institute of Science and Technology study estimated that the value wasted in developing traditional analog construction documents with non-interoperable information is 40% to 60% of all design cost, or almost $16 billion per year in the US alone. So, if design processes in A&E firms are digital, and modern constructors have adopted digital modeling as an integral component of their construction management, why are projects still delivered from design to construction using traditional analog information? The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the professional and organizational barriers to implementation of Digital Project Delivery. Digital Project Delivery is, for the focus of this paper, defined as the legal transfer of all project information necessary to construct a project across the design/construction interface with a minimum of analog documents as the primary deliverable. This paper consists of first-hand observations of professional engineers who have practiced on projects where the delivery was digital, primarily design-build transportation projects where the constructor and designer are tightly coupled. A limitation is that these observations were not the result of controlled study, nor are they a cross section of the entire built environment. However, these observations are consistent enough to suggest that Digital Project Delivery would result in a reduction of the cost of producing and communicating non-interoperable information, an improvement of project quality through reduced errors and omissions, and improved morale due to higher reliability and usability of project information, all key components of Lean Construction.


Digital, Delivery, Information, BIM, CIM, VDC



Kahler, D. L. , Brown, D. & Watson,, J. 2016. Delivering Projects in a Digital World, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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