Monday, August 31, 2009

How 'bout that Cowboys scoreboard?

Here's how you know you are talking about work too much at wife (who is in the financial software industry) and I were talking about the problem of punts hitting the giant overhead scoreboard in the new Cowboys Stadium. Her first reaction: Would using BIM to design the stadium have stopped that from happening?

I am not 100% sure about this, but given that the stadium's designer, Dallas, TX-based HKS Inc. is one of the truly outstanding pioneers in delivering projects using BIM I would think that they probably used it. But that's not the point. The point is that HKS Inc. could have designed the building in crayon on brown paper bags - some punts are still going to hit that scoreboard.

The next question, this one from my 16 year old son: Isn't this the architect's fault? And the answer is no and yes. No because the scoreboard was built to the client's specification - it's 90 feet above the field of play (the NFL requires 85 feet). Yes because all it would have taken is for the designer to have an out-of-work NFL-caliber kicker start jacking balls into the air and figuring out how high the scoreboard really needs to be. Maybe this happened...but I have not heard.

Ultimately, the scoreboard will be raised (I hear the cost of permanently moving the structure will be around $2 million). But what is the real cost? How much does a "do-over" of an NFL play cost - when there is a possibility every time that a player could be severely injured? What about the potential negative press to the Cowboys and to HKS Inc.?

Saving your client these costs and headaches is what separates you from the pack. It gets you repeat work and attracts new clients to you (particularly if you can quantify the savings). Sometimes it's as simple as kicking a few balls into the air.

Until next time,


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