Take 5 with Tim - Managing the Unknowns

  • By davidc
  • 23 Aug, 2017
Basepin CEO Tim Luke has been in the construction business for 30+ years. In that time, he has seen the good, the bad and a lot of ugly. But with that comes a wealth of insight into best practices and procedures. Take 5 with Tim  is a series of firsthand stories and lessons Tim learned on his journey from a construction laborer to CEO. So on your coffee or scone break take a few minutes to learn some valuable industry tips and a little bit about Basepin's history.

Always on a quest for excellence, Tim continues to fine tune his protocols into the best possible project instrument. He credits his dozens of successful projects to a solid management system based in his protocols. An established procedure is essential to reach project goals. Find out how one team discovered this together in the first Take 5 with Tim - Managing the Unknowns .

Managing the Unknowns

We had a consulting contract with a real estate developer client. Our role was to provide coordination protocols and work with the owner, architect, contractor, various engineers and subs to ensure the owner's protocols were implemented and followed. Before we started the project we had a discussion with the project team. We talked about what coordinating the documents meant. During the conversation I asked the group a question, I said, "At 100 percent CDs (construction documents), what percentage of the information required to build the project is shown in the documents?" So we went around the group and each team member responded. One of the contractors said 60 percent, an architect said 85 to 95 percent, engineers said 75 percent and a subcontractor said 30 percent.

During the discussion I noticed one of the owner's development managers became very agitated, she turned red and was clearly upset. Suddenly she jumped up and said, "What? We are paying for 100 percent; I thought they were 100 percent!" Everyone looked at her, then back at me. I replied, "The reason I asked this question wasn't to start a fight, I wanted everyone to recognize that at 100 percent CD a lot of information is still missing. There is other information that must be discovered before we can build the building." As an example, electrical drawings have a lot of schematics, structural drawings have tons of one line diagrammatic items that you have to look up to find the types of materials, the size of materials, how they are put together, etc. If this is not done then we will have conflict. My point was that a team who is successful at coordinating the documents is not necessarily going to be the one that has the most information or the least unknowns, but it's the team that will successfully deal with the unknowns. And to do that we have to have a protocol.

Designing effective protocols is Basepin's greatest expertise. We set up a system where the team comes together with a set process. This way any missing information is found, filled in, dealt with and coordinated before construction starts, avoiding costly problems and challenges.

As it turns out the coordination on this particular project was a success. Over time everyone, including the owner, understood that we didn't pay the designers to model the building in its perfect configuration, because the contractors have a lot of that knowledge and information. It takes a whole team working together to complete the documents. If a project team has agreed upon protocols from the start, and everyone works together in the same integrated system, you get better results.

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017
Missed out on Integrated Project Delivery (IPD): Time to Play Ball? Don't worry! Here are four highlights from the Basepin/Tim Ryan Construction (TRC) webinar to get you back in the game. TRC Project Manager Adam Vega presents a case study on a new Harrison Medical Center in Western Washington. Vega shares how this state of the art medical facility is using an IPD contract system to ensure the project stays on time and on budget. Vega also goes on to explain that even if a project doesn't have IPD contracts, you can still realize the benefits of IPD collaboration.

So let's get to the good stuff… what did we learn during the webinar?

Here is the first of the four main points:

1: IPD makes herding cats actually possible! Well, figuratively speaking. Typically, the different players in a construction project work independently to achieve their specific goals. This is better understood if we break down project stakeholders into three tribes.

  • The Design Tribe: Their goal is to build a model.
  • The Builder Tribe: Their goal is to build a building.
  • The Owner Tribe: Their goal is to benefit from the building.

Each of these tribes have unique and important roles in the project lifecycle, but how do you get all three to work together? Simple, IPD.  IPD is a collaborative alliance of people, systems and business practices combined into a process that harnesses the contribution of all participants to:

  • optimize results
  • increase value to the owner
  • reduce waste
  • maximize efficiency throughout design, fabrication, and construction

So bottom line, collaborating is pretty important for IPD to work successfully, which leads us to our second point:

2: Communication is the foundation of collaboration. A true IPD project involves a three way contract type that connects the three tribes through shared risk and reward. IPD contracts provide tremendous value by creating a structure that incents team members to collaborate. But this new, collaborative way of working demands a lot of real-time communication – old methods just don’t cut it. That’s where technology platforms become critical. A software that supports IPD methodology must include:

  • a way to manage project workflows
  • centralized and managed project documents
  • a method of collaboration across firms

TRC uses the Basepin Connect platform to meet these needs. But what is the real value of this software solution?

  • Documents stay up-to-date and easy to find
  • Issues get identified and resolved quickly
  • Team members can share ideas effectively
  • Things don't get lost in the shuffle

Together these components create a successful IPD experience, which in turn makes a little magic happen. Taking us to point number three:

3: IPD allows you to see into your future. Vega shared Harrison Medical's vision for this project:

"We want the project team to work together through design and construction to address any issues before they become a problem in the field."

Harrison Medical decided that IPD would help them achieve this vision and mandated it as the contract type for the project. Collaborating early on and involving the build team in the design process gives each project member the chance to give valuable input before documents are finalized. Vega also gives several examples of how the IPD system ensures that drawings will be coordinated before they go to the field, saving time and money. So envision this, your future is filled with successes, not conflicts, because IPD methodology was used.

Giving everyone the chance to offer input seems like an information overload, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Bringing us to our fourth and final point:

4. The IPD system creates one mega project brain.

IPD is all about collaborating, right? Each tribe is equipped with unique skill and experience in their area of expertise. This means throughout the project lifecycle there is a vast pool of knowledge to draw from and results in the best possible outcome. When all members work together it’s a beautiful thing!

"That's just another benefit of the IPD process and how having teams work together, and not just from the design standpoint, and not just from  the construction standpoint, but from the end-user and lifecycle costs, it helps benefit the entire project," Vega said.

These concepts can also be used for non-IPD projects. A system like Basepin Connect supports IPD by tracking, involving, updating all stakeholders. Using a system like Connect will help your project experience the benefits of IPD, even without the three-way contract system.

IPD helps make a long story short. In IPD: Time to Play Ball you will learn everything mentioned above along with other practices and real-world insights to start using on your projects today.

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017

Basepin was honored to team up with the construction management department at Washington State University to provide software and support for their 2013 senior capstone project.

This class is designed for students to use their accumulated skills and apply them to a real world project. It is also an opportunity for upcoming graduates to network with industry professionals. Basepin worked closely with Construction Management Professor Rick Cherf and 50 students during the 2013 spring semester.

As an industry-sponsored professor Cherf uses his contacts from 30 years of construction experience to find a real world project for his students. To do this, Cherf connects with an industry stakeholder willing to work with the senior capstone class. This sponsor selects one of their projects and provides the corresponding project design drawings and 3D BIM files. Students use the information to develop a bid package for services as their final product.

"What we have tried to do the last two years, is something in the DD phase, design development phase, so it's more of a conceptual estimate," Cherf said. "It's basically a pre-construction services packet."

Cherf's students formed 12 teams, each represented a fictitious general contractor company. Vulcan Real Estate, located in Seattle, sponsored the project. Vulcan provided information from their Experience Music Project (EMP) LaunchPad Building. This building supports the Experienced Music Project Museum in downtown Seattle. Vulcan used the basepin CONNECT platform to manage the EMP LaunchPad construction process. All project documents were stored in the software's cloud-based system. Basepin gave each student team their own project dashboard with access to the documents, as well as the software's collaborative communication system. The Basepin staff worked closely with the Cherf and his students to assist in their learning and success on the project.

"We were received with enthusiasm and were glad that the industry was bringing technology to the students and university," Basepin CEO Tim Luke said. "We found the students learned quickly and required minimal training. It was a very positive process. We are looking forward to further developing our technology for the construction management curriculum and help students prepare for the fast approaching paperless project."

The student teams used the documents and communication software system to create their bid package and presentation. At the end of the semester the students took their work and presented it in a competition format to industry professionals in Seattle.

"We hopped on a bus, took 50 students over to Seattle and presented these projects like they were general contractors,” Cherf said. "They went head to head during the day and then the top two teams went back at it the next night. A separate set of judges crowned the winner of the program."

This opportunity gave students a chance to show their knowledge and skills to potential employers. "There were over 75 industry people there watching this whole thing," Cherf said. "Thanks to Vulcan and Jim Broadlick it was an amazing experience for our students. We are going to do it again this next year."

Looking forward, both Basepin and WSU are enthusiastic about expanding their relationship. "I just think it's an awesome product," Cherf said. "We are going to try and integrate it so all our students are using it."

The WSU construction management department strives to equip its students with relevant skills and hands-on experience needed for a complex industry. Tools like Basepin are implemented to ease the transition from the classroom into the work world.

"WSU typically has a 100 percent placement with their graduates and that's an endorsement of their program," Luke said. "They use real world experience, like this project, to prepare students to enter the market place. The WSU construction management program is a true asset to our industry. We were glad to be a part of their team."

Washington State University College of Design & Construction

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017
Basepin had a great year in 2013. We are excited about the many updates we made in order to better meet our client's needs. Both our software and services departments had many exciting accomplishments throughout the year. Here are three highlights.
By davidc 23 Aug, 2017

The holiday season is upon us and the time of celebration is here! This year, with less than a month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s been a challenge to keep up at work and stay on top of holiday preparations. But one thing I’ve learned is that stress doesn’t have to be a bad thing. At the holidays, balancing parties, cookie baking, shopping, gift wrapping and everything in between can cause anxiety, sure but are those activities in and of themselves actually stressful? If you are reading this, I offer up a holiday challenge of cheer. I propose instead of seeing your to-do list and as a long list of tasks, look at each one as chance to enjoy activities that only come around once a year!

Yes, late night shopping trips or hanging Christmas lights in the rain can be stressful, but before you start grumbling remember the why. The joy of seeing the smile on a child’s face Christmas morning and the delight of lighting up your neighborhood in holiday spirit makes all that extra work worthwhile. You can only be in one place at one time, so enjoy the moment!

Here are four easy tips to start relieving holiday stress:

  • Give a little, let yourself eat that last holiday cookie, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for.
  • Let yourself off the hook, if you don’t have time to send out hand written Christmas cards, your loved ones will still love you!
  • Respond rather than react, be thoughtful and compassionate when dealing with unexpected challenges.
  • Lastly, leave room for some quality R&R, take time to kick back and enjoy a glass of eggnog.

Happy Holidays from the Basepin team!

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017

Basepin is excited to welcome Ian Gahagan to our team. Ian graduated from the University of Washington in June 2013 with a degree in Informatics with a specialization in Human-Computer Interaction. Ian started work for Basepin as a software design consultant to develop a bid management tool for the Connect platform. We loved his work so much we brought him on full time as our UX Designer and Technical Specialist a month ago. With a history as a software tester and web developer Ian has many valuable skills to bring to the Basepin team.

More on Ian

Basepin: What are you most excited about for your new position at Basepin?

Ian: I would say the broad variety of tasks that I will be encountering and the skills that I will develop due to this variety of work.

Basepin: What are you most excited about learning in your new position?

Ian: I'd like to be a designer, long-term, so I want to learn more about the field through my plan room design.

Basepin: Tell me a little bit about the bid management tool you are working on?

Ian: I first started off by researching competitor products. I then created the functional design in the form of a wire frame. Recently I completed the final designs, maintaining the current software’s style, in Photoshop. Right now I am making revisions to these and meeting with our development team to make the designs a reality.

Basepin: What is your best skill or personality trait that you will contribute to the Basepin team?

Ian: I would say my ability to multitask and take on many projects at the same time.

Fun Facts about Ian:

Basepin: If you could be any animal what would you be?

Ian: I would be a rhino because no one is going to mess with you. It would take a lot to take you down and they are a rare breed.

Basepin: What is your favorite season?

Ian: Fall because it's my birthday and I enjoy the rainy weather.

Basepin: What is a unique fact about yourself?

Ian: I pole vaulted in high school, reaching 11 feet at my final track meet.

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017

Thanksgiving. This holiday is best known for tender turkey, pumpkin pies and family fun. And there is nothing wrong with that! Who doesn't enjoy a warm home filled delicious aromas and loved ones? But to me this is also a time to remember the many blessings in my life. The spectacular Cascade Mountains I see while driving to the office, the laughter I share with friends and the wag-happy dog I come home to everyday. Thanksgiving is a reminder of how the simple joys in life can sometimes be overlooked.

My family has a tradition of each person sharing something he or she is thankful for before we eat our Thanksgiving feast. With the holiday so close it got me thinking about what I will share this year. And Basepin came to mind. I am thankful for the wonderful people that surround me every day at work, the creativity and passion that each one of them brings to the table. This year I am thankful for every person on the Basepin team. So with that said, I thought it would be fun to find out some their thanksgiving traditions, memories and things they are thankful for, here is what they had to say..

I am thankful for..

"I am thankful for seeing my family grow, and all the little ways the Lord continues to provide." - Senior Project Manager David Kortekaas

"I am thankful first and foremost for my family. Great kids, great life and the opportunity to work at Basepin. The company is really rare, good products and good people who care about their clients and doing the right thing." - VP Marty Chobot

"I am thankful for my new position a Basepin, which has allowed me to learn and grow while meeting some amazing people. And recently, I am very thankful that I was able to find a new place to live in Greenlake (Seattle) with a couple great roommates." - UX Designer & Technical Specialist Ian Gahagan

"I am thankful for health, an amazing family and an awesome Basepin team." - CEO Tim Luke
Annual Traditions:

"Eat too much, watch football, nap…does it get any more cliché than that?" - Senior Project Manager David Kortekaas

"Before we eat, everyone at our table says what they are thankful for in turn, and then we all say Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Sheppard”  together." - BIM Project Manager Georgia Crespo-Moore

"We always go to one of our family members, either to my parent's or Joy's parent's home and eat until we are in a turkey coma." - VP Marty Chobot
Favorite Thanksgiving Food:

"Homemade cherry pie." - CEO Tim Luke

"Mimosas, and Goat Cheese & Fig – hors d'oeuvres." - BIM Project Manager Georgia Crespo-Moore

"Turkey with dressing and pumpkin pie!" - EVP Kim Luke
Memorable Thanksgiving:

"The year our family rented a log cabin at twin lakes and enjoyed the snow, a large real-wood stone fireplace, a cabin prepared turkey dinner, and cable football." - CEO Tim Luke

"The first year I spent Thanksgiving out of college and away from home. I was living in San Diego and went to visited my sister in Palm Desert. We ended up at Wal-Mart the night before Thanksgiving, calling my mom asking her what we needed to buy for dinner the next day. Here we are running up and down the aisles just clueless; didn’t even know we were supposed to buy the turkey days in advanced to thaw. My mom got a real kick out of it and we were glad to find everything. We did get the turkey thawed and all the food turned out really well." - Senior Project Manager David Kortekaas

"When I was eight years old, my mom decided to invite several of our neighbors over for thanksgiving, so there was a lot of excitement in the preparation for the event. The table setting was especially memorable because we brought out all of our best China dishes, Sterling Silver and crystal goblets, we even used the French linen napkins and table cloth. As a very young child there was a lot of joy in sharing our beautiful family tradition with those in our neighborhood that had become great friends." - EVP Kim Luke

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017

Connect with me on LinkedIn: Kaj Mailo

Basepin welcomes our newest BIM Project Manager Kaj Mailo to the team! Kaj has over 25 years of experience in developing and driving innovative BIM processes using modeling technologies. He is skilled at managing project teams and implementing BIM procedures. His training and experience enables him to manage construction coordination of projects complex and diverse in trades. We are fortunate to have his talent and expertise making our team even stronger!

More on Kaj:

Basepin: What are you most excited about for your new position at Basepin?
Kaj: Being a part of a growing company that has exceptional values regarding its employees.

Basepin: What are you looking forward to learning in your new position?
Kaj: The way Basepin incorporates BIM technologies into its services.

Basepin: What is your best skill or personality trait that you contribute to the Basepin team?
Kaj: I take pride in my ability to view obstacles from many perspectives before engaging in a direction.

Fun Facts about Kaj:

Basepin: What is a unique fact about yourself?
Kaj: I am very honest and open when I am engaged with something I believe in.

Basepin: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Kaj: The list is endless, I want to experience everything I can within reason. Although I do find myself at the lake a lot, boating with friends and family.

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017
Basepin CEO Tim Luke has been in the construction business for 30+ years. In that time, he has seen the good, the bad and a lot of ugly. But with that comes a wealth of insight into best practices and procedures. Take 5 with Tim  is a series of firsthand stories and lessons Tim learned on his journey from a construction laborer to CEO. So on your coffee or scone break take a few minutes to learn some valuable industry tips and a little bit about Basepin's history.

Always on a quest for excellence, Tim continues to fine tune his protocols into the best possible project instrument. He credits his dozens of successful projects to a solid management system based in his protocols. An established procedure is essential to reach project goals. Find out how one team discovered this together in the first Take 5 with Tim - Managing the Unknowns .

By davidc 23 Aug, 2017

BIM is the new black, almost every firm now interacts with BIM technology in some capacity. However, there are still many questions about how to use the technology to its highest potential. At the upcoming seminar, "Building Information Modeling: New Technology in Construction" industry professionals will discuss how to you can legally and practically implement BIM in a timely and costly manner.

Basepin CEO Tim Luke and Hainline & Associates Professional Engineer Jim Stoner will co-present on BIM Coordination and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). They will discuss IPD technology in the BIM process and the evolution of stakeholder roles in the use of BIM.

Is this seminar right for you? Here is what you should know:

Who should attend?
Attorneys, design professionals contractors, construction managers and construction owners and their agents.

Who is presenting?
A wide variety of industry professionals representing all aspects of BIM.

What will they cover?
The legal ramifications of BIM; contracting, implementing and managing BIM and much more!

When & Where? March 26, 2014 - Seattle, WA.
Note: The seminar is also available via Live Webcast for remote participation.

"BIM technology allows us to solve problems in the virtual world before they happen in the real world. This seminar is an opportunity for people both unfamiliar or experienced in BIM to learn about the technology in a deeper way and to discover how business and BIM become interoperable," Basepin CEO Tim Luke.

Click here to learn more and register.

By kim.luke@basepin.com (Kim) 24 Feb, 2015

As the popularity of BIM continues to rise there are still many questions about how to practically and successfully use the technology. The Seminar Group will host an informational seminar/webinar for  attorneys, design professionals, contractors, construction managers, developers and construction owners to illustrate how BIM can be used to reduce conflicts in advance.

"Professionals in the design and construction industry who have experienced impacts and claims caused by a lack of coordinated field drawings will learn how to use BIM to reduce or eliminate these types of problems," Tim Luke Basepin CEO said. "Experts will share how to implement BIM effectively. Case studies in BIM failures will be discussed as lessons learned for project teams tasked with adding value through BIM execution."

Participants with a range of BIM knowledge are encouraged to attend. Don't miss this opportunity to stay on the cutting edge of your industry and learn how to harness the full potential of this complex and impactful technology.

Event Information:


Friday, March 20, 2015


HOTEL 1000
1000 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104



* The seminar is also available via Live Webcast for remote participation.

 Click here for event details and to register 

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