Building information modeling technology still has a long way to go to truly integrate the building team, says Paul Teicholz, professor emeritus at Stanford University and the man many credit as the father of BIM technology.

Michael Abbott
Teicholz sees extraordinary changes ahead.

Teicholz was awarded the National Building Museum's Henry C. Turner prize on Feb. 1. He says virtual design is evolving at a rapid pace and good software options are out there.

"It's one thing to have faster drawings, but what you need is better communication with others," he says.

Teicholz has dedicated his career to finding ways to combine information technology with the architectural, engineering and construction industry. Since the early 1960s, his research has led to many innovations and improvements in the industry.

Peter Davoren, Turner Corp.'s CEO, says Teicholz was chosen for the $25,000 endowmment award because of his development of innovative technology that had "a profound impact on the industry." Turner has donated the endowment money each year since 2002.

At the awards ceremony held on the Stanford campus, Teicholz recounted his 40 years of achievements in seeking solutions to the construction industry's most pressing problems, including linking architecture with construction in a more integrated, concurrent way. "I think today is the best time to be an engineering or architectural student," says Teicholz. "With the BIM tools gradually getting better, the whole industry is poised for extraordinary change."

Teicholz says he and some colleagues are currently writing BIM handbook and that it should be out this summer.

The prize is named after the founder of Turner Construction Co. and recognizes an invention, an innovative methodology, and/or exceptional leadership by an individual or team of individuals in construction technology. Previous winners include structural engineer Leslie E. Robertson, architect I.M. Pei, engineer and builder Charles A. DeBenedittis and the U.S. Green Building Council.