How AutoCAD Complements Construction Project Management
Samuel Delgado is an assistant professor in the Department of Construction Management within the College of Architecture and Construction Management at KSU. He is also one of our Construction Project Management Certificate (CPM) instructors. Sam shared with us the importance of AutoCAD and how it’s vital in the CPM industry.
Discuss how AutoCAD and CPM complement each other.
CPM is finally catching up with the utilization and full integration of Building Information Modeling (BIM), as part of a collaborative methodology, to efficiently manage construction projects. AutoCAD, while a 2D-rendering application, can have a role in supplementing BIM design. The value of different applications within the BIM concept is distinct to the type of project at hand, but there is no question that AutoCAD can complement CPM within this arena.
How is AutoCAD used in CPM? Why is it important?
AutoCAD-based applications can be used in a type of hybrid BIM design, where coordination of drawings may be facilitated by using AutoCAD (.dwg) files in lieu of other applications such as Navisworks. While the use of AutoCAD within BIM remains controversial, AutoCAD is where BIM originated.
Having been in the industry and now teaching construction management, I cannot imagine a world that is exclusively understood in 3D. There are many instances, for example, when placing a 3D model on top of a 2D rendering elucidates relationships that could be possibly missed if a model alone was involved. Although construction managers are not designers, they must be thoroughly familiar with interpreting building architecture. 3D models are a wonderful way to get past the usual difficulty of imagining 2D information in a 3D format, but construction managers will still need to be proficient in communicating with other disciplines and their trades in 2D.
Would you recommend a student take AutoCAD before taking CPM?
AutoCAD knowledge would certainly be a welcomed skill in CPM. From my perspective, in today’s world there is an increasing interfacing taking place between design, construction and management. Technology has created new roles within CPM. Progressive construction companies now have a Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) division. Nothing is really left out of the coordination and collaboration effort as far as technology is concerned, because gaining a competitive edge in the market requires a comprehensive ability to integrate tools in customized ways in order to meet management challenges on a project-by-project basis.
How important is earning a certificate in each of these programs as it relates to the job market/industry?
Certification in AutoCAD and CPM provides students with a viable way of learning new skills that are in demand in an efficient and quick manner. Market demands in the construction field are high, particularly given the fact that the Baby Boomer generation is transitioning out of the market and there is a growing vacuum of talent to fulfill key positions.
This diminishing inventory of knowledgeable workers creates attractive opportunities for students that are making a wise investment in their future by gaining new knowledge and developing relevant skills.
Moreover, students who are involved in lifelong learning are making themselves more flexible and adaptable to changing market conditions, thereby being consistently more marketable candidates as current roles become more demanding or new roles become available.