It has been over 8 years since I started TheProvingGround.org, in 2007. It began as a journal for exploring the intersection of design and technology. From there it grew into a venue to showcase new processes and tools to help in the design workflow. I feel very fortunate to have earned a social following through these efforts in the design and building communities. Along the way, I have learned more than a few things about how buildings are designed, built, and operated.
Today, we have increasingly more sophisticated modeling tools, more accurate analysis, and a lot more data at our disposal. However, buildings remain risky, expensive, and time-consuming endeavors. Nearly 70% of buildings run over schedule and 72% are over budget. 26% of non-industrial waste can be attributed to building-related construction. 39% of all carbon emissions and 72% of electricity consumption comes from buildings.
Can data help us to move the needle on these statistics? Perhaps. However, it is no secret just how risk averse the building industry is when adopting change. Creating a building carries a high price tag and high liability. The stiff competition in design and rising cost of construction materials will often deter the notion of introducing the anxiety of change and potentially ‘looking bad’. Instead of the disruptive change offered by data-driven technology, building teams are far more likely to look for faster, more powerful versions of the same paradigm already in place.
We need buildings. We need well designed buildings. More than ever, we need buildings to perform. To achieve solutions to the challenges facing our built environment, I believe we need to strive to position data as a disruptive medium that can change how we make design decisions, transform how we build, and create new opportunities to manage and interact with space.
I am pleased to announce the formation of PROVING GROUND LLC.
As a consulting company, PROVING GROUND’s mission is to shape a data-driven building industry through new services for strategy, education, and consulting. I am interested in seeing the building industry realize the promise of data with new processes and behaviors… with some new tools sprinkled in along the way, of course.
I am very excited to start this journey and I am looking forward to sharing what comes next…
Nathan Miller, Founder