BIM Designs is Helping Phoenix Rise

The team at BIM Designs, Inc. is proud to honor and thank our partners and clients UA Local 469, WD Manor, and Dynamic Systems, Inc. for their continued support! Without them, our work would not be possible.

We would also like to thank Barbara Riddleberger, Dean Battaglia and the entire United Association Journal Publication team for their interest and amazing hard work in putting together this article.

Recently, The United Association (UA) Journal published an article about the Local 469 Union based in Phoenix, Arizona and BIM Designs, Inc. was profiled as one of their leading partners in the area.

In the July issue of the UA journal, the main article was titled “Phoenix Rising With Plumbers, Pipefitters, and HVACR Service Techs, Local 469.” We’re proud to say that BIM Designs, Inc. was featured as one of the companies helping the plumbing industry thrive in Phoenix.

The UA Journal is delivered to over 400,000 people in the US every month, including congresspeople and unions. In fact, a copy of each issue is filed in the Library of Congress, so you can imagine how ecstatic we are about our feature in this article. It’s our first profile in a national publication, and our entire team is incredibly proud.

BIM Designs, Inc. is a close partner with UA Local 469, and earlier this year, Aaron Butler, Business Manager of Local 469, identified our company as someone the journal might want to interview. A little while later, we had the opportunity to host the UA media team for half a day while they were visiting Phoenix.


National UA Visit - Manny Shirley


Our team discussed how BIM Designs, Inc. works with Local 469 and why we believe in the use of union detailers. We also gave our company’s backstory and talked about the VDC industry’s pain points and how we’re finding solutions, our remote work culture, some of our innovation projects, and the path we’ve taken to get where we are today. We also showed them some of our internally produced videos.

As the main article of the July Issue, the Phoenix feature spanned twenty pages, and BIM Designs, Inc. was featured on about six of those pages. The article begins by touching on how Phoenix is one of the fastest-growing cities in America because of its job opportunities, friendly business environment, and low cost of living. We may see Phoenix become the new Silicon Valley in time, and we’re ready to be a part of the
city’s growth.

Butler has been working tirelessly with his team to rebuild the 469 chapter to have a better reputation in the area. As of July 2021, the chapter has 4,100 members, increased its general fund to $26 million, and is “building a new union hall that is going to be a prideful asset for every member.”

And the 469 has its fair share of high-profile projects, including work for the largest semiconductor facility in Arizona and Mayo Clinic. Both companies have relied on Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a component of the advanced construction technology available for end-users in their construction processes.


National UA Visit - BDI Team


Enter BIM Designs, Inc.

Brian Randall, Project Manager for Mayo Clinic’s western expansion, remarked that it takes a job such as theirs to thoroughly understand the importance of BIM, fabrication, and modularization. “You are two years onsite just in the design portion before boots even hit the ground. We have guys from the 469 who are our WD Manor detailers, and we used sub-contractors, one of which was BIM Designs, Inc.”

As the largest UA signatory design firm, BIM Designs, Inc. has offices in three cities and is signatory to fifteen UA local unions and seven SMART local unions. The article details how our CEO Mark Oden realized a demand for experienced, domestic engineers and tradespeople who could capitalize on the ever-growing market for BIM and preconstruction virtual design.

The article continues by telling the story of how BIM Designs, Inc. forged its partnership with Aaron Butler and Local 469. Steve Couch, our Head of Sales, reached out to Butler about opportunities in Phoenix.

Butler and his partner, Business Agent, Rick Hudson, told Couch about the growing demand for BIM and how Local 469 recently created a Virtual Design Technician (VDC) program. Local 469 had already identified the need for BIM in Phoenix, so you could definitely say it was a match made in construction heaven.

At the same time, Oden attended a Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) convention in 2018, where he met with an executive from Dynamic Systems, Inc. (DSI). DSI had just decided to close their Phoenix office, and the executive encouraged Oden to take advantage of the market to move their enterprise from California to Arizona. And so, in 2018, Oden sold everything and moved the company
to Phoenix.


National UA Visit - Mark Oden

The profile continues to talk about how BIM Designs, Inc. could hire more employees through the pandemic instead of laying off workers. As of publication, we’ve completed almost 100 detailing projects and have employees working in 11 states.

The article states that what “separates BIM Designs, Inc. from other larger companies that are build/design firms is that the design is the company’s core focus, and it shows in the projects they have completed. BIM Designs, Inc. demonstrates expertise across all markets—semiconductor, industrial, utility, commercial, mixed-use residential—as a result of its diverse community of union detailers.”

The entire experience and resulting media coverage by the UA National Journal is a true testament to the collaboration between our internal departments working together at BIM Designs, Inc., our external partnership with Aaron Butler and Local 469, and the hard work of everyone at our company that has made BIM Designs, Inc. successful.

We are so excited to keep moving forward and help Phoenix continue its rise to the top.

To read the full article, click here.

Manny Shirley

About the Author

Manny recently joined BIM Designs in July of 2020. Journeyman Pipefitter Detailer out of U.A. Local Union No. 469 Phoenix, AZ. Manny has 8 years of field work experience and has been detailing for over 10 years. While working in the field Manny got experience doing Tube Bending, Soldering, Brazing, Hot Air Welding, PVDF Welding, Gluing PVC, Hanger installation, Finishing, Installing Cast Iron, Equipment setting, Heavy rigging, Crane spotting, High Purity Gas Installation, UG piping/plumbing, Threading pipe, Gas fitting and arc welding. Manny’s previous roles as Foreman, General Foreman and Basebuild BIM Manager helps mold him into the project manager he is today. Manny loves solving problems especially since he loved doing puzzles growing up so it’s a very rewarding and fulfilling job for him to get to do it for a living. He loves designing because it starts in your head as a thought or idea and that vision will impact someones life like a new home or hospital and that is very special. Manny loves helping others grow and helping them develop that vision and seeing their idea materialize before them. In his spare time Manny is very active, but also enjoys taking it easy and relaxing at home. He like working around the house and helping out on his in-law's ranch. He likes to fish, hike, camp and travel to the beach.