What BIM Won’t Do

03Feb16

Building information modelling (BIM) represents a huge opportunity to change the construction industry for the better. It forces us to consider and address numerous long-standing issues and helps to switch mind-sets from the physical output of a building – and how cheaply and quickly we can build it – to outcomes for people and organisations across our society.

That’s a big deal that means a more collaborative, profitable and respected industry for everyone.

But some people get carried away. Here Fred Mills takes a look at some anonymous claims and brings things back down to earth!

“BIM WILL TRANSFORM MY BUSINESS OVERNIGHT”

Unfortunately not.

If you’re implementing BIM into an existing, trading company then it is going to take some time before you see consistently strong results across all your operations.

You need to be led by the benefits that it can realistically bring to your organisation. Start by considering how you currently create, manage and share information and ask yourself: “How can that process be made easier and more efficient through digital techniques?” Start with a trial project and learn as much as you can and then take that experience and roll it out further on your other projects, across your organisation.

Steadily in time, with the right learning and the right strategy, BIM can transform your business.

“BIM WILL MEAN NO MORE ERRORS IN MY INFORMATION”

BIM is not magic. It’s a process developed by people and undertaken by people and if you cut corners or put bad information in then you’re going to get bad information and bad results out.

“As a process BIM is a great tool… but it takes the skill + integrity of people to use that tool effectively”

Information modelling environments expose bad practice and make it easier to identify. In that sense BIM could lead to fewer errors in your information over time as the mind-set of project teams gradually changes. But it is unlikely to happen instantly. It comes down to people. As a process BIM is a great tool but it takes the skill and integrity of people to use that tool effectively.

“BIM WILL DO MY LAUNDRY”

No.

“BIM WILL MAKE ME MORE ATTRACTIVE TO TAYLOR SWIFT”

Never ever ever.

But in fairness, we haven’t actually asked her.

“BIM WILL REPLACE US ALL”

No. With information models to hand, project teams can automate and enhance accuracy in a number of tasks that would have traditionally been manually undertaken. Fast quantity take-offs, generating more accurate programme information, reducing rework and testing proposals in a virtual environment before heading out to site are just some of the benefits that can be realised.

But all of that takes people. People creating, checking, validating and making more effective decisions upon more accurate information. Time consuming tasks are of course made more efficient, but the time saved is invested in honing proposals to their best.

If anything BIM brings all those people closer together in a more collaborative environment. They can clearly see the contributions of their peers and gain greater respect for them.

“If you cut corners or put bad information in then you’re going to get bad information + bad results out”

Have you heard some unnecessarily exaggerated claims about BIM and what it can do? If so comment below and let us know about them. Please try to keep things anonymous, we’re all learning and exaggerated claims are often spurned from innocent mistakes.

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