BIMwash is damaging our industry says Simon Graham, BIM manager at maber

I am unsure where the term ‘BIMwash’ came from – the earliest reference I can find is a 2011 article from the excellent BIM ThinkSpace describing it as ‘…The inflated and sometimes deceptive claim of using or delivering BIM products or services.’

BIMwash damages our industry. It wastes both time and money and those affected by it often come away with a negative perception of BIM.

Clients can be misled, their expectations inflated or manipulated and they are often sold a system that is not suitable for their BIM requirements.

Consultants and designers can be affected too. I remember taking a phone call from a reseller who insisted that his software was the ‘only accredited BIM software for the UK’. He failed to mention that this ‘accreditation’ is awarded by their own software developers and has no value.

It is not just over-zealous salesmen inflicting BIMwash either. A few industry professionals I have met are keen to sell fundamental components of BIM as an additional service. You want £30k extra on your fee because you’re providing an IFC? That’s the cheerfully optimistic figure I heard from across the table at a recent BIM project meeting.

Have you ever been in a meeting where a consultant has proudly proclaimed that they are ‘already doing BIM level 3’. Are they confused or have they been misled?

The definition of BIMwash must be updated. As the deadline for UK BIM Level 2 drew nearer I noticed that many solution and service providers were invoking Level 2 standards as a way of drawing attention to their services.

To me this appeared to be a new weapon in the BIMwasher’s arsenal; mentioning standards to add a veneer of legitimacy to their products.

To demonstrate this, here is a real example of BIMwash that I recently found on Linkedin, it highlights just one of the approaches that BIMwashers use to sell their ‘solutions’.



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