BIM’s ‘Google Docs for buildings’


BIM’s ‘Google Docs for buildings’ is transforming architecture – but could it kill creativity?

The software is simplifying the design process but it could affect the creative one

By Tom Cheshire

Architecture is in the middle of its biggest transformation since the introduction of computers. Building information modeling (BIM) is a simple enough idea: a single digital model of a building that everyone – architect, client, suppliers, builders, environmental managers – can work on. A Google Docs for buildings. But its implications could change the built environment.

“It’s massive,” says Benjamin Marks, who heads his eponymous architectural practice. “In the past few years, the way you design and construct a building has become markedly different.” Half of all architectural practices use BIM, according to the American Institute of Architects. Marks says: “In the years to come, you’ll see everyone using BIM.”


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