Monday, February 21, 2011
Is BIM a catalyst or in need of one?
Most contemporary write-ups on BIM refer to this (often ill-defined) technology as the great catalyst for change for the AEC industry.
The ‘change’ they allude to is again a bit hazily described.
Still, many believe that in the foreseeable future most buildings will be modelled before any site work begins, and as a result contractors will gain the advantage of knowing what they need to build and how. There will be no drawings in the process.
Apart from this theory being extremely patronising to construction – I wonder how we built for thousands of years – I am intrigued by the ‘catalyst’ role BIM is given in this change process.
While the word itself can have slightly different meanings depending on context, it should always describe “a person or thing that precipitates an event or a change”;
This theory implies, AEC is broken, BIM will hasten its change.
I like to turn the ‘catalyst theory’ on its head;
I DO believe we need a good trigger – AEC is broken, BIM is the toolset to fix it, something should hasten the acceptance of BIM.
I can think of 3 primary candidates:
1/ large part of the workforce unwilling/unable to work non-BIM way
2/ project environment so fluid and demanding that other systems not suitable
3/ economic conditions necessitate a more productive industry
There are others too; Add yours!