Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don’t bet on the ‘goody-two-shoes’ type clients (building owners) to get BIM going.

In democracies people collectively own a lot of buildings. Many BIM arguments focus on piloting BIM through these projects. Innovation is encouraged on the premise that if it is regulated, it will happen.
Theoretically this makes sense, not according to my experience.
Government owner representatives tend to always play-it-safe and wiggle out of any meaningful innovation.

The opposites of these are the ‘cool’ clients. They can be pretty hard work (if you are their consultant) but they also tend to make things happen.
Also, cool clients are like cool teenagers, excellent in starting trends and applying peer pressure on others.

In my formative, learn-to-deliver architecture years I was put through on-the-job training by a couple of tough-nut developers.

Terry Serepisos ( was one of them The last time I worked with him was almost a decade ago. Thinking of his redeveloped historical bank building on Cuba street in Wellington into a Burger King still gives me the shivers.
Terry has been in all sorts of trouble since and opinions over him are split, still, as building owners/developers go – I call him a cool one.

So, if you as a country want to get BIM off the ground, get developers like Terry into BIM. They will pull the rest in using equal elements of arrogance, peer pressure, positive and negative influence and a bit of charm.

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