Thursday, August 30, 2012

From Zero to Hero in 18 months!

Who says engaging with BIM must be detrimental to one’s career?

BIM is doing wonders to some people’s careers. There’s a gentleman I know of, who went from being ‘just’ a CAD manager in a public company to becoming the Head of Information Services of a large entity, and getting charged with writing the BIM specification for a huge project.

And, I mean HUGE project!
(you’ll run out of space on your average calculator trying to punch in all the numbers of the value of this project!)

Talk about being in the right place in the right time! Or knowing the right people.
Either way, it is another sad day for good-old BIM.
Another day, when a CAD Manager has seized the power. Or, re-seized it?

See, I’m weary of CAD Managers getting into BIM.
Chalk it up to 20 years of working alongside them, internationally.

Can CAD Managers really become good BIM Managers?
I know, there exists a Linkedin Group with a name that suggests they could and are, still I am very skeptical.

In the spirit of my usually lame analogies, let me ask a question: would you hand over the management of an airport (including the fleet of aircraft) to someone that drove trucks all his life?

Or your super-duper railway system?

 OK, I’m being jealous. I’ve somehow missed the boat again.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Qatar-list for BIM (or just sweet revenge for someone?)

Many other BIM-mers stated it before (after/alongside) me that BIM needed to be first-and-most driven by building owners.
Still, few commentators have gone into any depth on why building clients were unwilling/unable to do this effectively.
When questioned, most cite superficial reasons like cost, technology, lack of skills, resources etc.
Labeling these factors as ‘superficial’ might not be entirely fair from my side – as they CAN be significant obstacles, still, compared to the main one, and that is the ‘lack of incentive to do so’, they ARE minor.

Consequently, I have not been holding my breath waiting for a mass uptake of BIM by various building owners operating around me, although have seen a number of them getting their ’feet wet’ by specifying some (often very low) level of BIM requirements in their tender documents.

One example on the other hand, has been standing out for a while for its boldness.
A huge project from Qatar that came across my desk about 3 months ago had gone further than most.
In it, a pretty demanding BIM spec.

Our dilemma followed (internally):

Should one fully and properly price the BIM (and likely lose the job on price) or should one replace ‘pretend 2D’ (already priced) with ‘pretend 3D’ (at no extra cost) and hope for the best?

Obviously others have come to similar conclusion request for clarification from a tenderer turned up – (see below);

The answer provided by the owner’s representative was amazing (in a way) – though made me suspect that a kid had hijacked someone’s computer to write it, it was so ‘out there’!

No one in their right mind would ask for ‘all rebar design shall be BIM modelled’ – and I comment with the experience of our company having had done quite a bit of rebar modelling …

(and a bit of rebar BIM modelling too, but all????)

The answer and its originator, whether they’d turn to be THE great BIM catalyst of the region or exposed just as a kid driving a Mack, certainly made my day with their entertaining value;

On the other hand, the spec could be someone’s sweet revenge for decades of ‘underground-BIM’ work, finally getting the opportunity to make their mark.

Now, that I can relate to!





Q: The tender document requires that all design and construction information shall be modeled as a single discipline model in reference to appendix E in volume 4. (a) Please clarify that the temporary works can be excluded in the scope of 3D modeling for BIM. (b) Please clarify that the rebar model for all structure also should be carried out in the scope of 3D modeling.

 A: (a) All design and construction information (including temporary works) shall be modeled (b) All rebar design shall be BIM modeled.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

“People don’t take your seriously because you are a woman!”

Tells me a friend/colleague as a response to my constant winging about what is happening within our company.
Nope, people don’t take me seriously because they don’t like what I say;

While I watch him walk into another trap of a ‘prove me that BIM works’ type, I’m genuinely sorry of the wasted time and effort that will be spent on this delusional round.

He will work hard for his masters, the hands-off-know-everything-yet-unable-to-do-mutch-on-their-own-middle-management of the company.

He will do the analysis and review of the incoming documents.
He will model the buildings in quite a high detail.
He will output discrepancies and warn where the risky parts are.
He will chase up the programme and sequence the construction.
He will spin the VR and section the sections.
He will render the stills, stitch up the movie.
He will pull all stops out and produce a super-duper, walking-talking BIM-mish looking output.

He may get a nod of approval at the end.
A repeat ‘order’ even, for another ‘prove me that BIM works’ exercise, yet neither will stop the company going down the tubes.

Might keep the two sides in their jobs for a while, but for how long? And why?

No, it is not OK for the management of a multinational company operating in the AEC not to know anything about BIM by now.
Boxing it up with “CAD-dish” things and let it sit on the fringes of project support is a joke.
It is neither acceptable for it to tolerate hands-off information management at any level and ridicule viable BIM approaches..
It is not right to forever ask for BIM to prove itself, while non-BIM is failing massively everywhere in the world.

Now, if you think this subject is not applying to you, yet you ARE actively involved with BIM, I’d say you are in denial.
There is an extremely high likelihood that what's happening to my company is happening at your place too and you also are constantly forced to justify your existence as a BIM-mer.

Let an old-hen give you a handy tip:

Never ever, let them pull you into another ‘prove me that BIM works’ argument;