If there is one advice I would like anyone to take from me on the topic of BIM, it would be:
Do it my way or don’t do it at all!
Now, that is an arrogant statement even coming from me, someone that over the last couple of years has become more-less known in this field of Global BIM for putting out subjective, flippant statements that the BIM majority did not like and often publicly declared as simply ‘untrue’.
A couple of days ago, my middle daughter turned 20th.
This fact brought home the realisation, that it is exactly 20 years since I bought my first ArchiCAD licence. That date did not mark my introduction to (what much later become) BIM, for a number of years before 1996 (about 5) I dabbled with 3D AutoCAD (fully modelled buildings with it in DOS).
So, this birthday became the trigger for another realisation, that it is time to stop being the ‘Nice Girl of BIM’ – pussyfooting over the ‘herd of elephants’ in this field that Global BIM is and once for all, write up my list of 5 musts for a BIM system to work at any scale.
The following 5 points cover the essentials of the ‘who, what, how and what with’ of a working BIM system. There could be variations on the build-up (yeah, yeah, the devil is in the detail) of the system, but these are the fundamentals:
1. Main, modelling tool must be ArchiCAD; Revit is a dog, and if you are not going for Revit for political reasons, might as well go with the best tool still on the market.
2. Your workflow must be set up for constant cross referencing of 2D-3D data. No matter of the level of ‘mandated BIM’ on a project of any reasonable size, most of the data will keep on flowing on PDF’s. Your modelling tool must be able to handle PDFs well – and many of them in one model. Again, you must use ArchiCAD.
3. Ignore any meta-data until you model with construction integrity. This applies to Cobie and other super-duper ‘i' strategies. They all sound good, but if the foundation of your BIM is shaky because of your model integrity, you will be wasting a lot of money with very little benefit for anyone. (hint: employ someone to manage these magical ‘i' flows, but keep them away from the ones that are doing the real work);
4. Your key person is your Chief Model Manager and you must not have more than 2 people sitting in that role even at the biggest of projects. (2 people will give you the redundancy you need to manage the risk). Your Chief Model Manager must be a fully hands on modeller and interested and know how buildings go together spatially and logistically.
5. Don’t burden your Chief Model Manager with writing or implementing mainstream type BIM plans, get someone else do it, if mandated by the project.
There. You are welcome.