Thursday, June 30, 2011

You can still say ‘no’ to BIM

Truly. I’m not doing an about-face here, the BIM movement at the moment could do with more people saying ‘no’.
For the right reasons, of course, just as the ones saying ‘yes’ should be doing it only because they truly believe in it.

Recreating a non-BIM-PC environment would have two main benefits:
One, it would inject real scrutiny to the system, questions only whispered currently would be asked openly; A simple one, comes to mind: “Why?”
Or extended versions of it: ‘why should we be doing this ...when it is making us do this?’ or ‘failing to allow us to do that’ or whatever...
As long as tools, systems and services providers in-and-out of houses (projects) were requested/allowed to meaningfully argue their case - there would be progress.
Second, practitioners would start separating into more clear-cut ‘types’, the 3 categories being:
Those that practise BIM, know why they’re doing it and can sell the concept to others;
Those that refuse to do BIM but do a splendid service without it by employing traditional (or alternative) methods and those, that are just drifting not quite sure what to do;

I applaud building owners that take the initiative to have their projects delivered in a BIM environment, but those providing the requested tools and services should be able to ask all the ‘why?’ questions they needed to.


  1. While I agree with the sentiment that we should question why we do something, rather than just do it because we can, or that it is the "new thing", there is the BIM mandation coming to many regions around the world, especially for Government funded contracts. If we don't get our houses in order and deliver BIM as a default position, we will be in danger of losing out on some really good work.

    I can recall the change from drawing boards to CAD, those that did not go with the flow, ceased to exist in a very short space of time, those that embraced it and moved on, flourished. This change is more fundamental than that and giving people a reason to say "No", will not actually do them any favours.

  2. Only some of us will miss out on mandated BIM work, because private owners and developers who have been doing just fine, thank you, without BIM see no reason to ask for it. Non-BIM service will be commoditized somewhat, but it will still be there for quite a while. I know an architect who still survives on hand drafting.
    However! There is a fourth Type of office, Zolna: who uses a BIM tool exclusively, and knows why but is unable to sell it to others in its market. It still has the benefit of visualization and coordination in 3D, and the advantages of one model change = many drawing and schedule changes, and finds those advantages sufficient to use "little BIM" exclusively.