Thursday, August 18, 2011

Snake oil or a new skin?

Snakes shed their skins regularly to allow for growth and get rid of parasites.
Pictures of these creatures shedding their envelope come often to mind when I see standard BIM model evaluation diagrams presented, showing how a design model will turn into a construction and then FM model.
I value the illustrator’s point behind the concept.
Any BIM struggles with similar issues as the snakes, however I think it should do better than emulate these vertebrae shedding their entire covers on a periodic basis.

The ideal BIM should behave more humanlike, discard and renew its cells like we do with our skin or hair.
A progressive development, not appreciated in real time, unseen by the naked eye.

Not that there are no stages identifiable, like milestones in our growing up (getting our first teeth, reaching or passing teenage-hood etc). These could and should be easily recognised within the BIM lifecycle but we should strive also to maintain a fluid-framework of gradual changes.

On the other hand, one should not be overly demanding.
When a project uniformly signs up to a snake-like BIM, it is still a significant progress. 
Specially if compared to the prevailing perception that so many in the industry hold of BIM.
The vision of an utopistic world where BIM models are born once and stay unchanged throughout the life of the project.