The journey to implement BIM (Building Information Modeling) is not always smooth. It requires a change in mindset, a focus on the human aspect, and the effective use of data.
In this article, we explore the insights shared by Simon, a BIM consultant and BIM software developer, during a discussion on BIM implementation.
Introduction to BIM and the Journey Begins
Simon, an architect turned BIM consultant, shared his first encounter with BIM in 2006 or 2007 while working on a rotating tower project in Abu Dhabi. The client he was working with demanded accurate and detailed quantities, which was difficult to provide using traditional AutoCAD software. This led Simon and his team to explore Revit, a BIM software that could provide the required information.
Although their initial attempt to incorporate BIM using a plugin in Autodesk Revit wasn’t successful, it marked Simon’s first exposure to BIM.
BIM Lessons Learned and Mindset Shift
Simon emphasized that the journey of implementing BIM takes time and requires a shift in mindset. Technology may advance rapidly, but it is the human mindset that proves to be the most crucial element. He advised not to assume that one knows everything about BIM and to approach it with a learning mindset.
Simon shared that he prefers to collaborate with those who are enthusiastic about BIM.
Embracing the Learning Journey and Being Humble
Simon stressed the importance of continuous learning when it comes to BIM. He advised against claiming expertise after reading a single book, highlighting the need to be humble and acknowledge that everyone is on a learning journey.
Simon shared his experience of starting his own software company, Abstract, which specializes in BIM data analysis for workflows such as cost estimation and thermal simulations.
Overcoming Challenges and Automating BIM Workflows
Simon shared his experiences of projects that didn’t go as planned, emphasizing the need to learn from failures. He recalled a project where coordination between the BIM team and the traditional team was a challenge.
Simon explained that the key to success lies in automating processes as much as possible. His company, Abstract, developed tools to automate tasks like generating spaces, doors, and windows, enabling teams to focus on their specialties and improving data quality.
Leveraging BIM Data and Mining for Insights
Simon highlighted the importance of data in the BIM process and shared how his company uses data mining techniques to gain insights. By analyzing historical data from projects, they can answer important questions and make more informed decisions.
For example, they can determine the required area for specific spaces in a laboratory building based on data analysis. Simon also emphasized the significance of standardizing data using tools like the buildingSMART data dictionary (bSDD), which ensures consistent communication and reduces errors.
Focusing on the People and Finding Like-minded Individuals
Simon emphasized the need to focus on people when implementing BIM. He suggested asking individuals about their pain points and understanding their needs to create solutions that make their work easier.
Simon shared that he often connects with like-minded individuals on LinkedIn, where he actively engages with BIM communities and shares his knowledge. He emphasized the importance of building networks and surrounding oneself with people who are eager to change and improve.
The Future of BIM and Advice for Strategic Implementation
Looking toward the future, Simon mentioned the importance of simple human-readable and machine-readable data. He advised focusing on oneself first and identifying the benefits BIM can bring to one’s own work.
Additionally, Simon stressed the importance of communicating BIM requirements effectively, suggesting the use of tools like Plannerly to streamline the process.
Implementing BIM requires a combination of technological expertise, a learning mindset, and a people-centric approach.
Simon’s journey from architect to BIM consultant and software developer unveils the challenges and opportunities associated with BIM implementation.
The future of BIM lies in simplicity, collaboration, and harnessing the power of data to improve project outcomes and drive innovation in the AEC industry.
Did you know that Plannerly (The BIM Management Platform) is FREE TO JOIN?
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Three Bonus BIM Resources 🥳
1. Other Interesting Reads ⤵
- FROM LAZY ARCHITECT TO BIM ADVOCATE 🔥 – SHIVANG SHARES THE THREE PS OF BIM 😃
- BIM CASE STUDY: HOW ONE TEAM SAVED OVER 4 MILLION EUROS (WITH BIM)
- MY TOP 5 USES OF DIGITAL TWINS WITH BIM FOR AECO
2. The Complete BIM Management Workflow [VIDEO] 🎥
Here’s a video I think you might find valuable 😃 – it covers the complete BIM management workflow:
3. Answers to some related questions 🤔
How can BIM improve quantity accuracy?
BIM software, like Revit, can provide accurate and detailed quantities, which is challenging to automate using traditional 2D software like AutoCAD.
Is a mindset shift necessary for implementing BIM?
Yes, implementing BIM requires a shift in mindset and a willingness to embrace continuous learning.
How can automation help in BIM workflows?
BIM automation helps by streamlining repetitive tasks, improving accuracy, and increasing productivity. Here are some examples:
1. Model Generation: Automation tools can generate 3D models from design data, reducing the time and effort required for manual modeling.
2. Clash Detection: Automation can identify clashes between different building elements, helping to find and resolve conflicts early in the design process.
3. Quantity Takeoff: Automation can extract quantities from BIM models to generate accurate takeoffs and cost estimates, saving time and reducing human error as things change.
4. Documentation Generation: Automation tools can generate construction documents, reports, and schedules directly from the BIM model, eliminating the need for manual drafting.
5. Code Compliance Checking: Automation can perform code compliance checks against building regulations and standards, ensuring that designs meet the required criteria.
6. Design Optimization: Automation can analyze design alternatives and provide optimization suggestions, helping to improve efficiency and performance.
7. Data Exchange: Automation tools can facilitate seamless data exchange between different software platforms, improving collaboration and reducing data translation errors.
How important is standardizing data in BIM?
Standardizing data in BIM is crucial for effective communication and collaboration. Standardization will help ensure consistency and accuracy in the exchange of information between different teams. By standardizing data, it becomes easier to integrate and share digital models, drawings, and other project information seamlessly.
I blog for the Five BIM Bloggers series.
Every week we share different perspectives on important BIM topics!