Thursday, 29 September 2011

Collaborative BIM Series - What is BIM, The Business Imperatives

Along with 1,300+ others I watched the free webinar from Building and ASITE yesterday.

For full details see

First up were Mervyn Richards and Robert Klaschka. Interesting points include:
  • BIM being about infrastructure and not just buildings - this is especially relevant for the UK government construction strategy. In this sense - the "B" in BIM is a verb "to build" and not a noun "a building".
  • Discussion around whether fully integrated "level-3" BIM adoption being possible today and whether technology allows this - the general feeling was "no".
  • The importance of all of the information that goes into building and not just the CAD model.
  • Figures of £60bn worth of annual waste in the UK construction industry. Lack of coordination accounting for maybe 20% waste (BRE report) and as high as 40% waste overall (BSRIA report).
  • Information being more important than beauty when it comes to BIM objects.
  • And the information feed starting with the client and then being reused and built on throughout the assets life.
  • A screen grab (credit Mervyn Richards) from the presentation below...

Next up where Kamran Moazami (WSP) and Nathan Dought (ASITE):
  • The need for the flow of information through every stage was again stressed. BIM only has so much value when it is not shared across the project team and through the timeline.
  • Some great visualisations and clash detection screens again (see below - credit Kamran Moazami)
  • The value of BIM being all about the successful transfer of the information through the timeline. 

Best quotes:
  • "If we want something different, we have to do something different" (credit?)
  • "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" (Einstein)

The question time at the end also made me thing about two or three items:

1. The main benefit of BIM is unquestionably the efficiency savings by the construction team when constructing the building and the owner when operating the building. Estimates at the buildingSMART conference were that $1 spent on good BIM design saves $20 in construction and $60 through the costs. So does this mean that the design team are within their rights to raise their fees for BIM projects?
My initial thoughts on this are "yes", but maybe "no - reduce fees" for repeat work for the same client on similar projects.

2. Can we have a really strong case study on BIM for small works please?
BIM presentations quite often focus on amazing skyscrapers. Which is great. But not all construction projects are amazing skyscrapers.
One of the best small works BIM presentations I have seen was from Jonathan Reeves at the ecobuild Vectorworks stand last year.

3. What was the official hashtag of the conference yesterday?
Many people follow webinars on twitter at the same time. Can this be made clear at the start of the webinar yesterday - was it #openbim #bimseries #bim #bim_ubm

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