CIC North East BIM Hub Member
The term BIM or Building Information Modelling has been in "general circulation" since around 2006/7. The term has done wonders for moving the construction industry towards a digital revolution. We have benefitted from improving hardware and software and emerging generations who don't see technology as an add on but a necessity.
Whilst the term BIM was not first used by Autodesk they invested in the term and promoted it as it very effectively communicated what they were trying to achieve with technology. Clearly with a better understanding of the value of their software and its value sales would increase.
From someone who has spent a career fighting against many of the things considered acceptable in the construction industry BIM and all of the associated software was music to my ears. We bought our first copy of Revit parametric software back in 2000. This was even before Autodesk had bought the company.
The marketing of the term BIM pushed everything up a level with the final vindication being in May 2011 when the then Government Chief Construction Advisor Paul Morrell mandated that a 3D coordination and data or BIM should be included in government projects by 2016.
Coupled with the mandate the government invested in the BIM Task Group who helped to define the specific requirements and what level 2 actually means.
Within the public sector it is still work in progress however huge strides have been made within early adopter departments such as the Ministry of Justice.
The private sector has identified the value itself and has embraced new technologies and processes largely off the back of the good work carried out by government.
However now the term BIM is far too generic and can cause confusion. It is so commonly used now that it can lose impact. This is similar to the term Partnering which was adopted in the late 90s. Many people used the term but how many people truly understood it and worked in this way.
We have all heard people and organisations say yes we do BIM or can you do BIM. The term is now working against the vision and objective and we must be far more specific and less generic.
What BIM actually was, was the catalyst for change across the construction sector. We are now in the middle of a revolution to Digitise the Construction Industry. We have to be more specific about what we are doing and what we are trying to achieve.
For example we will author models or federate them. We may extract data which can be used in the operation of the building. We may use the federated model to extract quantities or link elements to the programme. All of this could be referred to as "BIM" if we adopt the term how it is currently used. We often end up with lots of debate about what is BIM and what isn't or is this level 2 or level three.
Who cares? This is all theory. We are digitising the Construction industry so we can improve our product, process and perceptions. We must deliver better value to our clients and demonstrate we understand their business and their issues and that we are able to respond intelligently and positively.
Contributor: Rob is a member of the CIC NE BIM Hub. He is also Chief Executive of Space Group which now includes _space architects, BIM technologies, BIMstore, BIMcampus and volula. Rob was also instrumental in establishing BIM Show Live along with BIMcrunch.com.
Under Rob’s leadership Space Group has focussed on improving the construction lifecycle through their BIG BIM framework . He is passionate about improving value and performance of buildings and how technology can be used positively in design construction and operation.