We understand how fundamental a change BIM represents
BIM is already accepted in the construction industry as a more effective way of documenting construction and leads to fewer errors and more options than the combination of 2D CAD and 3D visualisations. By now there is so much experience and so many research results that all point to the same benefits of BIM, that we can no longer ignore the fact.
“BIM given us better and cheaper buildings.”
Just as CAD replaced pencil drawings in the 1980s, BIM is now replacing CAD. And just as there was some resistance towards changing tools (or paradigms) back then, the exact same resistance to change from CAD to BIM is in place today. This time round we know that the most opposition will come from CAD users in companies, which are the critical point for any company.
There are many ways to implement BIM in an architectural studio – depending on the size of the company, employee profiles, projects, desire for digitisation and economy. The transitional phase from CAD to BIM is always a tough time for management and staff, where people are learning to use the new systems while working with a tight deadline. Tasks need to be scheduled, even though no one knows how long they will take to perform, and the employees are unsure of themselves and their environment. It is also a difficult time for staffing, where BIM skills suddenly become the most important qualification, partly replacing professional competencies. And just as it can be frustrating for an employee who has to upskill from CAD to BIM, so it is at least as unsatisfactory to have to go back to a project that runs in 2D CAD after having just experienced the benefits of BIM.
“We are convinced that our expanded expertise and use of BIM will give us both competitive advantages and higher profitability in our projects. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an important tool for more efficient construction.”
Of course, there is also an financial side to the transition: investment must be made in software, courses and sometimes also new computers or other hardware. And although this investment pays for itself in just a few years, many architectural firms do not have the option of paying the startup costs of switching from 2D to BIM.
During implementation you will quickly find out which employees are adaptable, who can learn the new programs themselves and who needs more courses. Some people think that working with something unknown is fun, while others only function with a secure base. The process will have its ups and downs, but there is always one significant point time where implementation changes from requiring determination to something which happens by itself, in a self-reinforcing process in which employees themselves want to work with BIM – and themselves find solutions to new problems.
It is fundamentally important that the choice to implement BIM is a strategic management decision that is not brought into doubt at any time. Just as the decision is important in itself, so too is the schedule for the timetable for the transition – and that it is adhered to. The schedule must be followed – not out of principle but because the longer implementation drags out, the longer the hard period that you have to go through will last. It’s like taking off a plaster – the quicker you tear it off, the quicker you get the benefits and the quicker the “pain” is over!
“By applying BIM, we could enhance the clients’ satisfaction level and keep the clear communication among the experts in each design team.”
Heerim Architects & Planners (Korea)
Architectural studios who choose to work with BIM to meet external requirements, to move with the times or because of new ICT regulatins, rarely benefit from BIM. It does not turn out to be better or more efficient and it the investment never pays for itself. BIM must be based on a decision to switch to a better method because it works. If you only make the switch in some departments, only use BIM for design and not drawing, or only do it for the young employees, then it will only end up being a cumbersome and expensive affair that reduces the pace of your projects, leads to work being done twice – thereby leading to more mistakes and to employees not making use of their new competencies and therefore not becoming skilled enough and at the same time also even more frustrated. BIM has to be a strategy, because that provides the effects that the company wishes for.
On the basis of our extensive experience and expertise, BIM Equity has developed and documented a BIM workflow together with a matching guide and BIM manual. Find out more about how we advise companies on strategy and implementation of technology and methods under Consultancy >>
One way to implement BIM in the company is via BIM Equity’s pilot projects. The client makes a project and project team available and BIM Equity loans software and provides weekly support at the company, which only pays for a course to the project team. After the pilot project period, the company can choose to continue to use BIM or let BIM Equity help reverse the project to the previous software. A risk-free way of getting BIM under your skin…