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The Misconceptions of BIM

(Exercise support content contained in this article. These articles are developed to support flipped learning approach so some comments are present to direct higher education discussion)

The reach a summary singular definition for BIM is extremely difficult.  There is a mass of differing definitions, perspectives and approaches than can often be valuable when understanding BIM however a number may have the opposite effect. Reaching a consensus amongst the informed masses on BIM is gaining momentum with greater awareness on BIM being demonstrated and recorded across the AEC industry.

An early stage render showing BIPV refit optionMany not so useful definitions, or maybe better termed assumptions exist such as BIM is purely about the 3D model. This was the common misconception of BIM in the early years but hopefully it’s a misinterpretation that we have or are very near to moving beyond. Another assumption similar to the above is that BIM is solely a technical process, assuming that once the tech is in place we can push the magic BIM button and the design appears at an instant. A better understanding of BIM is aware that BIM goes beyond the technology aspects and draws together a combination of the people, technology, process and policy. It is within this BIM quartet of factors that personally I find BIM clearer defined. BIM or useful and successful adoption of BIM requires the BIM quartet of factors to be considered and aligned appropriately. The technology on its own can not navigate a team for a BIM project. The technology is simply a support tool within the process.

Likewise process implementation such as proper planning support documents, regulations and protocols such as the PAS 1192, BIM protocol, Implementation and execution plans are crucial to successful adoption. Prudent industry representatives are buying into this factor and learning from the early mistakes made by many AEC organisations in the like of purchasing waves of technology with no real consideration to the process and cultural change required. Which as you can imagine leads to expensive no return ventures into the world of proprietary software choices. Proper process planning leading into organisational BIM adoption like wise to project BIM adoption helps to support and smooth the process. Having experienced BIM adoption in projects for retrofit, without adequate process and cultural planning the wasted workload, time and costs are clear to see. It would be wrong to state adequate process and organisational planning clears the path for assumed success, however it defiantly supports towards successful adoption.pas 1192 use

And finally the consideration of the people within the BIM adoption process. This factor, i.e. The directors and the users etc. cannot be underestimated. Disgruntled and unhappy adopters will only leads to negativity within the process. This negativity leads to essential BIM corners being cut. Some processes within BIM clearly save time from the outset however others such as the understanding and awareness of new software take some investment. It’s this need for investment from users that can often put many off and leads to the anti-BIM reactions, which it could be argued are not solely tied to the genuine known or agreed shortfalls of BIM but instead are incarnations of the reluctance to change.

In summary, one perspective of BIM is that BIM isn’t a newfound tool, nor simply a newfound process but rather it is the adoption of existing best practices which already exist within industry with a twist of ‘new’ enabling tools to facilitate the process. It’s making the information available when you need and want it and is naturally encouraging positive collaboration. The technologies and processes provide a modern and 21st century infrastructure to support this best practice.

 

Flipped classroom considerations:

Also watch the external videos below by the B1M team

What is a “BIM Model”? | The B1M –

All credit for the below video goes to the team at B1M which can be found at the following website;  http://www.TheB1M.com Permission has been sort and provided by Fred Mills of B1M to embed his material on this site with credit forwarded.

Imagine (what BIM could do) | The B1M

Discussion points:

  • What misconceptions have you heard or perceived yourself prior to reading further into BIM?
  • Do you see BIM as a useful tool or another forced process or hoop you have to jump through?
  • Consider how BIM can be used to reduce waste, such as time, cost and material waste.
  • What impact will BIM have on improvements within energy performance?
  • Considering the quartet of factors discussed above how do each of these factors differ from each other?
  • What are the key success factors of each of the 4 factors

 

 

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Data Collection and Management;COBie part 1

This is a short video I created aimed at providing an introductory awareness of BIM, from zero forwards. This particular video focus on the Data collection and Management and was created in 2014. The work has been supported by multiple existing research and statements made by industry and academic individuals which I’ve then collated and interpreted into my own perspective.

Links to Coventry University, where we have a selection of courses that include BIM and Construction – Coventry University – School of Energy, Construction and Environment

 

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OpenBIM Interoperability and IFC

This is a short video I created aimed at providing an introductory awareness of BIM, from zero forwards. This particular video focus on OpenBIM and the approaches of closed and open data standards. It also goes on to look at the interoperability of systems. The video was created in 2014. The work has been supported by multiple existing research and statements made by industry and academic individuals which I’ve then collated and interpreted into my own perspective.

Links to Coventry University, where we have a selection of courses that include BIM and Construction – Coventry University – School of Energy, Construction and Environment

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BIM Protocols, Implementation and Execution Plans Video

This is a short video I created aimed at providing an introductory awareness of BIM, from zero forwards. This particular video focus on the BIM protocols  and was created in 2014. The work has been supported by multiple existing research and statements made by industry and academic individuals which I’ve then collated and interpreted into my own perspective.

 

Links to Coventry University, where we have a selection of courses that include BIM and Construction – Coventry University – School of Energy, Construction and Environment

 

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What should we be assessing in BIM Education?

What should we be looking to assess in regards to BIM in education today? Also what should we be looking to assess in the future as all parties, industry, education and research knowledge of the best BIM practices and processes evolves?  The UK Government is attempting to establish BIM learning outcomes and such but I’d like to hear first-hand off people actively involved in BIM what they feel should be assessed and taught  in Higher Education

 

Over the past few months I’ve discussed many topics revolving around BIM, the what, the why and the drivers. This week I want to follow on from a previous article on ‘The challenges of integrating BIM into Higher Education’. Many parties are now in consensus that we need to be integrating BIM in some shape or form into academic curriculum at HE level. But what exactly should we be teaching and just as important what should we be assessing students on in BIM?

 

http://www.coventry.ac.uk/

http://www.coventry.ac.uk/

Teaching BIM in my opinion is just as much about the people and processes as it is the technology, maybe even more so. This is because if you don’t get the collaborative processes right than how can you expect your staff or students to begin to tackle the more technical aspects of BIM. For members of a team to be able to accept a change in their working process there needs to be an understanding as to why any change is being pushed.  For some this maybe a slight adjustment but for many this maybe a complete culture change.   The whole business view reflects the ground level people view in this respect in that some companies are already practicing collaborative working and in office protocols etc. so they will only need minor adjustments where as other companies may need to make wholesale changes to adapt to BIM processes.

 

If education is to provide the construction industry with graduates that have the applicable skills which are required by industry then education institutes need to ensure that the skills that are being taught in lectures and classes are relevant to the realities of an ever evolving industry.  One of the key challenges I see for BIM education curricular and assessment is being able to continually keep up to date with the changing nature of the construction industry. As I’m sure many of you are aware industry guidelines and practicing policy can often change almost as often as a change in the wind.  Just look at the UK planning guidelines fiasco with bringing in changes and then making abrupt turns in policy. The same can be said for schemes like the feed in tariffs for the solar panel industry.

 

sourced - google images

sourced – google images

With this in mind I feel it’s imperative that academia tries to keep their finger on the pulse as best as reasonable possible in regards to BIM curricular. And yes this may mean that lecturers may spend weeks preparing a module syllabus only to have to completely rework it a year or two later.  Gone are the days when a lecturer can get away with turning up with the same PowerPoint’s and coursework’s year on year for 10-20 years! Well that my opinion at least.  With a continually evolving industry we need a continually evolving and adapting curriculum.  This practice should not only be restricted to BIM teaching it should be the ethos across all courses.  Many courses today are based technical aspects of the industry and with anything technical it continually gets updated and altered year on year; I’m thinking Autodesk policy here!  Culture changes are generally less regular but in the case of BIM beyond the overall wider culture change aspect there is multiple smaller changes down the BIM road. This is a natural progression as BIM feels it way through it implementation.

 

With all this in mind I’d like to evoke some discussion on what should we be looking to assess in regards to BIM in education today? Also what should we be looking to assess in the future as all parties, industry, education and research knowledge of the best BIM practices and processes evolves?  The UK Government is attempting to establish BIM learning outcomes and such but I’d like to hear first-hand off people actively involved in BIM what they feel should be assessed and taught  in Higher Education. Please feel free to join the discussion below with you thoughts and opinions. 

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