(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.
Many 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.
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:
- Read the above article
- Watch the introduction the BIM videos part 1 and 2 found here:
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
- 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