CADDManager on October 28th, 2006

A very interesting opening article by Michael Tardif, Assoc. AIA, Contributing Editor to AIArchitect. He deals with the concern of over hyped tools and how the over marketing and promises often derail progress.

Read it here
He states… “The greatest danger to the industry is that the growing BIM belief system will raise expectations beyond the ability of the technology to meet them, and that the inevitable resulting disillusionment will cause most players in the industry to ignore truly useful, revolutionary technologies when they finally do become available.”

It is the start of a very good conversation that he will continue for months to come at the site.

A very good read!

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One Response to “Faith-based BIM”

  1. Thank you for linking this article. I am a contractor using BIM and would like to comment on the idea of CAD and BIM being good because they are more efficient.

    Architects and contractors alike focus quite a bit of energy on efficiency as a means of increasing profits. This is a good thing of course, but it is a bit of a trap. The reality is that all inefficiencies are, over time, assimilated into the cost of a service and these costs get passed on to the client. Similarly, the savings associated with being efficient get passed, over time, to the client. You can’t pass on costs without also passing on savings. Where we really compete is on our fees.

    The best way to increase fees is to deliver a better product to the client. This could mean a better design than the competition can provide, for example, or a cheaper solution to the building program requirements.

    It could also mean a more efficiently operated building. A lot of time is spent on reducing energy costs, for example, and smart clients will pay more for their equipment and insulation to realize long-term savings. Where I believe we can use BIM to add value to clients is to develop a delivery system where the BIM model doesn’t die once the CD’s are plotted. If the model can live on through the construction phase and then have a life during FM, now there is a value added service the AEC team is providing.

    An example? Architects spec the maintenance requirements for each material in the building. These come out of the manufacturer’s product data. Contractors re-package these requirements into binders and submit these as O & M Manuals. Years later these are needed by the FM team and they are like using a yellow pages that is 5 years old. Embedding these requirements into the BIM (the “I” in “BIM” after all) and providing a weblink to the current maintenance information for that product would be an added value and really not much more effort than we already do.

    Even if it costs more (for now) to do, the client will pay this cost if they see the value for the same reasons they buy more expensive energy efficient equipment.

    Architects can’t provide this alone, because the construction data is so critical to the quality of the final model and the client won’t pay you to do it yourselves. Contractors are stepping up and building these models from scratch but this isn’t right either, because we really should be starting with the initial design BIM.

    Of course there are hurdles here, but really the biggest one is that we need to collaborate and our industry has spent decades moving in the other direction. It isn’t fair to make a great idea like BIM also have to change the way we do business, but nothing else has generated so much talk about collaboration and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Sorry for the long post!

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