I attended the 2006 AIA California Chapter Desert Practice Conference in Indian Wells, CA on Nov. 3-5. It was a gathering of AIA members from across California and beyond sponsored by AIACC. It was an opportunity to hear about the perspective on the future and network with others AIA members.
My interest in the event was based on the presentations related to BIM. I came away with the feeling that AIA is now, and has been for a few years, pressing the practices to get into BIM. The reasons for this vary, but include the fact that GSA is requiring it, other Architects are doing it and the contractor community may be jumping into it quicker than the architectural community.
I have attended a few events focused on BIM over the years and the conversations have expanded and become more fervent. Three to four years ago the AIA began talking under its breath about BIM and most architects ignored the topic. In the last two years there are many who are awakening to BIM and now are beginning to understand it. Some architects are pioneers in this field and have been using BIM for many years. The industries embrace of the tool has been spotty but growing over the years. It appears that the success stories of the last 2 years are still the same success stories of today. With all the hype, there are still few architects who have really fully transitioned to BIM on 100% of their projects.
Yes, there are some Architects that have gone 100% BIM, but the overwhelming majority have not. The list of BIM Designs is growing and there are new case studies every day. Have we reached the tipping point? Are we getting close?
There are many voices out there who have been “calling in the wilderness”. They have prophetically been pushing toward BIM. To some the point is a settled conversation. “Move to BIM or be left behind”. To others the dialog has just begun. The Architectural arena is scattered all over the map.
Has the time come for BIM to finally start pushing other tools aside?