As we move into 2010, I wanted to take a look back at how Building Information Modeling (BIM) helped shape the year 2009 for the AEC industry. In attending different conferences and seminars in 2009, I realized the interest in BIM is growing in all areas.
As we move into 2010, I wanted to take a look back at how Building Information Modeling (BIM) helped shape the year 2009 for the AEC industry. In attending different conferences and seminars in 2009, I realized the interest in BIM is growing in all areas. Products manufacturers began to see the need to have BIM content for their products. Facility owners started to ask questions about BIM. States, such as Wisconsin and Texas, adopted BIM as the design tool of choice for their state projects. College campuses around the nation are moving toward BIM. It is exciting to see how a technology can change an industry.
With the interest that was shown at the AIA Convention and Expo and Greenbuild Expo, BIM will become a driving force in the AEC community in 2010. It was just amazing to me to see the interest that BIM has generated. In attending these conventions for the first time, it surprised me to see the vast levels of knowledge. There were people there that had been using BIM for several years and then were many people who were just getting their indoctrination into BIM. I had not realized the engineering community was as far behind the architectural and construction communities as it relates to where BIM implementation is concerned. Being a part of the Reed Construction Data booth, my eyes were really opened to the lack of acceptance of BIM in the engineering community. BIM can be such a powerful tool for engineers, I think in 2010, the community as a whole, will realize the need to incorporate BIM into their design process. (Side Note) It is great to work for a company that realized several years ago, what a powerful tool BIM can be and then go out and become a leader in the BIM process.
Nationally, architects and general contractors are leading the way with BIM. They have realized what a powerful tool BIM can be. If utilized properly, BIM will dramatically improve the way buildings are being constructed and will improve the way a building functions. With BIM, we should be giving our clients better buildings. If the AEC community works as a team on BIM projects, it will transform our industry and take it to heights we never expected. However, this will take a change of philosophy inside the AEC industry. Change is not always readily accepted in our industry, but we really need to take a long, hard look at the change that is required for BIM to work properly. This will not only benefit our clients, but will benefit everyone involved!
Locally we are seeing the interest in BIM increase. A local HVAC representative held a Revit workshop for the Little Rock market. They brought in five different companies that offered manufacturer specific BIM content, and then held classes and demonstrations on how to use the BIM content. The workshop was well attended and was considered a success. One year ago, this workshop would probably have never happened. We have seen and are seeing more Architects implementing BIM in their design process. In 2009, we also saw the first BIM project begin to take shape in the Little Rock market! This project started out conceptually with a BIM massing model, designed with architectural and engineering BIM models and is now under construction using a BIM construction model. What progress we have made in just one year!
As for TME, we saw tremendous growth in our BIM team. In 2009, we were able to fully implement BIM to all of our design staff. TME was able to upgrade our computers systems and also add additional BIM seats during a slow economy. We were able to achieve this because of the 44% increase in BIM projects in 2009, compared to our 2008 BIM projects. We did have to change some of our thought processes to adapt to the different design strategies required for BIM. However, being busy in a slow economy far outweighed having to adapt to different design strategies. TME also discovered how important content was in 2009; we put a huge effort into the quality of our BIM content. Quality content is such a key to making a successful and workable BIM models. The TME design staff has really taken a can do attitude with their approach to BIM. We have had some of our staff “take the bull by the horns” with BIM and run with what they have learned. This is where I feel TME made tremendous gains in 2009.
As we move forward in 2010, I can only imagine what I will be writing about in January 2011. What changes to BIM will be made during this year? What new technology breakthrough will allow us to leverage the power of BIM more than we already can? Will the AEC community accept the TEAM philosophy change that is required for BIM? What person in your firm or our firm will step-up and become the next BIM leader? Only time will tell, but as our economy recovers, one thing is for certain in the AEC community, BIM will move forward and take our industry to levels we never expected it could go!