Over the last several years Building Information Modeling has been a center stage topic. We’re sure most architectural, engineering and construction firms have participated in at least one presentation on why BIM tools and workflow plays such an important role in the future of the building design and construction industry. In the Rocky Mountain Region the adoption of BIM has been very well received. Our region is one of the top two in the US in overall industry adoption. With that said, many firms are still considering the factors involved in moving to the BIM tools and workflow. Others have made the move but are looking for ways to improve their return on investment. This series is designed to provide best practices on how to be successful in the move to BIM.
Hands down, firms that have productively made the transition cite the number one success factor as management buy in. When owners, principals and key managers become stakeholders, taking the time to learn the tools, work flow processes, and business methodologies, the rate of a satisfying transition is nearly 100%. BIM is a business shift, not just another way of producing drawings, another CAD program if you will. When management is truly involved, the entire team is willing to get behind the effort. Many times we have had management tell us, “The first project was kind of rough, but now that we’re three or four projects in, we would not go back.”
There are many questions that will need to be addressed in this transition. How is the process change going to affect my firm? What will need to be considered in staffing? What should we do for training and implementation? What about hardware? How soon can we expect a return on our investment? How do we work with the other firms involved on a project? All of this and more will need to be explored and answered comfortably. But the answers are out there as BIM moves to the mainstream. There are great resources available through AIA, AGC, ASHRAE, SEAC and other sources. The, “McGraw-Hill, How Building Information Modeling is Contributing to Green Design and Construction” (link) can provide you with excellent answers for BIM and Sustainability.
The second key to success is total commitment. Once your firm has decided to make the move, pick your first project and commit 100% to the BIM tools you have selected. This may be Revit Architecture, Structure or MEP, or perhaps Navisworks and QTO. It can be tempting to jump back to your previous tools, as they will seem easier or faster early in the process. Stick to your guns. We will talk about training, project selection, implementation and other considerations in the next 2 parts of this series. To learn more on a successful move to BIM, download the white paper, “Transitioning to BIM“.