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BIM Modeling – 4 Tips for Getting Started

BIM Modeling – 4 Tips for Getting Started

What is BIM?

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a software tool used by the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry that allows users to create sophisticated, intelligent models.  Because BIM operates on a digital database, a change made in one view is reflected throughout the entire drawing automatically.  BIM enables up-to-date and reliable information about the project design scope, cost information, and schedules; it can help lower costs and improve delivery times on projects. BIM covers geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities and properties of building components (for example manufacturers’ details).

BIM Modeling

While BIM is a software tool, implementing BIM is not just about loading new software and training everyone on how to use it.  BIM creates a fundamental difference between the way you’re doing things now and the way you’ll do them in the future.  So, you need to bridge the gap during the period of change, and this will require effective management skills.  Understand and accept that you are going to make a significant change to the way you to do business, which demands careful planning and the ability to change attitudes and overcome the fears of the people in your organization who are affected by it. Here are some basic tips to make the process go more smoothly:

Tips for Getting Started with BIM

  1. Do your research – Find out what BIM solutions are available, and create a “short-list” of the ones that will best fit your needs.  Attend BIM events, join BIM User Groups.  Talk to your peers and others who have experience with BIM.
  2. Start small – Choose a small project that will succeed.  Use this first project to understand the needs of your organization, and to know where you want to go.  Many firms make the initial mistake of starting on a large, highly visible project, which sounds like a good way to get everyone on board.  But, consider that all it takes is one highly visible mistake to make everyone skeptical about the new technology.  Then your job will be that much harder when you try to get buy-in.
  3. Get help — You can’t do everything at once and shouldn’t try, so go to the experts and get help.  A firm that specializes in CAD services, including BIM can help your firm roll out your BIM production capabilities in order to reduce the learning curve on your first few projects.  This will help keep project cost down, increase profitability, save time, and limit the potential for errors during the learning phase.
  4. Get buy-in — Create a plan and a strategy, then appoint someone internally to lead it. The motivation to adopt BIM must be driven from the top, while the daily work to make the adoption a success will come from the lower ranks —  engineers, architects middle managers who follow industry trends.  One of these will be the person who interfaces with the CAD services firm and makes use of their consulting services to get the first project completed.  Once you and your team have been lead through this process once, then you will have a better idea of the skills needed for the next project.

Final Words

Remember, no matter how great your BIM solution is, it won’t build the building for you.  BIM is only as powerful as the people and processes that you apply to the tools.

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