Not Ready for BIM? Here are 5 Reasons You May Be Wrong

OHSU/PSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building by SERA Architects and CO Architects. Image © SERA Architects

OHSU/PSU/OSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building by SERA Architects and CO Architects. Image © SERA Architects

Committing your firm to BIM may seem daunting, especially with the time and cost investments that come with adopting new sets of software and a new workflow. There are hidden parallels however, between BIM and other processes within a firm, and therefore these changes to a new way of working may not be as demanding as they first seem. Here are five ways you may already be halfway to BIM.

Courtesy of Autodesk

Courtesy of Autodesk

1. BIM Works More Like Your Brain

When you draw a wall, you don’t think of it just as a set of lines, but as a real wall; BIM works the same way. The object-based system used by BIM means it shares the same understanding you have of the real-world translations and behaviors of 2D representations. More than just a collection of lines, BIM knows there’s more than just one dimension to building components, helping you accurately model and understand how each element works in your design. For a quick overview of BIM, watch this BIM 101 video.

2. BIM Can Add to Your Communication Systems

There have been a plethora of improvements to communication taken up by firms over the years. From familiar old-school aids like speed dial to more recent platforms like Google Chat, Facebook groups and Slack, office communication has come a long way since the Rolodex. Whatever systems you are using in your firm, chances are they are already improving communication. BIM could easily be considered a part of this improvement – the engineer may only be a speed dial away, but the sharing of changes within a collaborative model can be just as instantaneous, and often more accurate.

Courtesy of Autodesk

Courtesy of Autodesk

3. You’re Already Making the Wise Investments Required

Time and cost investments are an inevitable part of adopting a new system. But from small changes such as a new computer operating system to big moves such as a new office, investing smartly is a natural part of any firm’s growth. A switch to BIM often involves three key changes: new hardware, new software and staff training, and for many firms, one or more of these three things is probably already high on the wish list. It may therefore be possible to make these investments with BIM in mind. You can learn more about the strategic ROI of BIM for architecture firms here.

4. Clients Are Ready for BIM

In architecture, things that once seemed like new, useful but ultimately unnecessary additions to your practice can quickly become indispensable tools; this is rarely as true as when the new tool helps you communicate with your client more effectively. If your clients aren’t aware of BIM and the advantages it brings, they can’t tell you how much of an improvement it would be. By providing clients with accurate visualizations and 3D models they can understand more easily, you might find out just how ready they were for BIM, even if they didn’t realize it. Just as clients these days expect emails instead of snail mail and computers instead of (or at least alongside) drawing boards, BIM is the latest step in expectations of technology.

Courtesy of Autodesk

Courtesy of Autodesk

5. Someone’s Doing the Boring Stuff

Whether it’s you or someone else, or even a whole variety of people depending on the project, there are people in your firm who are carrying out the boring jobs – changing annotations, checking scales, updating page numbers and sheet indexes. It is almost certain that they are very much ready to give these tedious jobs to someone else – or to BIM. Ask around your colleagues; by taking care of the housekeeping with automatic, coordinated updates across drawing sets, someone in the firm is likely to be especially ready for BIM.

Download the Definitive Guide to Growing your Architecture Firm with BIM to learn how to build your business with BIM.

This article was sponsored by Autodesk

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