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Are you using BIM properly?

These days, everyone is using BIM. When was the last time you came across an architectural or engineering firm that had never heard about Revit, or BIM in general? I’m sure it’s been a while! However, the next time someone tells you about his first rocky experience with BIM, pay close attention to what he’s saying. If you hear one of the three statements below, the person may very well be on the wrong track when it comes to using BIM at his company.

Here are three signs you’re using BIM for the wrong reasons:

I always find my CAD plans "nicer" than those produced with Revit

This is a classic statement by architectural and engineering firms. Users often become fixated on the level of detail that was possible with AutoCAD, whereas Revit uses a completely different approach. You need to stop living in the past, and instead embrace the methods recommended in Revit, even if this means presenting your plans differently in some cases. If holding on to the same 2D symbols is still hugely important to you, that’s the first sign you’re not using BIM for the right reasons—or at least, that you haven’t fully grasped the point of it.

Obviously, we should assume that the firm has already made the effort to customize the application to its corporate standards...

I use BIM because a client asked me to

Most firms switched to BIM after responding to a call for tenders that required its use, sometimes without even having trained staff or access to the necessary software. From a financial risk standpoint, we can understand the strategy: wait until you are awarded the contract before investing in the tools. However, for several managers, the situation is more complicated than it appears...

Also, do you really want to deal with the BIM learning curve during some of your most important projects? It’s better to implement BIM on a company-wide scale and test a few pilot projects before launching into large-scale projects.

My project managers have never seen a model

If you use BIM, then you’ve had to share models, or even deliver them to your client. But, do your project managers know what to do with 3D models? When reviewing drawings, do they make their comments on paper or in the model? Are your project managers involved in quality controlling the models you deliver?

If your engineers and architects only look at the paper drawings since they are the only official sealed documents, then they haven’t fully understood the impact of delivering an inadequate model on the coordination process.

If any of these situations sounds familiar, you should think about the future of BIM at your company and how you might capitalize on the investment you’ve already made. You’ll definitely want to cash in on all the promised benefits of BIM, but to do so, you may need to review your strategy!

By Marie-Pierre Lebel

Consultant in BIM


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