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BIM and general contractors: the fear of fear itself?

When we meet with general contractors, our initial discussions often relate to the basic concepts of BIM. What is it? What does it do? Once the contractor understands the foundations, we can start to discuss the potential uses of BIM in his business. And it’s at that precise moment that I start to see the fear in his eyes…

What if “my people” refuse to get on board?

That’s when I start to hear things like, “What if my professionals don’t provide the models?” or “What if my subcontractors don’t want to consult the models?”, not to mention “What if there’s no Internet access on the worksite?”. As a basic rule, if a contractor persists in pointing out the issues with BIM before even considering its potential for improving business processes for his company, he’s simply not ready to make the transition. Nothing is perfect. Of course, BIM requires making an investment—an investment in both time and money, not to mention a desire for progress and change. In converting to BIM, you will be the ambassador of this change and the person responsible for leading your team into uncharted territory. Be the change you want to see in the world!

What if I can’t keep up with the technology?

When I give presentations to general or even specialized contractors about BIM and 3D models, I often feel like a clerk in an electronics store talking to an 80-year-old grandmother about the advantages of an i7 processor. Even once my client is convinced of the day-to-day advantages of BIM, I often have to walk him through his fear of being unable to handle the technology. And that’s why it’s so important that he be able to trust his BIM consultant.

And, what if I’m not using BIM “properly”?

The best solution is a pilot project. Many people need to be walked through the process step by step. Aim to reach one or two objectives per project and to learn from the conclusions of initial BIM projects. If you set realistic goals for your deadlines, budgets, and project scopes, everything should be fine! And, above all, never let anyone tell you you’re not using BIM “properly.”

Need help getting your first BIM project off the ground?

Ask a consultant to explain our BIM plan.

By Marie-Pierre Lebel

BIM expert consultant

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