Proto-building, to BIM is to build

I have just opened the latest AECbytes newsletter and read a fantastic article by US architect John Tobin. In Proto-building: to BIM is to build, he incorporates a lucid explanation of a famous Magritte painting, lots of talk about interoperability, and some memorable analogies, stretching from CAD on steroids (BIM 1.0) through The Big Bang in Reverse (BIM 2.0) – when the diverging galaxies of designers and builders suddenly reversed direction (ie: roughly where we are today) – to Post-operability (BIM 3.0).
It’s a terrific article, describing BIM 3.0 as “a full dress rehearsal for construction”. He goes on:

The BIM 3.0 sandbox will probably be a net-centric database, one where BIM models, now proto-buildings, are constructed and populated collaboratively in a web-hosted 3D environment accessed from anywhere. All participants including contractors, trades and owner will understand how to collectively contribute through their own discipline-specific modules.  The architect’s initial proto-building will ideally have continued value throughout design, construction and fabrication efforts. It may alter form and overall content, but it will be a continuum of activity.

He knows that BIM 3.0 is a rather idealistic scenario, but argues that we need to look beyond present-day problems so we can progress towards a better BIM process – both technologically and – crucially – attitudinally. Echoing comments made by other US writers (Jerry Laiserin and Lachmi Khemlani, for example), he says:

attitudes will also be an important ingredient, one that technology alone cannot overcome. One of the hallmarks of success in BIM 3.0 will be a cross-disciplinary attitude that looks at buildings as a shared enterprise… “

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  1. […] Formalizing the Use of BIM into a Business Strategy – more from John Tobin (see Proto-building, to BIM is to build) […]

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