The BIM boom, an article in the US-oriented Concrete Construction Online, gives a good overview of building information modelling (BIM) in the AEC industry, with author Andy O’Nan suggesting everyone needs to prepare for the eminent technological revolution facing the construction industry.
However, he stresses there are some major hurdles to overcome, particularly relating to people and processes:
“Recent surveys have shown that approximately 40% of the ENR top 400 contractors are using BIM on more than 10% of their work. Most contractors are creating their own models because (1) the architect is not sharing or doesn’t have a model, or (2) they can’t use or do not trust the data coming from the architect’s model (ie, slabs with no construction joints, incomplete models, etc). The traditional responsibilities of the contractor and architect can become blurred easily and new delivery models, such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), are emerging.”
I have wondered if the recession might give construction organisations an excuse to invest in BIM – it was something I debated with the panel at a recent Ecobuild seminar (see post) – and O’Nan believes contractors will leverage the technology as a differentiator:
“Economic slowdowns historically have had a positive impact on efficiency due to strategic decision making, as opposed to the more tactical nature of the business during busy times.”
(But as a director of a BIM software development and consultancy company, he is hardly likely to suggest that people should postpone BIM investment until the good times return, is he?!)