The BIM battle – and some PR spin

The ‘BIM battle’ among UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendors is warming up nicely. Take yesterday, for example….

First, London-based provider Asite and Building magazine announced the first of four webinars on collaborative BIM. The series starts on 28 September, with an hour-long discussion, chaired by Building‘s Tom Lane and featuring Asite’s Nathan Doughty, BIM consultant Mervyn Richards and Mark Bew, Director of Business Information Systems at URS/Scott Wilson (all familiar faces from BuildingSMART UK, among other places). As I have previously mentioned (post), Asite has been pushing collaborative BIM, cBIM, for some years, but other vendors are now trying to show they too have a long track record in this area….

For the second initiative launched yesterday was an announcement by Woking-based vendor BIW Technologies of its support for BIM, claiming:

“… a history of embracing these principals [sic] as far back as 2000 when we carried out a Joint Venture (JV) with Nottingham University creating a Virtual Reality (VR) suite designed and developed i (intelligent) components, to interpret construction products as 3D models.”

(BIW then goes on to talk about the first phase of BIM capabilities in its BIW project control application suite, enabling users to share 3D and BIM models, view and navigate these models, apply comments, and manage change processes.)

However, the history claims are a little hollow, as almost all the people involved with the i-component project left BIW some years ago; director George Stevenson, for example, has been MD of Nottingham-based ActivePlan Solutions since 2002, working alongside long-time colleague and former BIW software developer Tim Aikin. And, as development of the i-component project (see BIW 2001 press cutting) was something championed by George and Tim, that experience is more relevant to ActivePlan and has no direct connection to BIW’s new BIM capabilities.

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