Amara’s Law: How BIM’s Future Benefit Can be Measured Today

Apr 01, 2009

Amara’s Law: We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run. Much like wood, iron, rock and oil, information is a resource that is gathered such that it can be utilized in an application. However, information enables its possessor to make better decisions rather than better products. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is encouraging the collection of information and providing a repository for the collection of this resource. Yet a toolbox of the finest tools has little value if there is no craftsman to apply them. Information in BIM has little value without practitioners apply to it.

It is well documented that construction stakeholders recognize that BIM’s full benefit is realizable over the entire building life cycle. The McGrawHill SmartMarket Report “Building Information Modeling” released in late 2008 noted, “architects and engineers place the highest emphasis on [Lifecycle Value of BIM]. The data created during their early involvement in BIM projects can live on long after their work is complete.”². Other notable benefits of BIM’s application include:
• Easier bonding;
• Fewer Lifts (safety and liability);
• Fewer code violations and punch outs
• Reduced number of RFI’s and quicker RFI
• Fewer change orders; and
• Reductions in crew down time.

Neil Steinkamp, CCIFP
Tom Dionne, Stout Risius Ross, Inc.
Journal of Building Information Modeling (JBIM) National Institute of Building Sciences
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
buildingSMART alliance (National Institute of Building Sciences)

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