No BIM for You: The Case for Not Doing BIM

Apr 01, 2010

While more leading architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) firms are making the switch to building information modeling (BIM), the chasm continues to widen. In many instances, BIM pioneers advance to greater BIM uses, benefits and heights while a growing number of “BIM have nots” are left farther behind. Despite the growing momentum in BIM and virtual design and construction (VDC) circles, there is concern that BIM evangelists may be preaching to the choir. While we “get it” and readily share “it” with each other, are we still missing the majority who have not yet seen the light? How do we connect with owners, for instance, who, in all but
a few notable exceptions, could care less about BIM? While there has been much discussion about the positive BIM return on investment (ROI) and the proof of economic return, the answer may be more clearly shown in reverse: BIM’s value may be better demonstrated by assessing the cost of not doing BIM. And the most powerful reason (and prerequisite) for BIM may, in fact, be non-quantifiable— simply a leap of faith, an intrinsic motivation, a paradigm shift. If BIM value needs proving to you, you’re not ready (and you may be doomed to suffer the consequences and costs of a non-BIM future). Like the patrons of the Seinfeld itcom’s soup vendor, if you’re not ready to speak the language and follow the protocols—if you’re waffling or indecisive—then, “no BIM for you!” This paper resents two untried, contrarian approaches for BIM persuasion: the cost of not doing BIM and the mindset change required before considering changing to BIM.

Michael LeFevre, HOlder COnstruction Company
Journal of IES
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
buildingSMART alliance (National Institute of Building Sciences)

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