Synergy in the Sandbox

Oct 01, 2008

An architect, an engineer, a contractor and an owner walk into a bar… sounds like the
beginning of a joke, right? Nope. This has become reality in the world of local user groups! A local user group (LUG) is “a group of individuals, usually in a specific city or other geographical area, who are interested in common topics, and who meet regularly to discuss them.” The term apparently got a start from the Linux Users Group but has since broadened to encompass the term “Local.” Typical LUG activities include: encouraging and assisting new users, listening to presentations on specific topics, exchanging job information, developing projects, socializing and discussing means and methodologies about the topic around which the user group has formed. So basically, a LUG is like a neighborhood sandbox—it brings people together from all different walks of life to play and learn.

As BIM has become the new buzzword in the industry (and yes, it is official that BIM is unofficially a word), LUGs have begun to pop up everywhere to promote the concept of BIM and the supporting software products that make BIM possible. Some of the user groups are grassroots efforts, some are corporate-sponsored. Our purpose is to explore several LUGs in particular and find out how they get the community more involved.

Adam Lega, BIM Coordinator, KAI Design and BUILD
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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