BIM is a Process by Sherry Whetten September 22 ’09

by Sherry Whetten

In the last couple years of the BIM transition, I have come across several interesting misconceptions among the general AEC population about the abilities and potential of the BIM process. One misconception in particular is that a software, one tool, is a full BIM solution. It is as though the AEC industry wants to ‘get rich quick’ and avoid the effort and thought behind developing their own process. In the last year several platforms have noticed a weak point in regards to the BIM process and have tried to prove that they have the solution. This one weak point is that of Lifecycle Management. Software vendors have begun to tout that their platform can manage the lifecycle of the building effectively, simplistically, and of course better than any other platform. Asset management and other aspects of facility management is easy! They call attention to their IFC and XML format capabilities and claim that therein lies the secret and that is all you need. What has been even more interesting is that Architects, Engineers and Contractors that have not taken the time to become as familiar with BIM as they need to be, believe this claim. So here they are, seasoned professionals, and when I say seasoned I mean they have executed the design and build PROCESSES almost an infinite amount of times and have had to adjust their processes continuously to arrive at a more efficient PROCESS, are believing, for the first time in their professional careers, that a tool, one tool, would be their solution, as opposed to a process that specifically meets their needs by relying on multiple tools. When this doesn’t work out for them they decide that this new idea of BIM must not be fully developed yet and not ready for the mainstream AEC industry.

Any software with parametric capabilities has the POTENTIAL to offer a start at lifecycle management. Any software with parametric capabilities has the POTENTIAL to offer a BIM solution; but any one platform by itself is not going to get the job done alone and only costs more of a firms resources than if they would have purchased the right pieces to begin with and then obtained assistance in helping them develop their own office processes.

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