by John Stebbins, Assoc. AIA
In a word, BIM is “collaboration”.
Co-labor-ation (co=with; labor=to work)…working together around a data-rich single intelligent model (or series of models), with a WILLINGNESS to share openly, and with a goal of greater efficiency, resulting in less waste in time, money, and energy.
That being said, even if isolated stakeholders embrace the BIM process on their own (lone-wolf BIM), like an architectural firm that uses the BIM process to create more complete, efficient and communicative working drawings, the process is well worth it for them, even if the deliverables are only via paper; if the contractor pays a third party to create a constructability model to use as the basis for collision detection and persuades their sub-contractors to participate, it can save huge amounts of time and money in change orders and minimal re-work.
Eventually, lone-wolf BIM will turn to more social BIM as individual firms see the beauty in sharing and co-labor-ating.