BIM and Your Business

July 7, 2017

Whether you are a designer, contractor, sub-trade, or supplier, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has a role to play in your business.

Technology has been a major big factor in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry throughout history. With the advancement of technology since the beginning of the digital age in the 1970s, computers and software have become ubiquitous. The advent of computer-aided design not only advanced the design and construction process, but also improved efficiency in construction and building performance.

Photo courtesy of HDR | CEI Architecture Associates, Inc.

BIM is dramatically impacting all aspects of the AEC industry, since the late 1990s, designers – both in architecture and engineering – have been using 3D digital modeling to improve their processes. Designing today’s modern buildings would not be possible without BIM, as leaders in the industry take advantage of BIM’s visualization and coordination benefits.

Contractors quickly realised the benefits of BIM for construction management. Being able to construct a building digitally, prior to starting construction, has innumerable benefits. BIM is a valuable tool for construction sequencing, material quantification, and cost estimation.

Regardless of your role in the AEC industry, BIM will touch all aspects of your business: your workflow, how you acquire projects, and how you complete your delivered product.

There is no doubt the transition to BIM has its challenges, but the long-term benefits are significant. There are some tactics to consider when integrating BIM into your organization:

Culture: One of the biggest changes will be cultural. Moving to a digital environment requires a shift away from traditional processes, and people typically do not like change. Transition people slowly. Give them plentiful training resources and make it clear that they have permission to learn.

Technology: Your 386 computers with Windows 98 cannot handle BIM. It may be time to overhaul your network, including computers and software. Think of this overhaul as an investment in the future. Providing your people with the right tools will ease the transition to BIM.

Process: Adopting BIM creates an excellent opportunity for revamping your entire workflow. Utilizing BIM will create efficiencies and streamline your processes, allowing you to deliver a better product, faster.

Whether you are an organization of 1 or 10,000, BIM as part of your work will fundamentally change your production. Embrace this change and commit to the integration process, and you will reap the rewards of a strong, efficient, modern business that is poised to take on all BIM projects.

About Scott Chatterton:

Scott Chatterton, Director International BIM Integration Lead Digital Design Leader for BIM Planning and Quality, HDR Inc. Scott Chatterton is the International, Building Information Modelling (BIM) Integration Leader for HDR, and the leader for BIM Planning and Quality as part of the HDR Digital Design group. HDR, Inc. is a leading international architectural firm, recognized for award-winning designs for healthcare, science and technology, government, academic and private-sector organizations. Scott integrates BIM technology and the digital design process into the daily functionality of HDR’s offices in North America, Germany, China, the Middle East, and Australia. As the leader for BIM Planning and Quality within the Digital Design Group, he serves as advisor on HDR’s major projects. Using his extensive knowledge, Scott creates and applies efficient protocols using the latest BIM techniques. As a result of his experience, Scott is a sought-after author and presenter at BIM-related conferences, where he addresses ideas on BIM workflow, processes, protocols and quality.