An Interview with Christian Proulx, BIM One Inc.

August 22, 2016





BIM One was founded by two young entrepreneurs with the intent to combine BIM expertise and IT. With a broad vision of BIM and what it can do in multidisciplinary collaborative teams, BIM One is offering upscale BIM consulting services and BIM software’s development. Four different add-ins for Revit and Navisworks are offered for free on our add-in Manager and in the Autodesk APP store. BIM Track is our flagship product and it’s becoming very popular worldwide. We are very much involved in the BIM community with CanBIM, buildingSMART Canada and locally BIM Quebec.


CanBIM: What is your role at BIM One Inc.?


CP: I’m BIM Solutions Director for BIM One and Customer Success Director for BIM Track. On the BIM One side, I do mostly business development and Owner oriented consulting, due to my personal background. On the BIM Track side, I do business development but also, communications, marketing and user support, which is very important for us. To ensure a user centric experience, my goal is to understand their needs and provide the best support available to reach the maximum return on investment.


CanBIM: What BIM platforms do you mainly use at the moment?


CP: As BIM consultants, we use a variety of tools. We’re not Autodesk resellers so naturally we are more open to other solutions. We believe in OpenBIM standards to allow full interoperability between platforms. The BIM community needs to be more educated on this because it’s not used to its full potential at the moment. We use Navisworks quite often because we’re involved in a lot of model coordination and clash detection activities. Like the rest of the market, we use Revit on a day-to-day basis. You won’t be surprised to know that BIM Track is used a lot at BIM One. We even used it for our office expansion and improvement project we just completed.


CanBIM: Tell us about BIM Track.


CP: BIM Track is collaboration platform for BIM projects. Mostly used during design coordination, our BIM Track add-ins allow BIM modelers and BIM managers to create and manage issues “in context” which means directly in Revit and Navisworks. The data is stored to the cloud and at the center of it all there is the web platform. This feature allows greater management capabilities in respect to dash board issues. BIM Track allows for online 3D viewer and metrics pages that better enable the coordination process evolution and the reporting of features such as accountability and governance. Each issue has its own comment section to allow users to communicate on that particular issue. Users can attach a wide spectrum of file types needed to help rectify the issue. To top it off, BIM Track keeps full history of the actions taken by users in BIM Track to help facilitate any litigation resolution that may occur in projects. This is a very core BIM tool because it addresses challenges BIM teams are facing every day and reduces overall coordination management time by 88%. It also allows non-BIM stakeholders to access 3D models directly from a web browser and also visualize the evolution of the model coordination. Project managers can now have a better understanding of the process without having to be BIM experts. We are proud of what BIM Track brings to the industry and very happy with the positive response we get from the BIM Community.




CanBIM: What type of feedback did you get from your clients in regards to BIM Track?


CP: Clients love BIM Track’s simplicity and ease of use. The interface is pleasant and they learn it quickly. They like the fact that they don’t need any more emails and Excel spreadsheet to manage all their clashes and design issues. With BIM Track, they save a lot of time and use it for other tasks. The project managers using BIM Track are more interested in the metrics and the reporting features. It gives all stakeholders access to the BIM coordination process without needing BIM related skills. BIM Track is user crafted. It means that we take user feedback very seriously. It guides the development of many features and our users appreciate it.


CanBIM: Having international experience, what are some of the key differences that you have perceived in the way Canada approaches BIM versus the way other countries like the UK and USA do?


CP: UK has a very top-down approach in which the government is taking direct action to induce change in the construction industry. It stimulates the BIM adoption and generates discussions amongst the construction industry. They focus more on the overall BIM lifecycle. In the US, BIM is a more bottom-up approach. Trades and contractors saw the advantages of BIM to help construction processes. Some public entities are requesting it but not like in UK. Here in Canada it’s a blend of BIM educated owners, architects/engineers wanting to improve their practice and contractors seeing the direct benefits of virtual construction. I’ve seen a major step-up in BIM in the last 2 years in Canada. We need to learn from both UK and US and move forward with multilateral approaches.


CanBIM: What are some of the main concerns clients might have when beginning to introduce BIM to their practice. How can we overcome these concerns?


CP: Most owners don’t employ construction projects as their core business. It’s not related to their expertise and they don’t like being guinea pigs. So they approach new concepts carefully and it’s reasonable of them to do so. They are concerned about respecting budgets, schedules, quality and also maintaining their assets after the project completion.I advise them to start with a strategic BIM implementation plan. Firstly, they must analyze the way in which they execute their projects and then seek for ways to improve. To obtain the most benefits and succeed with BIM, you need to apply this methodology to the actual owner needs and not in a generic way. With this strategic plan, it’s easy to pin-point actual BIM uses, benefits and success factors.