Thursday, March 15, 2012

BIM is Software

Ok, is this topic is one of those that I think is interesting in that, in my personal experience, the people that seem most passionate about it are those that have the least experience with working on a project involving BIM, or they work for an Autodesk competing firm. Either way I'll throw my 2 cents at this oft beaten topic. Let us first define BIM in its most basic form:

Building - well that's the goal at least, it has to represent something we build.
Information - There has to be data behind it, intelligent AEC centric data that understands the general types of objects as well as the flexibility to leverage the minutiae of data that we add for a multitude of purposes.
Model(ing) - It has to be in 3D.
Ok, so for those that say BIM isn't software I will in short agree with you. It is a bunch of software. Revit is BIM unless you use it exactly like CAD (detail lines, detail components, filled regions only) and that is a huge "if". No one does that. Many users don't take advantage of every nook and cranny of Revit but as long as they use walls and doors, that's a BIM. I guess my point is: BIM begins at conception.
There are other tools, I admit, but as far as the de facto BIM Authoring tool? Revit, without equivocation. If you doubt that just look at every BIM guideline out there 10 to 1 is specifies Revit (probably 100 to 1 but I am ballparking it). Now the bunch of software that I allude to is meant to show that there are BIM authoring tools (e.g. Revit, Tekla) and there are BIM leveraging tools (e.g. Navisworks, e-SPECS, Solibri, Virtual Environment, Affinity, SmartBIM). It has to come from somewhere and that is software and then it exists and is taken advantage of in software.

So for those that say "BIM is a process not software" please rethink this. Is Sketchup BIM? No. it might be a building model but it lacks the AEC intelligent information (I guess it’s a BM them, ha ha). So Revit is BIM, ok I feel better now.

1 comment:

  1. Here is my take...

    IPD - Relationship
    Integrated Project Delivery is the arrangement of parties into a unified team to deliver the project, sharing together in risks and rewards to remove the adversarial relationship between the owner, builder and design team.

    VDC - Process
    Virtual Design and Construction is the management of the product, the process and the organization of the design/build/operate team to develop a complete, virtual description of the entire project.

    BIM - Instrument
    Building Information Modeling is the digital representation of a facility’s physical and functional characteristics. BIM tools are the means by which we harness, communicate and leverage that information.

    The application of all 3 from the bottom up: Just as Revit is not required to do BIM, but is one of the best enablers of it, BIM is not required for VDC but significantly benefits it. Likewise, IPD does not require the use of VDC but is facilitated by its use and considerably constrained in its absence.