Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The New BIM Population

You might have noticed them, invading your user groups, listening intently at every event, asking different questions, and then they introduce themselves… Facilities groups. Owner representatives with increasing expectations and a pressing need to leverage technology. Sound familiar? Well it should. Facilities use of BIM is a decade behind the AEC industry and long term owners are now becoming aware of BIM and asking for it. Are you ready?

These are usually organizations in flux, expanding or under corporate mandate for a massive technology shift. They find themselves needing to assert themselves where they haven't before, without clear direction as to the ramifications of what they are asking for. 

Usually facilities groups are educated in BIM when new construction projects are in the design/documentation/construction process. Attending a BIM coordination meeting , they see the value of the model and they are hooked. What they miss is all the steps it took to get there. The mechanics of collaboration seem straightforward, just put the models together, coordinate, and build better buildings.

This situation turns the architect/engineer/contractor into a BIM educator when the stakes are high. Oversell and the expanded scope eats your margin up. Undersell and you risk seeming unsophisticated in BIM and losing future work. The right balance of education and added value for you and your clients could spell tangible success. Success that you can both wear proudly, success that shepherds your firm into the next decade of model integration.

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