Not yet everyone is convinced of the need for BIM

The transition to BIM is a mandatory step for AEC companies, large and small. Once the initial decision is made to abandon CAD and introduce BIM, companies are left with new software and old processes.

The creation of new BIM processes and the restructuring of new business strategies for the existing CADD are fundamental to achieve a successful transition and to participate in the AECO market (Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation). But it is also essential to combat the anti-BIM mentality.
It is essential to understand that BIM is a revolution, not an evolution of CADD. If we want to remain in the AEC industry, it is imperative that we restructure our processes. In a correct BIM implementation the manner in which all incumbents interact with the project must change.

All the teams and companies that have successfully implemented BIM have achieved this success due to the fact that they have followed clearly defined and rigorous processes and guidelines. We could call these ‘standard’ guidelines, but they are not standards until we all use them. This is where the need arises for the integration of the public sector and regulatory bodies for the definition of state implementation policies.

Success in BIM requires much more than simply the good use of a software tool; and in no case can it be considered a new drawing tool. This new process requires that team members leave their comfort zones and, actively, commit to learn, grow and communicate.

If the success of the team depends on each member doing their part at the appropriate time, then it is necessary to practice. It is imperative that professionals invest time in the use of tools with an analytical attitude focused on the BIM process. Reaching the ‘BIM Promise’ is only possible when there is a commitment to communication, active management, and coordination. In this installment we will talk about the problem of this resistance to change and, in a second installment, we will expand on the way to achieve the transition.

    • 1.-Hire More Staff Does not Work with BIM
      In CAD there are many processes that we can now identify as inefficient, one of these processes is the mentality of ‘hiring more personnel to complete the work’; which, by the way, is a failure of management, not production.Using this mentality in BIM, and adding staff to a ‘cold’ team, without the new members understanding the BIM process, the project and / or the company’s policies, will certainly generate serious conflicts in the future stages of the project.

      In most cases these conflicts will be accompanied by large amounts of additional time invested in the correction of foreseeable errors.

      BIM also has its problems, for example, modeling can be a very hypnotizing task; teams may fall into the error of focusing on modeling and losing the focus of the actual goal: quantification, efficiency, costs.

      Establishing rigorous processes will avoid these problems.

      The purpose of BIM and its wider application in IPD (Integrated Project Delivery), in the end, can be considered as a process that allows more efficiency and better execution in projects, with less request for clarifications of the plans, etc. The AEC industry requires this.

    • 2.-A Clear Understanding and Transformation to BIM
      So, how does a firm manage to successfully transform its processes to BIM?The first thing is to clarify what are the things that work and those that do not work.

      The willingness to adopt technology at the managerial level is crucial to change and accept new ways of producing, coordinating and presenting projects. Secondly, it is essential to create systems and guides that will help the team to manage the objectives of the projects and the general goals of the company.

      The change can come in multiple ways; as, for example, allowing current processes to evolve, such as the production of quantization tables, graphic styles, and all other areas that are affected.

      The dilemma of ‘Pursuing CAD’, for example, is a common mistake. Investing efforts to replicate the results of CAD in BIM is a real waste of time. The form of a label never produced any amount of money for a company, but following the references on the labels with complete certainty has caused losses to many projects and companies. It is important to define what to focus the efforts on, and doing it at the right time is equally important.

      Allow the evolution of symbols, etc. in BIM it is more appropriate; especially when labels, and other annotations can be associated with specific elements giving the project better quality data with less need for clarifications compared to CAD. BIM can tell a better story than CAD because in CAD we are drawing, and in BIM we are building.

      The past can inform part of our future processes, but it is important to be careful and be a bit skeptical about ideas such as “why? because we’ve always done it that way. ” These types of reasoning are errors to avoid in all cases.

    • 3.-The excuse “It is not possible to do that in BIM” and “We have always done it that way”
    • If someone ever tells you that you can not do something in a BIM application and it is related to the necessary design work, then there are two explanations: they do not know how to do it, or they are lying.Yes, everything that can be done in CAD can be done in BIM and usually better. 
    • Companies may need to learn new ways with BIM, but that is what will allow the growth of our industry and produce new projects.
    • Most limitations are dictated by the inexperience of users in BIM, not by software solutions.

    • 4.-Overcoming CAD Addiction
      Addiction to CAD is perhaps the biggest obstacle for BIM adoption candidates. This addiction needs to be actively recognized and mitigated in order to achieve a successful transition to BIM.It is possible that CAD will remain in many industries for a long time, but in the AEC industry it will be replaced by BIM, and in many countries this has already happened.
    • For some people CAD is their comfort zone and they cling to existing processes, causing many problems for the transition. It is possible that factions will even be generated among the personnel where a consensus is formed for their Pro-CAD / Anti-BIM positions, which is only a sabotage to the company’s goals.

      Some even create scenarios to ensure the failure of BIM; This way you can reuse CAD. These people could even request training and guidance, take training and guidance, and then not use it; to then say: “See? BIM does not work, “even though BIM would have worked perfectly well if the procedures had been followed.

      Puede ser fácil ocultar este tipo de sabotaje si existe un ambiente de resistencia al cambio.

    • 5.-The Mirage: ‘I use Revit, I work at BIM’
      transformation process, and this is to use the BIM tools to only achieve CAD.This, unfortunately, is the case of the great majority in Latin America. Many people think that knowing how to use Autodesk® Revit® automatically makes them knowledgeable and knowledgeable in BIM. Many professionals believe that watching a few tutorials on Youtube ™ and managing to model something moderately complex is evidence of handling in the BIM process.

      Many companies believe that using Revit as a main tool and being able to show three-dimensional models is proof of an effective implementation and; What’s worse, many of these companies and professionals go as far as to offer and sell their services as specialized in BIM.

      The danger here is that we are forcing BIM to be CAD and the result is simply disastrous for two reasons:

      • A.-This distortion makes the team believe that they have implemented the new tools, which are integrated and updated with BIM technology.This makes them stay in the CAD comfort zone and not advance or grow. They convince themselves that they have already done what had to be done and they never manage to define procedures or standards. Those who fall into this error are deceived by the model that, in reality, is a mirage.
      • B.-The second reason why using BIM as CAD is disastrous is that this leads companies to think that the information they are producing is reliable. But it’s not like that. This scenario generates ‘hollow’ projects, without data, only with a little makeup. And BIM without data is not BIM … it’s CAD.The result of this will always be the opposite of what was expected; this is: many unanswered questions, many coordination problems, many unforeseen work, and much redesign and waste. What was expected would be an efficient process, it is sabotaged and turned into the stumbling block of the entire project generating monetary losses and professional reputations stained.

Unfortunately, I have seen this many times. On all occasions I had to be the ‘bird of ill omen’ that warns that all the steps jumped will be paid more than in the construction stage. In BIM you have to start well, and to start well, you have to organize, plan, and validate. This is not negotiable.

Although implementation can occur gradually, the harmful anti-BIM mentality must be tackled in a radical way. That is to say, those responsible for the BIM effort must be decisive in establishing the rules: ‘we will make the transition in a gradual way, but from the beginning we all invariably must understand and accept that BIM is the final obligatory goal’.

The integration of the company’s board is crucial to ensure this commitment and discipline.

It is this commitment of the board that makes the difference. It is this discipline that makes companies become BIM champions and serve as an example for the industry. BIM is not drawing. BIM is not modeling. BIM is to build.

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