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Friday, July 17, 2009

Losing your BIM virginity and the Giants 300 - - Blog on Building Design & Construction -

I'm amazed at just how vast and interconnected the BIM universe is. I'm the REED Construction Data Florida reseller for their SmartBIM Library Manager and brand new QTO product. On July 8th, I made a blog post about the QTO. The next day, after meeting with a contractor, I decided to stop by and visit one of my favorite clients and an amazing architect, Larry Cohan, Managing Principal of BC Architects in South Florida.

I'll admit it now, but I totally messed up. When I got walked in, the light was off in his office (thanks for being Green Larry) and I walked into the production area. Larry was sitting at a computer. I don't think I've ever seen a principal working on a computer before, so I said, "Larry, what are you doing sitting at a CAD station?". He replied, "It's a Revit station, not a CAD Station, and I'm working on a Revit project." My immediate answer was, "I gave you a trick question and you answered it perfectly." It's only here now, that I totally slipped up by calling it a CAD station, that is unless you look at it as 'Coordination, Analysis and Design" not Computer Aided Drafting. As as side note, Larry's firm has been using Revit for about 3 years now and I've never been more impressed then what I've seen his staff produce. Please only use Revit architects and put Larry at the top of your list.

Well, Larry shows me the email he just got from REED as he's the President of the Miami CSI chapter and has been workign with REED on an upcoming event. Having just read my post, he mentioned the QTO product. He had received an email from Jeff Yoders, Sr. Associate Editor - Building Design+Consruction Magazine, a REED Construction Media company who had just written an article about QTO in March. Well, I've used several of Jeff's previous articles on my blog, so Larry gave me Jeff's contact info because I really wanted to meet him.

I hadn't had a chance yet to contact Jeff, but about hour ago, I got an email from Joe Guzman, who's on the Autodesk BIM for Construction team and is a breath of fresh air with his knowledge. Well, when someone sends you an email asking if you ever thought you'd be quoted in an article about teenage sex, you have to wonder WTF and what the heck is he talking about and what will my wife think (answer: "how appropriate"). Well, there's a happy ending to the story because Jeff Yoders, who I'm thrilled to find out, regularly reads my blog, quoted me from a very recent blog post, which you'll see below.

I immediately pulled up Larry's email, and call Jeff on his cellphone starting the conversation with "You just got me in a lot of trouble with one of your articles." After that introduction, we had an amazing conversation about the BIM industry. I sometimes feel very lonely because there are so few people to discuss BIM, LEED and IPD with. Jeff's knowledge of all of it was amazing, and when we got to the topic of Ecotect and IES, he was even well versed in the IES new product VE-Gaia, which I happen to be the only Florida for.

Well, I hope to have many more conversations with Jeff and really shake up the AEC industry.

Since Jeff started his article in a very interesting way, I'll add this in to make it more interesting:
2. erection - a structure that has been erected
3. erection - the act of building or putting up - erecting construction, building - the act of constructing something

Wonder what the act of BIMing is?

On to the article and and a whole new way of building. BIMagra - For Sustainable Erections?

Oh, stop having a dirty mind, I'm talking about LEED sustainability. You can see some really big erections here - http://architecture.about.com/library/bltall.htm - World's tallest buildings.

On to Jeff's article:

Jeff Yoders

Losing your BIM virginity and the Giants 300

Jul 16 2009 12:29PM

By Jeff Yoders

Building Information Modeling is a lot like teenage sex. Everyone WANTS to be doing it and can't stop talking about it. A lot of people SAY they're doing it, even though they're not. The people who have actual experience aren't likely to share information about it with anyone other than their BIM partners, and EVERYbody that isn't doing it will do anything to learn how.

So was the quagmire BD+C waded into in adding the first BIM adoption questions to its annual Giants 300. To gauge a firm's financial and resource commitment to BIM, we chose number of purchased and installed seats of a 3D BIM program (defined for this survey as Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Bentley Microstation, Autodesk Revit, Rhino 3D, and Vectorworks) as the best indicator of how serious a firm is about BIM. It's hard to argue with a financial and resource commitment such as that of Gensler's 1,320 seat licenses, and they're only number four on BD+C's list. Both AECOM and HDR checked in with 2,000 seats and Parsons Brinckerhoff reported 1,800.

Blogger Gregory Akin of Revit3D.com wrote "just because a firm has seats of Revit doesn't necessarily mean they're using Revit actively."

While his point is true - there are firms that have unused Revit seats sitting on desktops while forging ahead with AutoCAD - I still believe the financial commitment shown by the purchase of so many expensive software products shows a belief in the technology more than any other measure. People investing heavily in a product WILL eventually demand that their employees use that product and deliver a return on that investment.

Losing your BIM virginity can be an awkward process for an AEC firm. Many people use BIM without knowing exactly what they mean by the term. Sometimes they mean 3D. Sometimes they actually mean CAD files with intelligent parametric objects but they don’t intend to use the files for building management. Many clients today are asking for detailed experience of BIM projects and looking at potential architects and contractors completed models. While this will certainly help them pick the right BIM partner, it's not conducive to ranking a list as large and robust as the Giants 300. Judging models for their "worthiness of BIM" would be too time-consuming and simply not fair, because of varying degrees of complexity in every entrant's projects. Plus, it's sort of like personally ranking and bragging about your conquests. Not cool.

Licensed BIM seats, however, is a universal number that allows quick comparison with other AEC firms and can't be changed or fudged without more financial commitment. So we chose it and stand by its relevance. We think of it more as sharing numbers and no details in the locker room rather than kissing and telling. BD+C



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