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Sunday, April 25, 2010

The "I" of BIM - iBIM, Indecision, Income, Immense, Immediate, Indecision - A vision for the future of the A/E industry

I was just reading the most intriguing piece of writing from an architect about BIM. I'm not sure if it was written yesterday, or 10 years ago.

BIM is not only 3D. The “I” of BIM is information and data integrated with 3D

~Kinom Onuma
 The "I" of BIM. Say that out loud. "I". Now say it again. The "I" of BIM.Information?I, as in me?

I as in eye, visualization, vision, seeing the building, seeing the clashes.I, as in interconnected, interoperability, The "I" of BIM. Just thinking about the profoundness of it is giving me chills.

There's no "I" in Team. This BIM thing, what is it really?

I just got distracted by another "I". iPhone, iTunes, iTouch, iPad, iMac, iii!!! Seems like Apple is all about the "i" with their technologies. Oh. stupid me. I just figured it out. Apple used the "i" for internet. Maybe interface? IT, Information Technology. Intel? Intelligence? The iPod. It stored so much information in such a small and elegant form factor. October 23, 2001. Almost as long as Revit has been around.

"I" found it. Thank goodness for Wikipedia and the "I"nternet.

The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship.[3] Apple researched the trademark and found that it was already in use. Joseph N. Grasso of New Jersey had originally listed an "iPod" trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in July 2000 for Internet kiosks. The first iPod kiosks had been demonstrated to the public in New Jersey in March 1998, and commercial use began in January 2000, but had apparently been discontinued by 2001. The trademark was registered by the USPTO in November 2003, and Grasso assigned it to Apple Computer, Inc. in 2005.

Even stranger than that, do you know how they came up with the name HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey? The letters H A & L are all one letter off from, you guess it, "I"BM, another "I" in the Information Technology world.

Now, what other words start with "I".
idea, idiot, idle, idol, ignore, illogical, illuminate, illustrate, image, imagination, imagine, immaculate, immature, immeasurable, immediate, immense, immoral, impact, impasse, impassioned, imperative, imperfect, important, imposition, impossibility, impossible, impotent, impoverish, imprecise, improve, inadequate, include, incoherent, incombustible, income, incompatible, incompetent, incomplete, incompliant, incomprehensible, inconceivable, inconsistent, incriminate, incumbent, indecipherable, indecision, indefensible, indict, indifferent, ineffective, inept, inevitable, inexact, inexcusable, infantile, inferior, instruct, integrate, invest, iota, ironic
I tried to just list the ones that relate to architecture and construction.

So, I hope I made inroads and gave you some ideas about the importance of this information and how you must immediately incorporate it into your industry.

So, for those of you who have said to me that Revit isn't BIM or that BIM is a process, I agree. We live in an information age, with the internet, the "Cloud" and instant access to all sorts of things. This information in BIM, really isn't at all about 2D or 3D or AutoCAD versus Revit. It's about intelligence in the design and engineering process as well as in the model and all of the uses of that information downstream for analysis, estimating, procurement, maintenance, accounting and so much more.

To people like Kimon Onuma and his BIMstorn open source methodology, this is all old information. I borrowed this from Onuma.com
Transparency of information breeds self-correcting behavior. If everyone understands the goals of the organization and you make information available to them, it becomes empowering. It breeds a common sense of purpose."

Adm. Thad Allen, Commandant U.S. Coast Guard
Never in the history of our world, have we had such access to information and each other. Its a shame for the architectural industry to be made so irrelevant to the building process because of stubbornness, unwillingness to invest in technology and the inability to make business decisions because of the digital disconnect. Yes, the elephant in the room here and all through the AIA is BIM. Yes, Autodesk owns Revit. Yes, they have pretty much crushed Archicad and Bentley. So what. So has Microsoft, Apple, Google and Intel. ; Whatever. Get over it or go away.

I've always had a love for technology and an intuition for investing in the right technology. Revit is just another tool that has been in my life since my dad brought home Pong in the 70s. It's time to move on and enough demonizing and wasting words on those who just don't get it. Everyone is just so selfish and self serving, that for many, BIM will never make sense to them.

Oh yeah, one last thought....don't forget that the AIA created Integrated Project Delivery. Yup., just another "I" to put the icing on the cake. Well, this post has forever changed me and all of my future conversations. Thank you Kimon for making it so obvious and clear. I know now why you are such a genius and find your website so foward thinking.



JCS April 26, 2010 at 5:39 PM  


Right on! I have known Kimon for about 15 years and highly regard his observations and comments...he is the most digitally BIM architect I know and is pioneering the future of the profession, in my mind.

Without the "I" in BIM, BIM is just "BM!"

John Stebbins
Digital Vision Automation

Blueprint Designs (Aust) January 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM  

The " I" in BIM stands for information, that's very true but what it doesn't stand for is Intelligence!
My previous profession as an estimator and detailer makes the hair stand up on my neck if I thought about using BIM for quantity surveying, estimation or scheduling. Revit is not ready for this use in the work place and its far from it. In theory you may wish to use it but in reality its far too time consuming, overly complex and has no or limited cross checking capabilities. If you need some simple examples: Revit doesn't trim walls to a roof, only attaches them so if you have 10 walls underneath an eave sticking out above the roof what are you going to do, yes you are not going to trim them as its far too time consuming so your BIM materials would be wrong. If somebody accidently applied a material to the wrong surface of anything who would pick it up if it's hidden out of view? People using the software would have to be ultra disciplined and the time and money benefits gained currently I'm afraid may be in the negative.
It would be nice if the BIM could highlight each individual material when you checked somebody's work but it's not likely to happen as so many other should be feature are not likely to happen. Now if they introduced BIIM (building intelligent information modelling) that operated seamlessly I would be more interested.

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