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Friday, June 25, 2010

A car is not merely a faster horse - BIM is not merely a faster CAD

 Every day, Seth Godin astounds me with his wisdom.  In just a few sentences, his words convey the basic principles of every business and the nature of change. 

"And email is not a faster fax" is just one phrase in his latest post.

BIM is not CAD.  Modeling the building isn't just a faster way to draw lines.  The workflow and processes are different.  Revit has been out on the market for 10 years now.  Archicad has been out for over 25 years.  Why has the architecture industry still not 100% embraced this different and better way of designing buildings.  Why has the automative and airplane manufacturing industries adopted the technologies years ago?  Buildings cost millions of dollars, yet you use a glorified typewriter to create construction documents for them.

Why are you so adverse to technology?  Is it because you're an artist?  Look at all of the different car models, shapes and sizes on the road.  They use parametric modeling in their industry and aren't afraid of technology and change.  So what is it then?  What is the core problem?  Fear, money, change, arrogance, stubbornness? 

I was talking to an Autodesk employee yesterday who told me that during a conversation they had, a customer said they didn't see their firm needing Revit for at least 10 years.  We both laughed at that.  I foresee that Revit will be at 80% full adoption in 3 years or less.  Owners and contractors are demanding it.  As more Design-BIM-Build projects get underway, you're going to be told what software that you'll be using, and it won't be any 2D CAD software.

Remember, construction documents are documents for construction.  That means you actually need to provide the documents necessary for construction.  Providing a bunch of manually drawn lines in 2D doesn't really provide the "Information" ideally to satisfy the needs of the owner. 


Elliott June 25, 2010 at 7:01 PM  

The AIA 2009 firm survey (http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/thisweek09/1009/1009b_firmsurvey.cfm) shows that 79% of firms have 9 or fewer employees. Firms with 49 or fewer employees accounted for 50% of the billings. These firms are not chasing the jobs or working for owners which require the level of sophistication that BIM provides. Even in this economic environment, these relatively small firms of 49 people do not have the budgets to train employees or purchase new software. Interesting side note: 2% of firms have 100 or more employees and 30% of the staff and 36% of the billings.

I use Revit everyday and see the benefits. I love Revit. I want Revit to permeate the market. Revit will permeate the top 2% of firms (if it hasn't already) and 30% of staff that work on jobs where contractors and owners demand BIM. The bottom 98% of firms and 70% of staff will not adopt Revit in the next 3 years because their owners and contractors do not care about BIM.

cekonomides,  June 28, 2010 at 3:23 AM  

"Providing a bunch of manually drawn lines in 2D doesn't really provide the "Information" ideally to satisfy the needs of the owner"
Altough I use Revit and recognize its merit in our profession, I would strongly disaggree with the above statement and consider it as not politically correct. Most of Architecture as we know it today was built by bunches of such lines. In either case, BIM or BIMless, "the garbage in - garbage out" principle prevails to the optimum of the tool usage. Such a statement is insulting to a great number of still functioning colleagues who still produce inspired architecture for their continuing clients and the world.

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