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Friday, June 25, 2010

RFIs, BIM, Neo, Victor and a lot of begging [Rant]

I haven't even started this post and know I'm going to go off in 30 different tangents. 

First, I want to congratulate Victor Ramsey for starting yet another BIM blog.  I can already tell this one's going to be special.  Victor and I have had several lengthy conversations and I believe I inspired him to start his new blog, http://neobim.blogspot.com.  Within seconds, it all made sense.  Neo, The Matrix, Data all tied into the concept of BIM.  Victor, great work on your first post and you better create a post a day.  The world needs your BIM knowledge and experience and frustrations out there so we can all see what you've been going through to be a BIM evangelist in a 2D world.

There was one word in Victors first post that really sparked something in my mind.  He mentioned the acronym RFI.  We throw that word around every day, receive millions of them worldwide on a daily basis on projects, but have you really every dissected what it means.

RFI ~ Request for Information.  So, what does that mean?  It means that information is missing, conflicting, erroneous, outdated or incomplete.  I think they should be called BFIs, Begging for Information.  Why is information missing?  Why is it incomplete?  Why are there conflicts between the architectural, structural and systems drawings? 

What is wrong with the system?  Why do the contractors and bidders have to beg for a complete set of documents for construction?  Where's the professional integrity of creating CDs?  Why has the system failed?  What a frustrating, inefficient and error prone process people use to create their documents.  You may as well use a typewriter and etch-a-sketch.

...and then BIM shows up.  If you're a designer and have had one RFI on a project do to a conflict that should have been resolved in CD creation, QA and QC, then shut up.  You didn't do your job.  Your job is to provide the owner with a complete set of documents.  If you aren't doing that, then how much longer can your business survive without BIM. 

Is it about the software?  Is it about the geometry?  Is it about the specifications? Is it about the quantities?  Is it about the content?  Is it about the coordination?  The more conversations I have with the BIM rock stars and leaders in the industry, the more I see how huge BIM is going to be.  There are leaders and there are followers.  There are early adopters and there are laggards.  Can you afford to wait 10 years to start using a BIM authoring tool? 

Begging for Information.  Begging for BIM.  It's all about the information and more so, it's about sharing the information.  Every time I hear an architect say how they won't share their model or drawings with contractors, I just cringe as to how out of touch they are.  They always talk about liability.  Their attitude is a liability to the success of the project.  Yes, there are legal issues involved in who owns the data, the model and the design.  No, I have no idea what the final answer is on who pays for it, who owns it and who can access it.  Read your own AIA documents on BIM and IPD to see how your people have already tried to cover these topics. 

I'm BFA.  Begging for Adoption of BIM before it's too late.  Too late for what?  I'm not even sure anymore.  Is this the end of the architectural led methodology?  Is my Design-BIM-Build concept already taking over?  Who knows?  Who has that information?  I know, let's make an RFI and find out....but you better do it quickly, before you get a delay letter for not responding to all of the other RFIs sitting in your inbox.

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