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Monday, February 11, 2013

BIM - Build Twice - Get Paid Once

Are you familiar with the phrase measure twice cut once? I keep having an argument or discussion with myself and others as to what exactly BIM is. We have software, technology, people, clash detection, visualization, virtualization and information. So what exactly makes BIM, BIM?

As usual, there's a lot of chatter recently about how contractors are using BIM more than Architects. Duh! Contractors have more risk, more potential profit, more money and that's the reason that they use it more than anyone else. Of course they're having a huge struggle getting subcontractors to use BIM, but that's another blog post.

So why aren't architects doing it more? Well, because it's hard, takes a lot of time, requires people with a knowledge of construction, and there just aren't enough people that are fluent in BIM. Architects have to virtually design and virtually build a building to make sure that it actually would work in the real world. Building the building virtually is a much more extensive process then just drawing lines on layers. On top of that, there's so much information that can be linked in to the BIM database that I'm amazed when I see it happening day to day in our office and the amount of effort and skill that goes into our projects.

My point? I don't know if I really have one but it was just a thought about how we're building the building virtually the first time so it can be built accurately on the job site the second time. There is a huge value and benefits to many people that are involved in the process and I only wish that architects got paid more money when they're doing the level of BIM that we are. Twice the work and half the money doesn't really seem like a way to sustain the architectural industry.


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DaveK February 12, 2013 at 11:37 AM  

We are builders. Our architects like draw draw pretty lines, and sometimes color over them in pretty pictures. So we hire them to do just that and then stop. We ask them to please stop at that point, and stop charging us for what they try to do beyond that point.

Then we BIM. Because We're builders & our BIM works.

I like what you are talking about here Gregory, but I think what happens in your scenario is the building is built 3 times. 1 architect BIM, 1 builder BIM, 1 builder build.

But you are correct. If your firm can do it right the first time, they should be compensated handsomely.

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