DCN ARCHIVES

September 25, 2009

Webcast examines BIM virtues, challenges

Building Information Modeling is all the rage these days. At least, that’s one conclusion you could draw after more than one thousand people took part in Reed Construction Data’s ‘Lessons in BIM Adoption’ webcast Sept. 23.

More than 250 questions were submitted during the course of the webcast from an audience that included architects, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, manufacturers and those in finance.

BIM uses three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic modeling software to share data for building design and construction.

The technology incorporates building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components.

BIM will “change processes, relationships, and responsibilities for everyone involved in design, construction, manufacturing, facilities management and operations,” said Dennis Neeley, product director with Reed Construction Data, and one of the panelists on the webinar.

All the rules are about to be “rewritten,” he said. “This is the start of a new era, and a new era means there are opportunities for everybody.

Fellow panelist Mark Mergenschroer, a BIM development co-ordinator with TME Inc., an engineering firm headquartered in Little Rock, AK, said his firm has seen a “a huge increase” in BIM requirements.

Whether it’s from owners, architects requiring models because of those owners, states requiring BIM models and facilities requiring the technology for management purposes – more and more clients these days demand BIM.

Indeed, TME had five BIM jobs in 2007; 13 in 2008 and 34 in 2009 - an increase of 162 per cent in 2009 alone. “We had to really get on board with it to take care of our clients,” Mergenschroer said.

Not that BIM comes without challenges. In addition to the cost of the technology, Mergenschroer noted, there are software limitations and specific computer requirements to handle BIM.

BIM takes up “a lot of network traffic,” he said, and there’s always the risk of “over-modeling out of excitement.”

But in the end, BIM “is the future and you’re going to need to know it,” Neeley said.

“It’s epic. It’s going to change how we do a lot of things.”

You can listen to the archived webcast here.

-RCD Digital Media

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