BIM series round up


Today I will be rounding up some of the key points and questions raised during the #BIMseries event yesterday. Overal the event was a great success with a lot of valuable information being discussed. Over 800 live viewers tuned in to watch, with the conversation flowing on Twitter. I would just like to personally thank the organisers and all of the guest speakers for putting on a great event and very much look forward to the next episode in March. 

One of the first topics of discussion was the communication between different models which Duncan Reed from Balfour Beatty was discussing. He talked about the importance of collaboration within a project, and discussed ways that the model was shared. Here is an example designed by Space Architects for the collaboration of a model – Thanks to @SuButcher for the link (Asites collaboration model here). Duncan discussed the Victoria station upgrade and the methods they used for a succesful collaboration including different levels of shared information between architect/engineer etc. Another interesting point was the fact they had used different software platforms to combine and collaborate. This is often misconceved as a problem when discussing the possibility of work sharing.

Nathan Doughty discussed the management of data in a model using the BIM process and the importance of a shared model from an early phase of the design. Comparing each project participant to a data silo, stating that poor management of data will cause significant problems to a model. Large amounts of data is only a bad thing if it is not managed well. Both Nathan and Duncan talked about the need to host multiple models on a collaboration extranet like Asite or Projectwise. This begun the discussion of cloud computing and cloud collaboration. 

With 31% of attendees stating that they already use cloud services in the BIM process along with some of the other high BIM usage figures, it was a bit of a contrast to the overal trends of the AEC industry. The reason for this probably being that those tuning in already had a passion for BIM and therefore use it in their practices more than those who know little about it. 

One of the main concerns for me would be the issue of security / privacy when using a cloud based service. Companies spend lots of money protecting their work and keeping it private, having it all stored online would be a big concern for some people. I think there definitely needs to be some law’s / insurance issues sorted out before companies start to have 100% faith in a cloud style collaboration. James Middling touched on the topic of this. There was a discussion about a BS (British standard) being issued for this type of contract / procedure. With figures such as Paul Morrell having a big influence on the government policies, the future for BIM as well as the AEC industry is sure to rocket. 

Other topics raised included the ownership of a model after the collaborative process. The general response for this, was that the model becomes the property of the client once the design is complete. This would be similar to handing over blueprints but you would think a fully developed model designed with BIM, would be of a lot more value to the client for future additions/maintenance etc than ‘unintelligent’ 2D blueprints.

Following on from this topic, the next episode of the BIM series in March will discussing ownership and collaboration of the model. There were many other interesting subjects highlighted over the event, which can be viewed on demand here in case you missed it yesterday. The points I’ve highlighted here were, off the top of my head, the main issues raised. Again a big thanks to all the speakers and organisers, and I look forward to taking part in the next episode of the series.


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About Ben Malone

Information Manager for BIM.Technologies in London

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