BIM Technology Can Offer Significant Benefits

Opening the door to new technologies offers both the promise of improved efficiencies and the manifest challenges of its adoption. Our move into production using BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a case in point. One definition describes BIM as “the process of designing a building collaboratively using one coherent system of computer models rather than separate sets of drawings”. That would be an apt description from an architect’s initial perspective. Autodesk elaborates further, “BIM is an intelligent 3-D model-based process that gives architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.”

As a firm, we are excited to venture into this world, looking to capitalize on improvements in coordination of our own documents with related professional disciplines. A4 has already completed a number of projects using the BIM process and tools. Staff are rapidly gaining valuable experience on live work, although the learning curve to become efficient has been steeper than we had originally presumed.

How do you become a believer in its benefits? Well, for our office, it was being witness to its potential in action. Certainly a key factor to successful implementation of BIM has been having related disciplines (especially structural and mechanical engineering) use the same approach. We have witnessed that conflicts are more readily identifiable as are options for resolution. The challenge of one institutional project’s ductwork routing was quickly met using the new visualization tools. It doesn’t hurt watching a stair section appear as if by magic after a few key strokes either…