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Our top 3 tips for Adopting BIM

March 19th 2015

Around a year ago we were contacted by Rob Klashka of Studio Klashka who had read a proposal we’d written to speak at an event.  He was compiling a book of case studies based on early adopters of Building Information Modelling in smaller practices, who had harnessed its power in interesting ways to the benefit of their businesses and clients.  He invited us to submit a chapter blind so to speak and from there he and the publisher teased out of us a few different chapters before settling on this one.

After some debate we were asked to write a chapter on our Project with Riverside under the TSB Retrofit for the future program.  The chapter is titled Winning Research Funding with BIM. As part of the submission all the contributors were asked to offer 3 tips for practices looking to adopt BIM.  Ours were as follows:

“Without a decent understanding of construction BIM is next to useless.  Knowledge of design and building construction is much more useful to us than being able to use any particular software package, the former takes 5 years at university and 2 years practical training as a minimum, the basics of the latter can be taught in a matter of weeks.  For this reason the training of staff should begin with project architects rather than Stage 1 Architectural Assistants.

Select your software carefully and try to work towards open BIM where possible.  Accept that no one software provider can fulfil the needs of the entire construction industry and that other stakeholders - be they clients, contractors, engineers, surveyors, whatever - may need to use something different.  Specifically, whichever software you use to implement BIM, adopt the AEC (UK) BIM protocols as soon as possible.  People who have been doing it for years have written them, and the documents are free.  Use them!

Don't forget to account for some of the more hidden costs of adoption.  Time spent learning BIM, where it is not related to a specific project, is research and development and should be accounted for as such by the company.  Additionally and in the spirit of our case study, look out for funding streams to support the transition period.  Whilst there may not always be specific money for training, there is often match funding for some of the related services which can be accessed if you are prepared to look and Think Constructively..!”*

Should you wish to purchase a copy and find out the views of the other contributors, it is available from the RIBA bookshop here

*P41, BIM in Small Practices - Illustrated Case Studies, Robert Klashka, NBS Publishing, 2014