Monday, March 05, 2012

Are architects doing enough to be bim leaders?

I few weeks back I was asked to write a comment piece on whether I thought architects in general were stepping up to the plate and making themselves BIM leaders. It maybe a UK centric issued, but I am dismayed by the fact the architectural industry doesn’t recognise BIM as a potential opportunity. The extract from this article is below. I hope I can revisit this in years to come & me be proven wrong!

“Are architects doing enough to be bim leaders?”

It would love to say yes, but it pains me to say that I don’t think that is the case. I am privileged that I am employed by a forward thinking firm who recognises the business benefit for using BIM. Within HOK, BIM leadership is driven right from the top by our CEO Patrick McCleamy & the rest of the HOK board. BIM & buildingSMART is one of HOK’s five main business drivers.

There are certainly other architectural firms who also driving the BIM leadership message. However, on the whole, architects are just thinking that BIM is 3d, a quicker way to do a coordinated set of drawings or high quality visualisations. There are others who are sceptical, thinking that BIM is just a fad, it stifles creativity and is doomed failure. But then I remember, people said the same about CAD & before that the fax machine.

Sure enough 3d modelling is one component, but the possibilities extend far beyond that. It has been said many times before; it is the “I” in the BIM that is one of the most important components of this new collaborative process. Information & knowledge, empowers you. Being able to manage & take a lead in the BIM collaboration process potentially allows the architect to once again become the master builder, the integrator.

I understand the challenges with investing in the BIM processes & the necessary supporting technology in these turbulent times. Nether the less, BIM is an opportunity & that opportunity will not last for ever. If architects don’t embrace it & take a lead, there will be plenty in the wings who will certainly step up & grab the BIM leadership crown.


Aaron Maller said...

Im glad to see you post this. I was just asked to write a short presentation on Emerging Technology in our industry, and i said the exact same thing. I am surrounded by both:

1. Architects who feel they will lead the process and take back "control" throughout construction.

2. GC's who feel they will lead the process and marginalize Architects right out of CD's alltogether.

Both sound blasphemous if youre on one side of the fence, but if youre about BIM and pushing the innovation as far as it can go, you can make a great case for both of the above.

The crown is there. The question is, who wants to wear it, and who just wants a new haircut?

Scott Chatterton said...

I think your thoughts are echoed by anyone passionate about BIM.
There appears to be two streams of thought... one where the Professional Consultants are enthusiastic and passionate not only about design but the whole construction process and see the benefits to being on the leading edge and those who are content on being dragged along by those that lead!

Your blog was very thought provoking.... I actually wrote more on my own blog, referring to your blog and comments.

Thanks David !

Jordon Gillman said...

Thanks! I reposted this on our

It's been a question brought up here a lot, especially from the contractors side.

Sudip Choudhury said...

Commenting from India - I couldn't agree more. However there are some albeit very few architects who are stepping upto the challenge but then they find themselves shackled when everybody around them from Clients' to Consultants undermine this effort and play spoil sport.
It seems that the 'I' in BIM is extremely precious and needs to be guarded rather than being open and collaborative.