BIM as part of the Digital switchover

  • Building Design Expert
  • 9 years ago

No, not that digital switchover. So you won’t need to check your granny is up to speed on yet another facet of technology. This particular digital switchover is the one that’s been creeping up on us for the last decade, and is just about to tap us on the shoulder with it’s own baseball bat. So if you hear about A & Es up and down the country being overrun by an influx of¬†engineers and architectural sorts, it’s quite possible that may be the cause. The greatest damage being that to their wallets and maybe their pride: Why didn’t we address this sooner?

We know BIM is no stranger to controversy. It’s going to be expensive, and it’s going to demand a steep learning curve, which will underline the expense if nothing else at this stage.

It was famously tweeted from the BIM Show Live held at the beginning of November 2011, that the vast majority of building sites will be paperless in five years time. It’s an interesting thought provoking statement. Of course it’s never going to happen, but it’s an interesting statement none the less.

Of course there is no reason why it should not happen, apart perhaps from the legal stand point of maintaining a physical paper trail. Paper! We cannot get away from it. But, that aside, the technology is there. It’s screaming at us to be embraced. As with the larger projects, being effectively forced upon the industry. Adoption by the masses will be brutal, yet clean. There will be no bloodshed. The government simply said there will be a ‘digital switchover’ in TV broadcasting, and this one will happen in a very similar way and the Rotring pen will be consigned to the British museum along with all the other architectural relics. If there are any architectural relics reading this post please take a breath at the end of this paragraph. Ok Now.

Our beloved National Building Specification, what would we do without them? They were good enough to organisea whole conference on BIM, asking the question “are you ready for the digital switchover?” They ran a series of discussions, seminars and general information overload to see if there was anyone out there that actually knew anything about BIM at all. Then they told everyone they had done it. There’s a link to the web site below with a raft of text and videos, one of which they have been kind enough to donate to this post:

David Philip has been appointed as head of BIM implementation to the government. That’s his second job. His day job is heading up the BIM strategy for Balfour Beatty Construction. So if he looks a bit bleary eyed, that’s the very good reason why.

Building Information Modelling, to give it’s full title, is decades old, but it is so new. Let me clarify. The idea of BIM has been around for so long that some of it’s first protagonists have long since retired. The idea of BIM is so simple, but the implementation is so complicated as to be ignored by the masses until the biggest pay master decides that it can become the next big thing. The government have seized upon this as a way to demonstrate a clear path to save huge sums of public money. The new bit is ‘technology’. Current technology has empowered professionals and contractors alike with computer based tools to assist the pursuit of the the ‘golden fleece’ that is BIM.

Not that BIM is ALL about computers, or computer software. Not on their own anyway. BIM is about a process. A way of working, within which the alignment of digital information is pivotal, as is the commitment of the entire design team to achieve a common goal, rather than the own goal that too many professionals have scored by burying head in sand.

The following video seeks to describe BIM from the contractors side

Video provided courtesy of NBS – ‘BIM – Are you ready for the digital switchover?’ You can find out more here

Want to know more? check out Green BIM