Using BIM to Inform Design

  • Building Design Expert
  • 3 years ago

Video courtesy of David Miller Architects and Westminster University.

How do we inspire widespread BIM adoption?

There is certainly plenty of excitement around building information modelling (BIM) in our industry at the moment. The UK Government’s stated desire to see centrally procured public sector projects delivered in this way by 2016 has energised the Construction sector and driven much discussion about culture, processes, barriers, training and general approach.

Indeed many events and seminars are held on a weekly basis to raise awareness and consider the different facets that adopting BIM presents us with. Social media has undoubtedly supported this with many professionals now interacting on networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn to share knowledge and experience (hash-tags such as #BIM or #UKBIMCrew are particularly popular well worth reading on a regular basis).

But in amongst the noise, activity and hype we must stand back and ask ourselves: are the efforts of those promoting BIM really penetrating the industry and reaching a widespread audience? The UK BIM Task Group took a quick straw poll at one recent event to discover that roughly two thirds of attendees had been to five or more similar BIM sessions in the past year. Indeed, start going to BIM events or conferences on a regular basis and you’ll quickly see a pattern of familiar faces.

Whilst it is great to have advocators and industry leaders on BIM, we must reach the masses if we are to realise its ultimate value proposition.  Aside from the BIM promoters on one side, and the detractors on the other, the vast majority of AEC professionals in the centre remain unengaged and are yet to be mobilised.

That desire is what drove Fred Mills and Tom Payne to establish an online video resource for BIM.

Their library is aspiring to reach one million views and one million members, taking BIM knowledge sharing from a small core of keen professionals to the masses. The B1M or ‘BIM one million’ is free to use and worth signing up to: TheB1M.

We caught up with Fred and discussed his motives for The B1M: “I’m passionate about BIM adoption and believe it will deliver a better built environment for us all to enjoy”

“Reaching a wide audience and mobilising them is the key to this. I know that reading up on BIM can be taxing and time-consuming. Video is an easy and engaging format that people find simpler to digest. It offers a path of least resistance for knowledge sharing”.

Fred wants The B1M to benefit a wide audience around the world and is inviting anyone to use his platform; including clients, organisations, individuals and project teams. Testament to their efforts so far they’ve just been shortlisted for BIM Initiative of the Year at the Construction News Awards 2014, alongside Costain, Mace and BAM amongst others.

Harnessing the power of their video resource, The B1M recently launched an initiative to share teaching from industry professionals with University students through filmed ‘classes’. Loughborough and Westminster Universities have backed the scheme, joined by the BIM Task Group: B1M University.

Fred also spoke of how ‘overwhelming’ volumes of digital information had created a barrier for beginners trying to find out more about BIM. He attempted to overcome this in March by launching the world’s first hard copy BIM newspaper, freely distributed to over 2,000 BIM professionals around the world (with particularly strong receptions in the USA and Australia).

You can subscribe to future editions here: The B1M Mail.