IFS UK and Construction News hosted a roundtable event in the Gherkin, London on the 28th November to discuss building information modelling (BIM). It was a very lively debate with some of the top BIM experts in the country attending, including Mark Bew, Chairman of the Building Information Modelling (BIM) Task Group.
Many questions were debated including:
- What is BIM?
- Is BIM a misleading term?
- Do we need to change the way do business?
- Are traditional ways of working like applications for payments still the way we should work together? Do we need to adopt a more collaborative culture and way of working?
- What can the construction industry learn from other industries?
- Is the quantity survey/estimate/takeoff still needed in the new BIM world?
- Is the construction industry in westernized countries going to suffer the same fate as other industries like shipbuilding?
- How do we get traditional senior management to understand what BIM is really about?
- How do we get the industry to accelerate the adoption of mobile technology?
- What is lean construction?
I am not going to answer all these questions here. Construction News will publish a write-up on the debate in January 2014. That should be very interesting.
Two conclusions I made from the meeting were:
- BIM is NOT about buying a 3D modelling product. BIM is really an integrated process to manage information across all stages of an asset lifecycle. It involves the integration of processes, information and technologies. It is about changing the way we do business and continuous improvement. This business change must start with a more integrated systems approach to managing all stages of the assets life. We need to move from a document driven process to an integrated data driven approach.
- We NEED to change the way we behave and become more integrated and collaborative in the way we work, or we will fail.
If you do not change, expect major disruption to your business.
BIM should be seen as a critical competitive weapon.