Saturday, March 17, 2007

BIM a porter

In over twenty years of implementing and using digital technology, both as an engineer and later as an architect, the most valuable lesson I have learned is the one of “critical practice”. Unfortunately, even though BIM as a methodology is nothing more than a transplant from more advanced areas of industrial production, it is truly amazing to see the extent to which acceptance, without scrutiny, is being preached over the last two years. Due to the nature of my work I happen to be more or less aware of the current status that BIM has in a large number of architectural firms of various size, and the datasets that are in circulation within those same offices, as well as in between different disciplines on the same job, are a far cry from being BIM compliant. Isn’t it high time to slow down and try to focus on core functionality and interoperability, versus creating this more than ideal picture of “shall” before “have”. Let us see a benchmarked project, completed and fully exposed in the public domain as a case study that can be dissected and scrutinized for the benefit of the entire AEC community. Implementing BIM should be a learning process that transcends the individuality that is still admired as a defining characteristic of any architectural office. Such methodology should create a solid foundation for not only more efficient design but also that which has achieved its materialization through iterative analysis and has proven the test of time. In today’s culture of blitz marketing and short lived commodities, it is hard to become a believer in “sustainable” when methodology itself has become prĂȘt a porter.