Would You Like Some Chilli Sauce With Your BIM?

This Viewpoint article by Christopher Pynn and John Hainsworth, who are both Associates in Arup’s Sydney Office and actively involved in its BIM development and implementation, ponders on the question of “What is BIM?” and comes up with some interesting analogies between BIM and cuisine. Along the way, it also discusses Arup’s approach to BIM. It is a refreshingly candid article, and the analogy with food is unique and witty and makes for a great read!

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/viewpoint/2011/issue_60.html

4 thoughts on “Would You Like Some Chilli Sauce With Your BIM?

  1. Great article.

    The old maxum that said something about getting out what you put in, still holds true. Crap chilli sauce is still crap chilli sauce. Sure you can model it faster with BIM, check more stuff, look at everything in thousand ways, but if it does not work, then it’s a waste of time. The authors are in a great position; having had to do the hard work to figure it out, at some stage, is invaluable.

  2. I totally agree!

    I have been parametrically modeling since ’93 in various software, but mainly ArchiCAD. Three years ago, we started to see integrated 3D thinking and software implementation finally starting to happen with our design partners, but even then, the ‘process’ thinking was still very much in a 2D delivery character. In the last twelve months, various firms have finally started to soften their ‘legal’ justifications for withholding models and the contractors have finally begun asking for BIM data as part of our major projects.

    The status of corporate delivery structures and also design management processes, in New Zealand anyway, is still firmly rooted in the 2D ethos and traditional relationships between clients, contractors, and consultants. Only recently have clients and contractors seen the vision of data benefits to them and switched on to the value of reusing digital data for more than just producing 2D contract documents. Software maturity has seen most CAD software capable for at least 4-5 years. We still need user and process maturity at corporate and design management levels to allow the widespread quality implementation of BIM processes.

    In other words, we’ve had the capacity for a long time. We, as the AEC industry, haven’t embraced the new non ‘software tool’ processes well enough to actually make it happen. Software vendors are usually really good at telling us what each new tool actually does, might even be very able to talk about how their structural suite works with their architectural suite, but ask them how to create a truly open environment where at stake holders from cradle to grave have access to validated data and see how far you get as a user. This is, however, how the design portion of the process can justify the additional expense to the client paying the fees. What benefit do they get if they don’t have a CAD package and a technical user base to maintain it at FM and corporate level?

    Many a great vision has been destroyed by a strategy that doesn’t match the required outcome.

  3. The fact that the article was written from a Singaporean perspective, with the mentioning of the BCA initiative, raises the obvious question of the influence of the administrative and political culture and the properties of the building industry networks of a particular part of the world to the possibility of success of such an initiative and the up-take of BIM in projects and processes in general.

    Building laws and regulations may contain very qualitative and ambiguously defined clauses, with no hope for automation or workable model checking, the building officials may have rather varying ideas of the application of the clauses, and the industry network itself could be composed of very small actors with aging workforce and very little access to technology.

    It may be that a fundamentally “authoritarian” system such as BIM may have its greatest success in more tightly controlled environments. I’d very much like to see the BIM concept re-engineered and the modelling products standardized in such a way that even the smallest of the actors in the building and construction industry could benefit by its adoption.

  4. I fully agree with the anonymous (third) commentator.

    This is what we are experiencing in the Third World. The curricula should accommodate these paradigms as soon as possible!

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