December 4, 2012

Building Information Modeling is worth the effort!
True, you might consider adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) to give your company a tactical opportunity in this competitive landscape, and you would be absolutely right.  But BIM provides your business more value than that.  You gain a distinct business advantage since BIM allows you to directly relate the use of technology with the goals of your building projects.
Amidst a changing and evolving design, BIM delivers consistency and coordination:
Regardless of who is making changes to the design, and regardless of how many times the design changes, the model and its underlying data remains more accurate, consistent, and coordinated for all three disciplines of architecture, engineering and construction.  As designers change, move and add elements to the model, the BIM software coordinates those changes automatically.  Sections, elevations and plans are all updated, but also nongraphic views of that same underlying data such as a door or window schedule.  This automation of tasks enables staff to spend their time thinking about the design instead of thinking about software commands.  Accuracy, efficiency, productivity and profitability are the resulting values to the project team, improving the construction documents and the reliability of their designs.
BIM enables analysis and simulation:
The model that is created, coupled with the use of information inherently contained within the model, provides for an opportunity to run analysis and simulation on your designs.  A broad range of possibilities presents itself for the project team to design better buildings.  Structural analysis, construction simulation, environmental or energy analysis, day lighting, solar studies and visualization are but a few of those opportunities.
Intelligence and building component relationships are built into the model:
Under the hood of BIM is a complex database that contains geometric data and nongraphic information coupled with a knowledge of component relationships.  For example, a diffuser knows it is part of the supply air system and that it is supplying air at 150 cfm.  A wall knows that it can host a door and will open itself up to receive that door.  The resulting intelligence yields model components that know how to act as well as interact with one another.
Model-based designs increase productivity of the designers by saving time, while at the same time providing an interactive way to relate to the model.  Outcomes are more predictable, more conflicts are resolved before construction begins, higher quality is achieved, and risk is reduced for architects and engineers.
The advantage of visualization:
BIM is a terrific path to solid construction documents, but also provides an opportunity for project visualization that you’ve never been able to accomplish with design development in 2D.  The model provides an immersive environment to stakeholders where they can clearly understand the evolving building design.  Cross-functional project teams gain valuable insights which increase their ability to make more informed decisions, faster.  Because of this enhanced communication of design concepts and ideas, stakeholders improve control over project outcomes.
Visualization clearly gives your firm an advantage in the marketplace by helping you to work more closely with Owners and win new business.  Here, BIM use is multifaceted – used to create high-impact marketing visuals with 3D animation and cinematic-quality renderings.  Or increase communication with the Owner to present interactive design alternatives and concepts.  With model-based designs, the client sees a 3D model that he or she understands, and can buy off on that design.
Differentiate yourselves to stay competitive:
The advantages you can achieve with BIM are extensive.  And the ability to deliver higher quality building projects at a lower cost will allow you to differentiate yourself and provide a competitive advantage.  Every discipline and stakeholder, from Planners, Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Owners have something huge to gain from a BIM-based process.  And the effort on your part to make this transition will produce value across all stages of the building lifecycle.
Talk with you soon,
Curt Egli
Curt joined Synergis in 2011 as a Solutions Engineer for the AEC Building side with over 20 years of industry experience and both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Architecture as well as a BFA in Interior Design and Planning. He has software expertise in nearly all the Autodesk architectural software having spent much of his career with Autodesk as a Technical Account Manager, and prior to this working in the AEC and Utilities industries.
Curt recorded webcasts in September The Business Value of BIM and BIM in the Cloud that have been highly viewed.  Check them out.