Only 3D? You are worthless and don’t deserve to say BIM Model
Have you watched this 4 minute video on modeling the Sagrada Familia in ArchiCAD 16 with the new Morph Tool? It’s insane. Take some time and watch it. Too busy? Just skip through a few parts of it. And then be prepared to end up watching the whole thing anyways.
Now I can already hear many of you screaming at your computers “But this isn’t BIM! This is just fancy dumb modeling! That niche doesn’t know it’s a niche, that window doesn’t know it’s a window! How is this BIM?!”
Calm… Think Happy Thoughts
So here’s my philosophy (it’s plastered all over this blog, all the way back to Day One): there are two ways to achieve BIG BIM.
Start with lists and schedules. Create complex relationships and build deep, big data. The model comes second. The drawings? Who cares. They are just graphic representations of the Building Information. In the acronym BIM, it’s the I that matters. Everything else is subservient to the Information.
Now there’s another way to look at BIM. The Information is only useful if it supports what we need to do anyways: designing (and documenting) our built environment. It’s Building Models. Instead of mastering mountains of text, equations, and numbers, master virtual construction. Focus on how building projects within the computer helps further the design and understanding of the spaces created. I promise you. If you are skilled enough with ArchiCAD (or Revit or whatever your BIM tool is) to build that Sagrada Familia model, then turning those elements at some future point into something intelligent and scheduleable will be a joke. You’ll be able to do it in your sleep.
I believe that this second route is the way into BIG BIM for most of us. I know it has been for me. Once you are modeling accurately and beautifully, you will discover how to add deeper levels of Information. Or more likely, through great modeling you will see other layers of Information that you can already extract from your model. Interested in quantity take-offs? First get obsessed with knowing how to model those quantities accurately. Then learn how to schedule them. Then learn how to tweak your models so that the scheduling is easier, faster, and more useful.
What’s more important for you right now?
Do you want the Information or do you want amazing 3D models and traditional documentation? You will get all of that, but you most likely can’t have it all now. Not for the fees and time you have. If you spend the next year focusing on good models, you can then learn from all the great architects and BIM Managers who are currently figuring out collaboration, listing, scheduling, etc. And yes this means that if you are not already doing one or both of these pieces well, you can’t magically be awesome at BIG BIM in time to submit that RFP next week (so maybe think about teaming up with an expert or firm that is).