In 2014 go BIM or Go home
A Revit User, an ArchiCAD User, and a Vectorworks User walk into a Bar…
This would be the way to start the post, if the genesis of the idea happened that way. But it didn’t; instead it was on Twitter. A comment was made that if the 30% of architects not using BIM quit, then we’d instantly have 100% adoption rates. Of course that’s crazy. Of course that’s inflammatory. Of course I love it. But we also all know that hidden in the 70% of architects who “use” BIM are high numbers of people who own the software but aren’t using it or use BIM programs at such low levels that the benefits from BIM are at best neutral.
Here’s the idea:
2014 is the year all architects switch to BIM or quit.
Before you unfollow me and toss your computer out the window, let me explain. Also let me throw Sean Burke under the bus too, since it was his comment that started this all (I can’t find his Tweet to give the exact quote).
BIM is about process improvement.
BIM is about adding value to what Architects do.
In 2014 commit to switching to BIM, commit to improving the level of BIM you are doing, and/or commit to a definitive path of how you’ll get to BIM. Even if that day is a few years off, you should be able to say when and how you’ll get there. Mastering BIM and integrating it into your business doesn’t happen overnight. It takes effort. It costs both time and money. Make 2014 the year you define your end goal and work backwards. Do you have an employee who will get you there? Do you need to hire an expert? Will you go by baby steps or by choosing a new software and deleting your old one (my vote)? In this push to make the switch also remember to ask why you are making the change. There are tons of reasons to go BIM and tons of benefits (production, coordination, design, and integration being my favorite), but there is one that interests you most. Focus on that and get there. In 2014.
What’s so special about 2014? Keep watching this blog and elsewere. The latest versions of Revit, ArchiCAD, and other BIM applications will come out and be amazing (we know this because we always get new versions every year). New computers will come out that are even faster and more powerful. But maybe the simplest reason is this: if you acknowledge that ArchiCAD was the first BIM program in the architecture world, then BIM turns 30 this year. THIRTY. How many more years can you go avoiding this movement?
If you think this is all bullshit, pause for a moment and take a stand. Lay out why you don’t need BIM. Why what you’re doing works, adds the most value, and is fundamental to your worth as an Architect. And then share that. With me, with the AIA, with whomever you can. Remind us all (and especially yourself) why BIM is a red herring, why BIM isn’t a panacea, and why a different way improves what you do. Don’t focus on how BIM can or can’t do this or that. That’s too subjective, and negative. Focus on why what YOU do is the best. And then figure out ways to make it better. Because maybe, just maybe one of the reasons architects continue to lose ground is that we are focusing on the wrong things. Perhaps we should just stick with our classic tools and abdicate the rest to others. Seriously, maybe we’ve gotten horribly distracted since the invention of CAD and BIM so many decades ago.
If you don’t want BIM, stop pussy footing around. Stand up and say “I will outperform my competition without this silly fad. I do not need fancy technology to be the best.” Then when someone asks “do you BIM?” just say “Nope. I am going down a different path. Best of luck with it; I just don’t need it. And I never will.”