Jim McCarthy, Director-Solutions Engineering / Precon, Exyte
As a mechanical engineer specializing in the design-build delivery of high spec industrial projects, my career nested BIM experience, along with relevant project controls, quality and virtual commissioning in VDC now spans nearly twenty-five years. There have been seemingly countless BIM platform trainings, numerous project implementations – completions, process refinements this and lessons learned that, and the lot of my BIM cred capped by AEC conference BIM talks focused on 4D-5D-6D use cases, AR and drone integrations, even several on how blockchain might become a useful data flow and validation tool. This mess with the best yet to come. Yikes
This quick course of years has seen the selected milestones of CAD maturity beginning in the late 80’s, through the Autodesk acquisition of Revit Tech around 2003-03, and on into this spectacular ConTech revolution hitting stride over the last several years.
The myriad new and exciting working BIM-oriented solutions now available or near wider release is mind-bending. This chat won’t venture into any of them specifically. I need to keep it down to the cheese.
The digitization and data-driven storm is much welcomed by nearly everyone involved in BIM as a general tenet, and yet all innovations, however ground-breakingly novel, must pass the tests of end user value, and of course the yammer of start-up spin will forever be cheap.
The timeless kicker remains in how many of these impressive proof-of-concept tools achieve the last and most essential stage of lasting industry usefulness and acceptance.
‘Preaching to the proverbial choir on the real merits and market value of AEC digitization advances is old hat, and I mentioned it only as a way to pacify my continued frustration at the lack of a cohesive support behind making the transition toward a national BIM requirement for the US. This a very slowly unfolding dream that now lags a British initiative by some ten years. Put bluntly, in the spirit of a recent commercial featuring Skywalker and Piccard, I’m in need of more cheese to assuage my whine. Cheese front and center.
Back to grips - Given the exciting reach of ConTech into AI, with the subsequent blending of integrations by the major BIM software vendors between graphical and advanced data management / AI / VX, what strikes me a tad ironic is that BIM and related VDC potentials have remained relatively nascent and are only now showing the splendid possibilities which strong BIM advocates and practitioners such as myself have been yearning to see happen as a matter of course in the AEC sphere.
Not to detract from the conceptual marvels and proven ‘multi-D’ applications happening in mature AEC BIM shops, and via passionate BIM thought-leaders across the globe, and most certainly across the country, the aforementioned cheese has become a problem for the better and more pervasive success of BIM in the US AEC realm. A problem in that it is too often a default pacifier for the frustrations of those passionate and well convinced of BIM’s full promise, who must in practice tolerate the quite frequent, cheese-craving randomness of watered-down or even dismissed project BIM implementations. ‘Shut-up and have some cheese the BIM faithful are advised; we’ll engage the next project in BIM; more BIM next time; we do want to BIM….
Everyone wants to BIM, no?Not actually. ‘To the experience of many of us in AEC long convinced of the real powers of a consistently well engaged BIM program, not quite yet. Even after these last several decades of BIMcontinuous uses and advance, too often it doesn’t appear so. To BIM or not remains the central issue: the central sadly still open choice. Happy thoughts. Finish your cheese valiant BIM hopeful, there’s still plenty.