Best BIM Bad BIM: Allister Lewis

Best BIM Bad BIM - Allister Lewis

Best BIM Bad BIM is back! Answered from either a personal or industry-viewpoint perspective, BBBB sees a member of the #GlobalBIMCrew divulge their best and worst BIM experiences and what they learned from each. Today’s guest is Southampton-based BIM Consultant Allister Lewis. The founder of Allister Lewis Studio, co-founder of the South BIM Hub and one of Hampshire County Council’s Design and Implementation architects lets us know his best and worst things about BIM.

What is Allister’s Best BIM Experience?

My best BIM experience was leading the recent completion of one of the first new build Primary Academy schools in the country, Berewood Primary School. We used BIM to from the outset to assist at all stages of the project;

• Planning drawings stage – the model simplified the production of our drawings.
• Detailed design stage – we used clash detected software and coordinated our work in BIM workshops with federated models.
• On site – the contractor used Sitedesk’s software to understand the building in collaborative workshops and on tablets with subcontractors.

BIM was responsible in part for the building being completed on time and no clashes reported between the major structural, services or architectural disciplines. I found that the consultants involved all got on board with the approach, collaborated together to work things through effectively and the communication between the team was increased overall. This increase in communication and team ethos was a pleasure to be a part of and makes the process of delivering a project smoother.

What is Allister’s Worst BIM Experience?

I don’t have a worst BIM experience – more challenges that can be frustrating to overcome. For example, understanding and implementing new IT infrastructure required to use the technology effectively is challenging. Going from traditional 2D CAD packages to 3D modelling packages (usually more than one) with potentially complex information has meant that we have had to research and invest and this can be a challenge for any organisation.

Additionally I am keen that the whole lifecycle of a project is considered early and this is built into the Employer’s Information Requirements (EIRs) early. This is a challenge for clients currently and I think that clients need support and guidance to assist them to receive the benefits of BIM for their projects over the lifecycle of the building.

What lessons has Allister learned from both?

There is a lot to learn across work stages for clients, consultants, contractors, subcontractors and facilities management organisations, however the people who have begun developing an understanding of this and have tested this in some ways are able and very willing to share this back to those ready to embark on BIM projects.

BIM offers some very exciting opportunities in terms of greater communication, collaboration and delivering high quality projects for clients. I personally have enjoyed researching, testing and working in a new way – it has made my job a more interesting and enjoyable experience.

Learn more about Allister Lewis Studio by clicking here. Follow Allister on Twitter via his handle @allisterlewis. Also, see the South BIM Hub for local BIM events regionally here.

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