“The future is data, not documents”: Will Bricklayers be utilising BIM in the future?

Credit: Wikimedia
Credit: Wikimedia

Building Information Modelling appears to be revolutionising every sector of architecture, engineering and construction, yet will it impact the work smaller bricklaying businesses?

A discussion relating to the above question closed off an audio webinar hosted by Building.co.uk last week entitled ‘The completion of Level 2 BIM – What does it mean for you?‘. After discussing major talking points including the Construction Industry Council‘s Digital Plan of Work (DPoW) and how the UK‘s BIM standards compare to those elsewhere in the world.

As part of the final Q&A session conducted after the main period of presentations, one listener asked whether masons of the future will have their trowel accompanied by a laptop with BIM software.

“I don’t think we’ll ever quite get rid of a 2D representation of a wall, but that will be derived from the model,” answered John Adams, 4BIM Product Manager at 4Projects by Viewpoint. “We will still have sections and plans derived from the 3D information so the bricklayer will still see the information how he expects but it will be on a tablet and will be in tandem with what’s being modelled by the design team and there’ll be more data at his fingertips.

Adams elaborated: “There’ll be information that looks similar to today, yet in a different format on tablets and delivered to sites in a more real-time way. We’re not expecting the guys with fingers full of mortal to try and pinch/zoom a mobile device to get to the right bit of the model and start rotating through 3D views. The plans aren’t going to go away for a long time yet if they ever do, they’ll just be derived form a different source.”

Additional comment came from NBSStephen Hamil, who summarised the shift in culture across all AEC sectors. He said: “It is easy to take well-structured information and make it simple; you can always print out from a model. You can’t create a model very easily from paper.

“The future is data, not documents.”

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