A new opinion post by an Arup employee has cited differences in opinion regarding how best to implement Building Information Modelling as a reason as to why the industry is “handicapping its potential”.
Alvise Simondetti believes that BIM users are split into two sides: those who see it as a way to achieve improved sustainability and those who see its best use as an innovation enabler. The resolution? Work together and get along.
” It’s time for the two BIM camps to start working together again – because when they don’t get along, they obstruct each other,” noted Simondetti.
The Italian architect lists various companies who credit sustainability or innovation as the primary reason for BIM’s success, before stating that opinions on classification are a big topic of debate. He elaborates: “The standardisers often argue that BIM is the only opportunity we have to impose structure on an unstructured industry. Imagine you’re designing a school building and a bridge and that the two designs use a steel beam. Standardisers would argue that you need a rigid classification so you can compare things like the relative cost or carbon footprint of the beams.
“But agreeing any industry-wide classification is a monstrously difficult task and is unnecessary when computation can do the same thing with unstructured data. I agree with RIBA Enterprises’ chief executive Richard Waterhouse, who said that classifications are for humans, not machines.”
Closing by asking “What’s the answer?” to the problem and coming to a compromise, Simondetti believes cooperation and patience are key values to possess.
“What’s the answer? I believe that both camps should be patient, inclusive and co-operative. They should look for synergies. And they should respect and promote each other’s practice, as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Conversely, I believe that focussing on one or the other view might mean the naysayers that don’t want the status quo to change will get their way.”
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