Best BIM Bad BIM: Peter Debney

Credit: Oasys Software
Credit: Oasys Software

Answered from either a personal or industry-viewpoint perspective, Best BIM Bad BIM sees a member of the #GlobalBIMCrew divulge their best and worst BIM experiences and what they have learned from both. An Application Specialist at Oasys Software, Peter Debney lets BIMcrunch know what behaviours and trends he believes are Best and Bad within the Building Information Modelling sector.

Having been involved with BIM for about 20 years it has been interesting to see how the idea has finally started to sprout. Of course, it wasn’t called BIM back in the 90’s, but more usual EDT (Electronic Data Transfer) or Concurrent Engineering.

What does Peter believe the BIM industry is doing best at the moment?

The best thing about BIM these days is that it is finally being taken seriously by the construction industry. There have been voices crying in the wilderness for a couple of decades, with a few bridges being built between the islands of automation (remember those?). I think that the change has come about through the combined demand for interoperability by major clients such as the UK Government, and the supply of suitable tools by the software industry.

We are getting a lot of interest in MassMotion, our pedestrian modelling software. One reason for which is its BIM capacity: the fire and transport engineers, architects or indeed anyone involve in the planning and design process, do not want to recreate the model when there is already one they can use.

What does Peter believe are the Bad trends in BIM?

There is still a lot of misunderstanding around what BIM actually means. Some still think that it means a 3D model (dumb or otherwise), or using Revit, or just talking about it. The latter seems less like Building Information Modelling and more like Bandwagon Integrated Marketing.

I am also not convinced that the question of deliverables has been properly resolved. For example, I still see contracts where the deliverables are the drawings not the model. On the other hand, BIM does not negate the need for drawings, whether for manual checking or for giving to the guys up to their knees in mud on the construction site.

In addition, change control is a big risk: with marked-up drawings, it is clear what needs to be updated, but with electronic files, there is the risk that the knock-on effects of changes can be missed. It just is not practical to tie all the project requirements parametrically into one model.

What lessons does Peter think can be learned from both?

With BIM compatible solutions for structural analysis, pedestrian modelling and email management, we’ve learned that there are too many designers, engineers and architects out there wasting time, money and resources on non-BIM related procedures. BIM is a process, not a model or an individual project. It is the way we should work and helps us to become more efficient with increased collaboration and the sharing of vital information.

Oasys will be in attendance at BIM Show Live 2015 and will demonstrate their software at Stand 67. Follow them on Twitter for more information regarding their #BSL2015 involvement and their range of BIM products.

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