CASE’s MD talks BIM: “An opportunity for firms to create a new set of services”

Credit: CASE
Credit: CASE

The Managing Director of Building Information Modelling consultancy CASE has described BIM adoption as an opportunity for businesses to create a new set of information management services, urging them to “deliver value rather than just extract more money”.

David Fano was interviewed by global insurance firm XL Catlin, and discussed various BIM-related topics such as common misconceptions, ownerships of assets, contractual implications, benchmarking BIM implementation and more.

Check out various excerpts of the highly-insightful interview transcript below.

David Fano on the pitfalls of BIM: “I’d say the most common is thinking that buying the software is all they need to do. They tend to underestimate the time and commitment needed to train people to use the software properly and to revise work processes to accommodate this new way of designing.

“The firms that approach BIM in a slow, methodical way find the most success with it. They train their staff, provide over-the-shoulder support and then designate a project as a BIM pilot and identify the goals they want to achieve. Once they’ve been through a project and seen where the potential is, they can begin to broaden their use of the process.

“Firms also think that because they’ve paid a lot for BIM software, it’s going to do everything they could possibly need it to. That’s like thinking the only knife you need to prepare a five-course meal is a butcher’s knife. You’re also going to need some specialty tools if you really want to perform at a high level.”

Making the transition to BIM: “Our industry doesn’t have a history of having to deal with big technology shifts like this, so we’re not very comfortable accepting change. But I’m not sure it’s a generational problem. After all, those lines of people waiting to buy the newest iPhone aren’t made up of young people only. In fact, I’ve seen plenty of younger designers who are absolutely averse to learning BIM.

“While millennials may be more accustomed to surrounding themselves with technology, anyone who’s open to change, likes to learn new things, and considers him or herself an innovator will be able to succeed with BIM.

“At this point, we know the technology is here to stay and that’s a good thing. Firms that view BIM as an opportunity will succeed and those that regard it as an obligation will have a harder time.”

On who owns the BIM model: “The client does, the same way the client owns the drawing set, but to me, the model’s irrelevant. If the client were to fire the designer, the client could take the drawing set, send it to India, and have the model rebuilt over the course of a couple of weeks.

“Instead of firms being so concerned about relinquishing their rights to the model, they should say, “You have the model but honestly we know it best. Keep us on a retainer to help you maintain and manage that model, because as soon as we finish your building it’s going to change. You’re going to do work, your facilities management group is going to move a wall, and this model is going to become outdated and useless to you anyway. So keep us engaged as a way to help you.”

To read the entire interview – and we suggest you do – click here.

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