Best BIM Bad BIM: Michael Broadhead


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.

Today’s interviewee kicking off the New Year is Michael Broadhead, Managing Director of Timaru, New Zealand-based practice, LID ARCHITECTURE. Michael discusses the slow uptake of Building Information Modelling in New Zealand, which is he believes is down to a resistance to learn. Thankfully, Michael believes that larger firms are getting the word out regarding their BIM projects, news which is slowly starting to spread.

What is Michael’s Best BIM experience and what does he think the BIM industry doing best at the moment?

“LID ARCHITECTURE’s best BIM experience has been under its own roof. Our drive to see the missing link between office and onsite and the assumptions made by both Architect & Contractor create problems for all parties throughout projects. LID has lifted its requirement for accurate design and construction documentation using BIM in all our projects. BIM use has increased 10 fold over the 2015.

The best example of BIM in NZ is seeing the use of BIM in industry publications. Seeing larger construction projects utilise BIM is slowly encouraging BIM to be used on smaller projects. I guess small steps are key to a more successful, sustainable BIM implementation in New Zealand. But the construction industry still requires an open mind to really truly adopt BIM.

What is Michael’s Worst BIM experience? What does he believe are the worst trends in BIM in New Zealand?

The BIM industry in New Zealand is somewhat untouched by the majority of architectural firms. Mainly large corporations are using BIM and the slow pick-up from smaller firms due to costs and mindset is widening the gap. A good portion of companies are using mostly typical line drawings and basic 3D models for presentations only, which allows for very minimal collaboration opportunities. This increases or sustains the current error rate within projects.

The worst trends in New Zealand for BIM in my opinion is the resistance to learn and not investing in BIM to allow for more detail and cost savings to the overall project. Creating more successful, defined projects with all parties collaborating to create a seamless project. This slow uptake of new technology is holding New Zealand back.

LID have experienced the lack of sharing models from other architectural/engineering firms. This lack of sharing is the most frustrating element, and means huge amounts of redrawing which can increase the error rate and assumption of information provided. It also creates time delays and adds costs to a project which may not have been allowed for.

What steps does New Zealand need to make to move forward? How can the country learn from its Best and Bad practice?

Lessons LID has learned during its BIM experiences are to be patient with BIM implementation. Make your clients aware of how you are designing and drawing their investments. Make your consultants aware of how you are drawing. Be on the same page. Be clear, direct and don’t be afraid.

To move forward NZ requires enthusiastic BIM leaders based throughout the country. Smaller BIM user groups should be encouraged by governing bodies at whatever BIM level. Getting people talking about it will only strengthen the use of BIM.

For more on LID ARCHITECTURE, you can find them on Twitter and visit their website, which boasts a fantastic photo gallery of projects. Alternatively, connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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