Integrated Communication – Why BIM doesn’t require Revit

image Chances are if you’re an AEC professional and haven’t heard about BIM; you probably don’t have a pulse. As I continue my job search there’s one question that consistently amuses me; do you have any experience with BIM software? From that question alone, I know the person asking it has a limited knowledge of what BIM is. Simply stated BIM is process not software; products like Revit, Civil 3D, Inventor, even vanilla AutoCAD are simply tools that help us to execute that process. Backed by the right process, I’d argue that one could create a BIM workflow using nothing but AutoCAD LT. I say that because BIM is not defined by drawing files; instead by the way the people responsible for those drawing files choose to integrate them and use them in an asynchronous manner.

It was this underlying concept that caught my eye while reading a post on Baskervill’s Blog entitled IMC and A/E/C = Perfect Harmony. The acronym IMC is defined as Integrated Marketing Communications, and is used to describe the asynchronous use of several delivery mechanisms to broadcast and reinforce a consistent message. While the post is understandably focused on marketing, it brings up several points that I feel transcends nearly all professional disciplines.

AU 2008 – Day 0

DSC_0893 So Autodesk University 2008 doesn’t officially get started until tomorrow (Tuesday).  That small detail didn’t get in the way of some very cool sessions and gatherings from being hosted. For me my day got started at the Richmond International Airport, for a quick flight to New York (JFK).  My layover was only supposed to be long enough for me to get from one gate to another, but as “luck” would have it – my flight from JFK to Las Vegas was delayed for about an hour.  Better late than never, I finally made it to The Venetian (host hotel for AU 2008) just in time for the AUGI Community Leadership Conference.

BIM’s Impact on Design

The current trend, especially for government projects, seems to be towards providing a BIM deliverable with your submittals. And so I ask a very fundamental question, what is BIM? Yes, I know its definition, Building Information Model, but what does it mean to create a BIM deliverable? Modern-day design platforms have instilled into our DNA that the word model = 3D. In both Revit and Civil 3D we “model” in 3D, and so the relationship is quickly formed. With that relationship in place, it’s very easy to conclude that BIM is simply the act of designing in 3D using one of these next-gen design platforms.

I hate to fall onto the now infamous saying from GEICO “It’s so easy a caveman could do it”, but I will. When fire was first discovered it quickly proved itself as a wonderful heat source. Now man stay warm on cold night. But after some time a novel discovery was made, using fire man could heat food. Just as fire changed the way we looked at food preparation, BIM has the same potential to change the way we look at design.

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