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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

BIM & IPD 101: First Of A Series - "The Nail In The Coffin"

By Shaun Meany
The PEiR Group

Over the next few weeks I will be posting a series of articles to Point of View dealing with the impact BIM and, later, IPD (Integrated Project Delivery) will have on the future of the reprographics industry.

There is no doubt that the design and construction industry is embracing these technologies in their attempts to drive down costs and increase productivity. One such technology that is quickly being adopted by architects, engineers and contractors is Building Information Modeling (BIM).

And the following chart may best explain the reason behind this push:

What Is BIM?
BIM is a business management process that uses software to design and develop scaled 3D models of a structure’s components and systems, including material quantities and properties. It can be used throughout the building’s life-cycle — from estimation to construction to operation — to track progress and maintenance.

Why It's Important:
I am sure many of you have heard of BIM and most probably you have customers who are working with it in some capacity or another. If your design consultants are using Bentley Architecture, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, VectorWorks ARCHITECT and Autodesk's Revit and Architectural Desktop they are working with BIM.

But what you might not be aware of is that BIM is rapidly replacing traditional 2D CAD. A recent report by McGraw Hill reported the following statistics:

• Half of the industry is now using BIM or BIM-related tools - 75 percent more than in 2007.
• The U.S. West Coast leads BIM adoption with a 56 percent rate, far ahead of the Northeast (38 percent). Canada closely resembles the North American average at 48 percent.
• Current BIM users of all skill levels expect to double their application of it on projects over the next two years.

So, if you know your design companies are moving towards BIM what can you conclude about your contractors? Yep, they’re moving in the same direction, maybe not as fast but they, too, see the huge benefits of using models to test and plan implementation of building projects.

What can you do as a reprographer to help your customers who are using BIM technologies? Here are a few things:

1. Let them know you understand what BIM is and that you are interested in helping them take advantage of its capabilities.
2. Demonstrate reprographics services that complement BIM technologies - e.g. Color perspectives. 3D Model Printing. FM solutions.
3. Let your clients know that you can host their models in your document management systems.
4. Attend local workshops to learn what challenges users of BIM are facing.

BIM is the new CAD of the 21st century. You must be aware that it has the potential to dramatically change the future of the reprographics industry. For many reprographers BIM will be just another technology to understand and to adapt to.

For those who refuse to adapt and move forward with technology, it may prove to be the proverbial nail in the coffin.

1 comment:

Joel said...

Come on, Shaun, that was a pretty lame article about BIM and what reprographers might do to benefit from BIM. Don't hold back, let everyone know the real story about BIM and the possible affects on the reprographics industry. JS