Ivana Kermen, Technical Specialist in the area of ​​architecture, engineering and construction at Autodesk LATAM, argues that all those wishing to delve into the future of global construction should immerse themselves around the BIM methodology, also known as construction information modeling. (Building Information Modeling in English).

This methodology allows developers to explore the designs before the works are built; the intelligent models in 3D and the data that drives this process, make easier critical aspects of the projects, such as coordination, communication, collaboration, as well as a better visualization that speeds up approvals. There is also a benefit in environmental impact, thanks to the proactive sustainability analysis that also helps meet requirements for certifications, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

Join the movement
All over the world, design and construction companies are looking towards BIM, planning how to make the best possible adoption, worried about the negative impact on their ability to compete if they do not make this transition sooner rather than later. However, some of them are also worried about how difficult it will be to adopt this process.

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The experience of Autodesk has allowed us to witness many companies that have successfully adopted BIM. Although, there is not only one correct way to do it, we have identified 10 steps that will help both speed up the process and reduce the disorders that may accompany the change and we want to present them below:

10 steps for BIM

First Step: Know what BIM is. Designate one or two people in the company to learn more about how it will affect your work team. For example, in the 2D world, many companies leave the details to the final stages of the design process, in this case many of them must be resolved much earlier.

Step Two: Communicate the change to your people. High-level positions in the company should take a leadership role to let employees know of the change towards BIM. The message should be "we are moving to BIM, because it is fundamental for our future" and not "we are talking about BIM." Be sure to communicate the anticipated benefits for your company and clients. It will be easier to unify the team around a convincing vision of the future.

Step Three: Consider the software and hardware needs. BIM is not software; it is a collaborative process that is based on intelligent 3D information models. But you will need software to create these models. Take the time to explore the available offer, and consider whether your current hardware has sufficient processing power.

Step Four: Develop a change management plan. To document from a high level how to anticipate the established BIM workflow changes, who needs a training, when it will be delivered, and how they will support the rest of the team when they have questions and doubts. Executive support is probably the most important element; Organizational change occurs faster and more successfully when people are helped to adopt new ways of working.

Step Five: Start a pilot program, and provide training to the team. For most companies, it makes sense to run a pilot project using BIM. Instead of doing dozens of small projects each year, you can consider completing a pilot and taking into account the lessons learned in it, before running several more experimental ones.

Step Six: Document the preferred processes. As your pilot project (or projects) is progressing, it is good to have the BIM processes documented as a team. Consider your preferred results and what your team needs to support them. It is tempting to try to create standards during or before the execution of a pilot. But your ideas about standards will evolve as you use BIM.

Seventh Step: Cultivate BIM champions. You will find that some people in your company are excited about the new process, maybe even learned about it, as part of their education or while working in another company. Try to assign BIM champions in each pilot project, and provide the additional training and support they need to help their partners in the adoption of the process.

Eighth Step: Train and transmit to other teams. When people are about to start a BIM project, then train them. A common mistake is to provide company-wide training at one time, but the transition to BIM is project-by-project, over the course of a year or two. People in later projects forget a lot of what they learned in training, which may have happened a long time ago

Nineth step: Integration with other models. The greatest benefits of BIM will be evident when sharing models with other companies that also work in this process. The integration of the models in a single shared, accelerates the coordination process and opens the door to a new level of collaboration.

Tenth Step: Expand and innovate with BIM. As you use BIM, you will find new visualization, coordination and analysis capabilities. Look for ways to convert these new capabilities into value service offerings and new customers. Communicate the value of BIM to current and potential customers, let them know that you are on track to meet the requirements and have a complete offer based on BIM.

Start today
These steps are certainly useful to begin with, but they are only suggestions and should not be seen as rigid. The steps should be followed in the order that makes the most sense for the types of projects that are carried out. There are many steps and you can decide to omit or alter some, everything depends on how you want to execute your project and the difficulties or facilities you find within it.

Santiago Jaramillo
Author: Santiago Jaramillo


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