What is a Building Information Modelling statement? Is it just a list of capabilities and some marketing material to let other firms know what you can do or is it something more?
A BIM statement refers to a company’s future planning and culture. Unlike BIM Execution Plans, BIM statements are poorly understood. BIM Execution Plans have been refined over time, there are some excellent templates out there for small, time poor firms. Natspec is the obvious example. BIM Execution Plans apply to individual projects. However a good BIM Statement, can be more important than an execution plan because it locks in BIM to the ‘DNA’ of a firm.
The last 10 years have shown us that firms who haven’t approached Building Information Modelling in a thorough way haven’t got very far.
“many users become ‘partial adopters’. BIM becomes a way of exploring in 3D for design only and real documentation is still done in the traditional way. In our experience these users have a short lifespan as eventually projects arise which demand a fully integrated workflow. In these circumstances it pays to be the firm who has adopted BIM as an integral way of working as the firm with the most skills tends to set the rules.”
Stewart Caldwell, Russell and Yelland Architects and Michael Clothier, Walbridge and Gilbert Engineers
Making sure this implementation is thorough is why BIM statements are important and can be crucial in:
- Making sure that the organisation is working to a long-term plan
- Making sure employees understand the plan
- Making sure Clients, and other consultants understand the plan
In my opinion a BIM Statement should be a set of values and goals, mapping out a company’s direction in the years to come, similar in tone to an equal opportunity statement, or a statement of corporate responsibility. Would you be more likely to believe a firm that claimed they could deliver everything now, or a firm that aimed to deliver LOD 300 Building Models now, with modelled earth works in two more years and underground services in the year after that with LOD 400 live collaborative models being delivered soon after?.
Autodesk released a set of documents called a ‘BIM Deployment package’, which I guess is what you would expect from a software company, in their minds changing organizational culture is like slipping a USB into the back of some ones head. There is however lots of useful information in this package, and instead or referring to a ‘BIM Statement’ they use the term ‘BIM Vision Statement’ which is a lot more descriptive and clears up some of the confusion.
“Your BIM vision is the first thing prospective and/or existing clients will see. In addition to aligning with your overall business model, it will need to be real.”
The following is an extract from the American Department of Veterans Affairs Building information Vision Statement:
“………. conversion to BIM is to deliver higher value and maximize life-cycle building performance to support VA’s mission to deliver excellent medical services. Just as the VA’s digitization of patient records has greatly improved the business and management process of care delivery for patients, so the digitization of building data will improve the design and management of VA
buildings across their life-cycle”
The statement mentions future goals, and ties these goal to the central focus of the organisation.
In summary, get it right and you will build long-term relationships with your clients, get it wrong and clients will smell ‘BIM Wash’ (refer below) and be unwilling to enter into long term relationships.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer’s view in any way. Also – Anything that mentions AutoCAD, NAVISWORKS or REVIT or any other Autodesk product is a registered Trademark of Autodesk.