Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Dim on BIM?

Sure the future of Building Information modeling (BIM) is bright, but the path to that future has a temporary dim - based on complaints from folks in the construction industry.

A recent survey of structural engineers reveals a sunny forecast - 74% of respondents think they will have to use BIM to meet their client needs in less than 12 months. Published articles espousing the bright and growing future of BIM are legion.

But not fast enough according to a recent ENR article that reports findings from an April eConstruction Industry Roundtable. The biggest gripe is lack of interoperability. Currently, software is imperfect and platforms are not compatible. A steel fabricator on the panel opines: "I keep hoping and looking for leadership in the general construction industry to promote a true interoperable solution where none of us is tied to a single software house."

The rate at which BIM is being adopted in the construction industry is accelerating, however, "significant impediments still remain in the path of broader implementation." This, according to an Associated Construction Publications article citing a recent Eighth Annual CMAA/FMI Survey of Owners. The biggest cloud in the sky? Lack of expertise and industry standards.

Some rays of light have emerged, with recent standards promulgated by the National Institute of Building Standards, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and an upcoming ConsensusDOCS BIM Addendum. Time will tell "weather" the mix of these different standards will result in an atmosphere that is stormy or calm. (This entry posted by Ken Michael, a member of Womble Carlyle’s real estate development and construction law practice group.)


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