4specs.com    4specs.com Home Page

BIM - Savior or Satan? Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

4specs Discussion Forum » Computers, the Internet and Networking » BIM - Savior or Satan? « Previous Next »

Author Message
David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 726
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 06:20 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Currently my firm is working on two projects with AutoCAD Revit with dramatically different results.

The first project we used Revit on was a historic renovation for a major university. Revit did not work flawlessly but worked really well. We decided to use Revit for this project because, as the project architect said, "We are putting 10 pounds of potatoes in a 8 pound sack," Revit helped us with difficult HVAC situations. We were actually dealing with square inches instead of square feet

The second project is a large complex high school. It is a completely different story. We had all sorts of strange problems right away. As one of the project architects said, "It was easy to draw complex objects yet hard to draw simple objects." We ended up putting a lot of drawing notes, details, lists, and tables in the specs because it was easier to do it in Word that Revit. "Saving to Central" took hours. Finally after a lot of frustration and at the end of DD, we decided to convert all the drawings back to AutoCAD.

My personal opinion is that BIM is still in its infancy and has a long way to go. I remember when CAD was touted as the knight in shining armor yet failed to live up to the hype.

We are not giving up on BIM but just keeping a skeptical eye open.
Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
Senior Member
Username: rliebing

Post Number: 458
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 07:44 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

It is my impression that the BIM effort [by the software folks] is as mis-directed, and ill-timed as was the CAD effort.

Have seen numerous comments recently about the groups "left behind" by the overzealous selling of CAD-- mainly the document production folks. The designers did well and caused the many, many iterations of CAD,etc.

Just seems the computer/software people tend to look only to their markets and not to good product information and modification for ALL functions in our professions.

It is really a shame that we get saddled with ill-fitting software merely to retain cutting edge status ["keeping up with the Joneses"]. The software industry drives the glitz, production and marketing of their products solely for their benefit on their schedule and with little regard for the overall utilization of their products. When their new programs cause more work, they are not successful [although they can crow about all the sales they make].

Thought about CAD from an old architect a few years ago--
"Why is it, in the past [pre-CAD], we could produce twice the work with half the staff in a third of the time?"

This may still be a good question!
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 166
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Have you run Revit or any of the other BIMs? I have.
For that matter have you ever drawn in AutoCAD or microstation? I have.
In my first job running AutoCAD for a 20 person firm in 1987, I drafted plans and plotted them reverse reading on mylar for the rest of the crew to hand draft over. We saved lots of time and money.

Like I said back then to comments like yours. "lets turn off the computers and while were at it toss this mylar stuff and get some animal skins and burnt sticks and do real architecture!"

You know the luddites lost the battle too...for a reason
Mark Gilligan SE, CSI
Senior Member
Username: markgilligan

Post Number: 98
Registered: 05-2005
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 11:39 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Both extremes above are wrong. I have lived through the transition to CAD and in fact was an early adopter. I have also seen the transition from hand methods of analysis to the use of computer methods.

The reality is that there will be disruption. Based on past history:
--There will be some savings but there also will be many instances where for a multiple of reasons the new technology will be more expensive. Ultimately the cost will be passed onto the client.
--Firms will adopt and use the technology not because it saves money but because if they do not use BIM they will not get the job. True believers need to be more pragmatic.
--The managers will not understand the technology and the experts in the technology will not have the insights that come as a result of experience. This will initialy have a negative impact on quality in many situations.
--The industry will adopt the technology before it is mature.
--Many valuable employees will be displaced because they are not able to deal well with the new technology.
--More work will be shifted to the more knowlegable staff thus increasing the demands on them.

The Chinese have a saying: "May you live in interesting times". The reality is that we are living in interesting times.
Marc C Chavez
Senior Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 167
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 04:04 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Trust me I'm not a true believer. Along with the burnt sticks statement I also said and do say that: "Sometimes the best thing to do is turn the computer off!"

I mean it's just a tool (so are large mechanical looms for that matter)

Add Your Message Here
Username: Posting Information:
This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Options: Automatically activate URLs in message

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration