How to Get Started with BIM (aka your “Beach BIM” Essentials)

BIM is everywhere. It’s poised for greater adoption by the U.S. government and, despite the “building” moniker, is also gaining ground in transportation infrastructure.

As you get ready for your summer vacation, now is the perfect time to reflect on what BIM can do for your agency, and, more importantly, how do you go about getting started. So, we’ve put together a load of tips, tricks, and best practices for getting started with BIM.

We like to call it your “beach BIM” essentials!

Your Agency is Probably More BIM-Ready Than You Think

Perhaps your team has never been involved in BIM projects. Or your projects haven’t required it. Maybe you don’t fully understand BIM and making the switch seems like a complex undertaking. The thing is, your agency may be more BIM-ready than you think. Many of the processes you use to create and design are already BIM-ready, so you’re actually half way there. Read 5 Reasons Your Agency is More BIM Ready Than You Thought.

Ease your Agency into BIM

BIM is complex—a giant sea of potential. And if you leap in without proper preparation, you could drown in the details. Instead, with a little thought and planning, you can chart a course that will carry you safely across the BIM ocean. (Too many water metaphors?) Here are six tips to help ease your transition into BIM.

Why Not Start with a Pilot Project?

Moving to BIM can seem daunting, right? That’s why we’ve assembled a few easy-to-follow guides that can help you plan and take your first steps to BIM, whether you’re involved in building design and construction, transportation infrastructure projects, or managing facilities. Print out these companion guides when you get back to the office and kick-start your BIM projects.

Or Take a Class

There are many opportunities to learn about BIM. Whether you’re getting started, trying to implement BIM standards, choosing the right software, or using it in new and exciting use cases. Autodesk University (AU) is the gold standard of learning and you don’t have to even leave your desk. You can browse and view a catalog of BIM classes on-demand and at no cost right via AU Online Learning.

Here’s one that can teach you how to become an awesome BIM manager: 20 Traits of an Awesome CAD/BIM/Tech Manager. Then use your know-how and put together a BIM training for everyone.

DLT and our partners also host regular live events and webinars, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay in the loop.

Your Peers in Other Agencies are Building their Way To BIM

Discussions about BIM in the public sector often revolve around federal mandates and talk of a looming BIM revolution. But talk to folks on the ground and BIM is very much here –in government construction, infrastructure and as-built projects. We’ve pulled together examples of seven use cases where BIM is tackling some of our most complex challenges, from preventing flooding, reining in facility management data sprawl, streamlining workflows between DoTs and contractors. Check out 7 Ways Government Agencies are Benefiting from BIM.

But, Wait, BIM as we Know it is No More

Now that we’ve got you all excited about BIM. We’ve actually come to the end of BIM as we know it. A new disruptor has entered the scene – “Connected BIM” – building information modeling plus the power of the cloud. And, it’s about to dramatically change construction practices.

What does that mean? In this great article from RedShift, Nicolas Mangon, a leader in the advancement of BIM, explains more. I’ll try to condense his statements here.

The construction industry is facing increasing challenges, populations are growing, cities are growing, yet, construction is ill-prepared. It’s barely digitized. Projects are taking 20% longer to finish and often come in 80% over budget (McKinsey & Company). Constructions sites still rely on paper processes to communicate creating inefficiencies and outdated reference points.

But, as BIM continues to become standardized, as we are seeing in the public sector now, industry leaders who are already ahead of the curve will continue to innovate. For example, the use of mobile technologies allows on-site teams to track and update information in real time. All data is stored and tracked in the cloud across the project life cycle. Connected BIM also takes the risk out of projects. Teams can collect data to reveal project delays. But the IoT is the true technology that will redefine and recontextualize BIM, writes Mangon.

Yet once construction sites are equipped with all kinds of sensors, it will be possible to understand where people spend their time, how machines are used, and if the materials have been delivered or installed. All this information will be captured and aggregated on a dashboard in the cloud. The Big Data can then be analyzed to start identifying trends about what’s working—or not working.

Once this technology is used on one, 10, hundreds, or thousands of projects, it will be clearer to stakeholders why some projects go well and others don’t.”

Read more: It’s the End of BIM as You Know It—Are You Ready for Connected BIM?

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