I’ll come right out and say it: BIM is pretty much Bulldust in Motion.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive advocate of information modelling and truly believe that improved digital work practices and intelligent models are the way forward. My current issue is the ‘ownership’ of BIM; there seems to be a new leader from industry every time I turn around.
These leaders are not individuals per se, but the existing peer bodies which exist in Australia today. The competition to lead the conversation does nothing to further the ultimate goal and has the majority of clients thinking it's more hassle than it's worth.
It is part of a natural industry evolution, but it frustrates clients and proponents endlessly when another peer body or organisation stands up with the “we’ve solved BIM” banner. Australia is not known for its bipartisan politics, and this is reflected in its extremely adversarial construction sector. To be perfectly honest, we are being extremely siloed about our attempts to collaborate. Perhaps we need some BIM to resolve BIM?
The efforts so far, all of which have merit, list a cast of thousands all professing their own version of a solution to the industry. Now, I preface this next bit with a caution: never listen to anyone who says ‘you know what you should do.’
That said, you know what you should do; you should have the industry itself come together and collaborate on whom is providing which piece of the BIM puzzle for industry in Australia. Not having federal support may not be ideal, but in another sense, not having federal support might be just the thing.
Let’s get, for example, Consult Australia to manage an Australian National BIM Committee, get the national level teams such as ACIF, APCC, AIA, AIRAH, FMA and so on to provide the ‘what we need’ (information requirements), and use BuildingSMART, collaborateANZ and the tactical BIM Hubs fraternity to do the grassroots work and adopt and adapt the requisite delivery solutions.
Before anyone pipes in with the inevitable ‘that’s already been done,’ has it really? All I’ve seen is the same documents - different authors, different semantics and so on, but essentially the same material.
Doesn’t working together in BIM imply that we should work together to resolve a single national direction?
Until we do, the competing interests of corporate or peer body agenda will continue to dilute and confuse the general client populace regarding the management and delivery of information across projects into the asset life cycle.
Call it what you will, ALIM, AIMS, BIM, IIM, PIM or CIM, but ultimately it’s all information for the greater good of the supply chain and ultimately the client.
As an industry, we are stronger together than we are apart. It is only together in a framework which emulates others such as those in Europe and around the globe that industry can best move forward and fully realise the benefits of integrated asset delivery and management.