BIM helps realise vision, not drive design

Peter Barker joins the debate on how BIM software might alter the way we conceive our buildings via LEAF Review.

Technological design platforms are meant to help architects realise their visions, rather than drive their designs.  There is a growing argument that the increasingly standardised use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software might alter the way we conceive our buildings, as well as execute them.  What might this BIM School look like and should such a thought scare or excite us? Jakob Andreassen, BIM Manager at BIG, Atkins technical director Anne Kemp, and Peter Barker, managing director of BIM Academy, join the debate.

Five to ten years ago, if you’d mentioned building information modeling (BIM) software to a construction professional, you might have been met with a quizzical look.  Then seen very much as an offshoot of computer aided design (CAD), its adoption was low and its benefits open to question.  In the NBS National BIM survey 2011, by the Royal Institute of British Architects, a full 43% of respondents were unaware of BIM and only 13% were using it.

More recently, the situation has been flipped on its head.  Since April 2016, the use of BIM has been mandated on centrally funded projects throughout the UK, and the latest NBS survey showed that a majority (54%) of those surveyed were now integrating BIM into their own work.  Elsewhere, the trajectory is similar, with government mandates in place across the likes of Singapore, Dubai, Spain and Norway.

It seems that, however much an architect might hanker after the old days of technical drawings and tracing paper, BIM software is here to stay.  As Peter Barker, explains, “The appetite has changed.  It’s almost become non negotiable that in order to build increasingly complex buildings against very demanding budgets and schedules, you need to use digital tools to streamline the process.”

Read full article: LEAF Review