This may very well be the number 1 question I get asked every week. So I would like to offer a brief bit of insight into getting started with BIM. I personally find for every organization its different. It could be as simple as starting with Model Coordination, Building Quantification or Clash Detection. What I think is important is to understand the needs of the organization, create a plan and know where you want to go. then figure out how to get there.
Art Theusch from Chrisman Construction says “BIM will not magically build the building for you, BIM is only as powerful as the people and processes that you apply to the tools. The tools are exciting and powerful, and in simple terms they enhance your ability to communicate to your team. No matter how well you think you know the building it is impossible to visualize the project from 2D plans. Countless times I have been able to communicate the heart of an issue when I can tell the story in 3D.
“The easiest way to get started is in 3D coordination, the required skill sets can be taught with the proper training and the benefits far out weight the cost. You don’t need to have a team of CAD users to break into the BIM world. If your company does not have the ideal person on staff, one option is to hire a consultant to walk with you through your first BIM project. Once you have been lead through this process once, then you will have a better idea of the skills your team needs to lead on the next project.”
Kevin Miller from BYU has this to add "The tools for estimating from the BIM model have developed enough to where estimators can work in both the 3D and 2D worlds allowing the estimator to perform a complete takeoff in this hybrid environment."
Laura Handler Virtual Construction Manager with Tocci Building has these bits of advice to offer:
"Leverage relationships with architects. Develop relationships with architects. Never mind that BIM is collaborative so it just makes sense; it is actually easier to implement BIM on a project if the architect is 'on your team"
"Pair technical excited entry levels (and pick the right one..young doesn’t not equal right for your first BIM project) with experienced superintendents and PMs"
"Everyone says this, but pick your first project carefully. Pick something that will succeed so that people will want to do more BIM. Pick how you’re going to use BIM carefully. Don’t try to do everything (you will fail, if you do). They call clash detection low hanging fruit for a reason."
"Apply the principles of change management to getting into BIM. Take a class or read a book to really understand change management in general. Understand and accept that you are going to make a significant change to the way you to do business."
And finally I would like to offer this bit of advice to:
- Do your research and understand what solutions best fit your needs
- Create a plan, strategy, and someone to lead it - identify a project to implement your plan on
- Identify the "low hanging" fruit for your company and start there (Navisworks or maybe QTO)
- Attend events like the ACG BIMFORUM (www.bimforum.org)
- Find local BIM\Revit User Groups
- Invite your Ecosystem to participate (subs, architects, engineers)
- Talk to your peers
- Don't be afraid to get help