That Dirty Word Called BIM

Oh no (collective groan) not another article on BIM. There is a danger in the construction industry these days that the word BIM is starting to turn people off.  A cross section of recent comments I have heard in the last 12 months are on the theme of:

‘BIM is not relevant to me’

‘My client doesn’t want or need BIM’

‘I don’t want to pay extra for BIM’

BIM is becoming a dirty word and I believe that we need to re-balance the scales and educate the property industry on what BIM really means.

We recently spoke at the Autumn ThinkBIM Conference on both our successful journey through the BSI BIM Verification process and our ongoing journey through the BSI BIM Kitemarking certification process, and our message was loud and clear.  BIM is not about creating pretty 3D models – it is about digital quality. Replace the word BIM with quality in each of those three sentence above and I think you would be hard pressed to find a professional in any industry who would be able to make such a statement.

Everything we do these days is digital. Do a sketch, scan it in and send it to the architect.  Run a report, create a PDF, email the team. Send an email. Collaborate on a cloud. I could go on. The subject and importance of quality is therefor a natural extension into this digital world.

Our journey through the BSI BIM Verification & Kitemarking process has been enlightening particularly in relation to the importance placed on quality. We strive here at Curtins to be THE leader in Engineering Consultancy and to be THE employer of choice, but we can only do this if we promote quality in everything we do – including our digital footprint.

The main message from our Keynote speech at ThinkBIM was ‘quality digital delivery’. We have taken steps here at Curtins to merge our ‘BIM Process’ with our ‘Quality Standard’ – we don’t have a BIM process anymore. It’s just part of what we do.

We have also taken steps to remove BIM from our internal narrative. We don’t refer to BIM anymore, we refer to Digital Delivery.

So next time you hear BIM mentioned in a meeting or see BIM as an agenda item don’t switch off – it’s relevant to all of us, every day and in everything we do. BIM is not about ‘3D drawings’ it’s about quality – and we all want that.