An opinion piece discussing the impact of BIM in the Construction Sector and Residential Landscape.
Five years ago, I finished building my house, a house I built without BIM. Since then, I have traveled the globe, gone to many conferences and heard great presentations—from breaking down silos to connecting and integrating, and from 1D to 8D to VR, AR, lasers and heard more acronyms
used that I can remember! The common thread is —create new solutions to old inefficiencies. The themes at these conferences are so logical that I struggle to understand why terms like “BIM,” “integrated project delivery,” and “virtual design and construction” are not more commonly known.With so many of us looking to reduce our negative environmental footprint, one would think that significant advances in construction would garner widespread attention.
So why is BIM new for so many, especially in the residential market? When I connected with Women in BIM Founder and Global Chair Rebecca De Cicco. I thought,” Finally!”—a platform for awareness and advocacy that would connect those outside the industry with the incredible advances happening in construction.The road to where I sit now is filled with a network of construction and BIM industry professionals that took the time to mentor, encourage, and share hard truths with me. The hope I have moving forward is that we will use this platform to engage and inspire more understanding of the benefits these advances in construction technology offer.
Construction is not easy, and the industry is slow to change for good reason. Innovation without utility and safety at the forefront is simply irresponsible. With Covid-19 and quarantines shining a light on what we need, and what we want, what we need is for BIM to be default. The adoption of BIM, and all the connecting advances, is well studied and established, with improved safety at the forefront and driving adoption. BIM is playing an integral role in keeping construction moving, we have solutions to old inefficiencies.When I can take my clients on a virtual tour of a digital model of their unbuilt home, fully furnished, quantified and reviewed by the architect, builder and material suppliers, all while sitting in my home office…that’s adoption.In the residential BIM market, we are gaining traction and influence with homeowners and construction professionals. We are receiving enthusiastic encouragement both locally and throughout the U.S. with our work. The response from builders is, “This is too good to be true,” followed by, “This is amazing!”
The important message to drive home is that we are aware of the existing systems, we are looking to amplify what is working and reinforce where things are weak.I remain optimistic and driven in my pursuit to foster BIM adoption. At AU2018, the resounding theme seemed to be, “We need BIM.” In 2019, my team and I returned to the theme, “We have BIM, now what?” Integration is happening, and it will be messy, and it will have challenges, but it is a powerful and important evolution.Perhaps by showing off all the cool, innovative approaches to working in the construction industry, we will inspire future diversity and address labor shortages. Just recently my son said to me, “You build real Minecraft! You have the best job ever,” and I totally agree.