As the person responsible for the implementation of BIM Processes for a medium sized Architectural Practice, a daily challenge arises where a number of team members will inevitably struggle with the switch from traditional methods of delivery to BIM processes. 18 months ago I implemented a major change in the way that we work at FTA by making users add specific data to elements that they model in ARCHICAD. This change from the generic approach of the past 10 years did cause significant grief for some. As I begin to develop additional BIM capabilities into our ARCHICAD template and workflows I have spent considerable time thinking about improving the implementation process and reducing / removing the change that the team experiences. As much as BIM is about process and not technology, it is the technology or the tool that needs optimisation to assist in making the process easier.

What does this have to do with Mechanic vs Driver?

Everyday we jump in our car and drive from A to B. We plan our journey, we have trained how to drive our car and we have a set of road rules to follow. Some are trained to drive an Automatic, some are trained to drive a Manual.

Take a Mechanic for example. You take your car them to fix / service your car regularly and they understand the nuts and bolts, how to assess what is wrong with your car, and how to fix it.

BIM should be exactly the same.

Mechanic should = BIM Manager

Driver should = Architect / Consultant


The judge of a good BIM Manager is the ability for the processes to be so well tuned that all the Architect needs to do is drive the project to the delivery point. The sign of a great BIM Manager is that your Architect jumps into an Automatic and doesn’t even need to think about changing the gears.

How do you deliver your team an Automatic BIM Vehicle?

You need someone that understands what BIM deliverables are today and potentially what they will be tomorrow. You need to obtain the best mechanic that you can get your hands on! Or if you are the BIM Manager you need to study the deliverable and pull the process apart to understand what you can build into your processes and automate as much as possible.

How do I plan address the additional BIM deliverables for FTA?

I will be embracing the Favourites feature, Building Materials and IFC Mapping in the FTA ARCHICAD template. These features enable all of the BIM data requirements to be pre-built into elements within the template and ready for the Architect to pick without needing to think about all of the other settings that have already been thought out for them. Using these features embedded in ARCHICAD enables users to produce OPENBIM deliverables through all phases of the design process without needing to think more than they did before!

How do you address change and how do you view the implementation of BIM in your practice?