BIM Template vs Traditional Template #1

I have been undertaking more and more research relating to BIM Data. It isn’t something that is requested by our clients today but they will ask for it sometime in the future. Why am I spending the time researching something that I don’t need to deliver right now? BIM processes are disruptive changes to the traditional delivery methods of all parties in the Design and Construction Process. Imagine for a moment you as a business continued along and only focused on what your client wants today. Tomorrow your client comes in and asks for BIM to FM deliverable. Your whole office would have to rapidly change and learn everything in a short period of time. This would lead to significant losses in productivity and has the potential to send your business broke, as you haven’t researched what you need to do to achieve it.

When you see me present, you will always hear me talk about having a Strategic Plan for your business and the need for your Strategic Plan to include a roadmap for how you plan to meet BIM deliverables in the future.


BIM Development Timeline

If you plan out your research, development and implementation properly and progressively it will have the least negative impact on your business. When your client comes to you and asks you for BIM Services you will then be able to provide them with professional advise on what they need. You will also know how much longer it will take to deliver so that you can apply the right fees to the project.

Some sole practitioners and volume builders would question the need to invest in BIM processes. There is reason for everyone to begin thinking about BIM deliverables: government authorities are looking to build a virtual world and every project that you work on will need to be submitted to the authorities in model format. This eventual shift will affect all types of practioners.

There are steps to achieving BIM processes, which need to be addressed in the following order:

  • Model more and model accurately.
  • Once you are good at modeling, look at Building Materials as a key piece of data for all of your elements.
  • IFC Properties (IFC Type, Position, Structure)
  • Classification Type
  • COBie (FM deliverables)

Let’s return to the title of this Blog Post: Your ArchiCAD Template – The key to business success. The quality of your ArchiCAD Template will determine whether you will sink or swim with BIM Processes. You need to do your research and build your template to enable you to deliver BIM requirements efficiently and accurately.

You need to invest carefully in your template; you don’t want to invest in a template that doesn’t provide you with BIM workflows. You need to also remember that your template is not a static document. Your template will need constant maintenance and updating with new BIM processes and engagement into the New Features which will make BIM delivery easier.

An example of different thinking that needs to be adopted became apparent to me over the Christmas Break when I was looking into the UK BIM Standards. Rob Jackson pointed me to the AEC UK BIM Standards here 

The documents on this website are based on British Standards and will be used by Consultants that are required to deliver Level 2 BIM. They are a great set of documents to review and reconsider the way that you currently use ArchiCAD.

The one thing I took away from reading the standards was the Layer Naming.

There is a good blog post about Layers by Jared Banks here 

make sure that you read the comments as it opens your mind to the diverse thinking of ArchiCAD users out there. But what I learned from talking with Rob Jackson is that it is possible to use layers as a piece of IFC data. The layer format takes the British Standard BS1192:2007 and is combined with a Classification, in this case Uniclass, which is foreign to the way people traditionally use layers. This enables consistent collaboration between multiple software platforms. If you understand that you need this classification attached to each element to enable clear collaboration, then it becomes obvious that this data could and should be attached via Layers. You could use a different layer set and attach this data through a standard IFC property but you would then have to add manual data to each element or save favourites with the data attached.

Layers are but one example of how traditional approaches in your template hinder you from moving forward and getting the most out of BIM. Over the next few months I will share the benefits of a BIM template over a Traditional template and how you need to start moving towards it, otherwise you will be left behind.

If you want to meet me and see me present on how Fulton Trotter Architects are getting more out of ArchiCAD because of its BIM focused workflows I will be presenting at the following events over the next few months.

If you want to see the best ArchiCAD users in the world share their knowledge on how to get the most out of ArchiCAD make sure you book your ticket to ARCHICON – 22nd May 2015 | Brisbane, Australia.