ArchiCAD Insights: If there is no I in Team, is there an I in BIM?

14 May, 2005 By: Kurt Ameringer Cadalyst

Yes, when information modeling is about information

One of the major benefits of BIM (building information modeling) is the ability to leverage information. While today we see many BIM solutions in the industry, I'm surprised how often that simply means building model. What is the benefit of the BIM solutions if the application that created it can't share information?

One modeling solution, one documenting solution, one rendering solution...

How many times have you seen a project rendering return that is no longer the same project because of its design change? Have you spent many hours on a building model only to cast it aside when you have to produce different documents?

We want the freedom to share design information in the most efficient ways. Can you count how many software programs you need in order to focus on the core components of your job? If you are like many of us in the industry, the software solutions may add up to at least three or four.

Applications like Graphisoft's ArchiCAD were designed for providing coordinated architectural documents. ArchiCAD provides a database of information that can be used for creating animations and renderings as well as your document set and information that can be shared. ArchiCAD provides a database of information, including animations and renderings. Multiple applications then can share the same database for extended informational uses beyond the design process.

Limits of a Parametric Model
Parametric models are not a scaleable solution to building projects. The idea of a model that thinks for itself is marvelous, but the reality of the limitations of managing multiple constraints will bring a project to its knees. Where these constraints work as the status quo for mechanical design, they do not work for architecture. Relatively few constraints really matter to a building designer. More often than not, the constraints get in the way of the design. Providing the freedom to manage relationships not only allows the designer to dictate how elements relate to one on other, but also to maintain the need for a designer.

Freedom of Information
How you want to share design information is your choice. It doesn't matter if you constrain your design freedom with a solution that manages relationships or if you create simple geometric models with manually appended data. Perhaps the answer is a combination of both. Select the best applications in the industry to do the job. Don't feel limited to one solution provider. Once you find a way to share the data efficiently, you can eliminate the task redundancy that consumes much of your day and focus on the core aspects of your business.

A Few Ways to Test Your BIM Solution's Intelligence

  • Does your software allow others to take advantage of your information? Can you Import as well as Export building Information.
  • Does your software require another application for the creation of documents?
  • Are all of the translation tools proprietary to your application or are they open source for anyone to use?
  • Does your BIM solution lose intelligence when exported?
  • Does your software allow you to coordinate and manage change beyond producing documents?
Not all BIM solutions are effective information modelers as described above. Make sure you know the difference if you want to take advantage of the "I" in BIM.

About the Author: Kurt Ameringer

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