AEC Tech News (#243)

4 Feb, 2009

The World According to BIM, Part 1

BIM is bringing new changes to the workplace in terms of whom we hire, how we mentor, and how we share data among the parties involved.

By Pete Zyskowski

If only one book were to be written about BIM, it might have "DON'T PANIC" printed in large uppercase letters on the front cover. What I am somewhat humorously suggesting is that you will need a level head to enter the next few phases of a BIM implementation. In my article, "Brave New BIM," I touched on some of the practical things you need to think about as you prepare for a transition to building information modeling. This second piece will focus on the less tangible -- but just as important -- changes that BIM is creating in the workplace and in corporate relationships.

BIM is not CAD. BIM was never meant to be CAD. CAD is a replacement for pen and paper, a documentation tool. By comparison, BIM programs are design applications in which the documentation flows from and is a derivative of the process, from schematic design to construction to facility management.

During one of my early demos of Revit to a large audience, a person asked, "What does this mean for our drafters?" What this person was referring to was a comment I had made about how BIM applications will reward those individuals who actually know how to put a building together. The unfortunate answer could be that with BIM, your drafters will probably be relegated to more menial jobs or translating your detail libraries from your CAD application into your BIM application. I don't like this answer, however. Instead, my actual response to his question revolved around the idea that BIM can be a catalyst for pushing your firm toward a broader understanding of architecture. In other words, it provides an opportunity to teach your drafters, allowing them to grow in their profession while also enabling your firm to advance its technical superiority. Read more »

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Pete Zyskowski is a senior building information modeling application consultant at Applied Software (


Graphisoft's New CEO Talks with Cadalyst

By Kenneth Wong

In January, amid news of layoffs in the high-tech sector, Viktor Varkonyi, a veteran software engineer from Graphisoft’s R&D team, took the helm of the company as its new CEO. In this interview, Varkonyi assesses the AEC industry, shares his strategy for interoperability, and teases us with details about a soon-to-be-released product called Virtual Building Explorer.

KW: You’re taking over Graphisoft at a time when the economy is anything but healthy and the building industry is slowing down. How do you plan to navigate these tough times?

VV: At the year's end, we conducted a global survey among our customers to see how they feel about the economy. Of course, [the survey results] show they were not terribly optimistic. It shows the whole world is affected, but there are certain regions, for instance, Continental Europe, where this doesn’t seem so serious as it is in other regions. The backlogs of projects among our customers are about three to six months shorter compared to a year ago, but on average they still have projects almost until the end of this year. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: AEC Events

Webinar: McGraw-Hill's BIM SmartMarket Report
February 13, 2009
12 Noon EST
Supporting the claim that 2009 is the "Year of the Contractor" for BIM, Steve Jones will present new research and intelligence on users' perceptions of BIM adoption, implementation, value, and impact within firms. Read more »

2009 Northeast American Society of Engineering Education Conference
April 3-4, 2009
Bridgeport, Connecticut
The theme of the 2009 conference is "Engineering in the New Global Economy." Topics include chemical, biological, civil, and electrical engineering. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on