Dialog Box September 2007

31 Aug, 2007 By: Cadalyst Staff

Readers have their say.

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Cadalyst Dialog Box

BIM and the Bottom Line
I just finished reading your Editor's Window from the July issue of Cadalyst, and there are two points in it I would like to address.

First, the e-mail from Mr. Hirschklau described using Revit as more expensive than his company's current method of production. If that's the case, they shouldn't be using Revit! Building information modeling (BIM) shouldn't be a choice between a better design and a cheaper design. Every one of our customers using Design Master HVAC and Electrical (BIM for engineers) use it because it saves them time and money, not because it happens to be BIM.

Second, you wonder at the end of the article about how 3D technology will affect the AEC industry's bottom line. Although 3D certainly produces the coolest-looking demos, in terms of affecting the bottom line, 3D is low on the list of benefits that BIM provides to engineers. Certainly, complex buildings such as labs and hospitals and anything done by Frank Gehry greatly benefit from 3D coordination. But the vast majority of buildings are not complex and don't require much 3D coordination. For banks, strip malls, coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, and hotels, the less-visible calculations have a much greater effect on the efficiency of the design. For an electrical engineer, the total building load and resulting feeder size, fault calculations, and voltage drop are much more immediate needs than anything related to 3D. The building information model provided by Design Master HVAC and Electrical addresses these needs of engineers directly.

Design Master Software presents several customer stories on its Web site that demonstrate how much more productive engineers can be using its software.

Most of the discussion regarding BIM focuses on the A and the C parts of AEC. I don't deal with those portions of the industry, so I don't know if BIM is affecting their bottom line yet. But I do know the E portion of the industry, and right now, BIM software exists and is being using today to save engineering firms money and make them more profitable.

—David Robison
Design Master Software, Shoreline, Washington

Falling Behind . . .
I have been working with CAD and CAD-related software/hardware since 1989 in the CAD department for a small civil engineering firm. I have been part of the first revolution, beginning my career on the drafting board in the late 1970s and transitioning to computers in the late 1980s. We primarily use AutoCAD/Autodesk Land Development Desktop and Microstation/InRoads to produce our deliverables.

I just want to say that never have I felt so much that I have fallen behind -- well behind my peers. I especially feel this way when I read your magazine, Cadalyst. You freely use terminology that I simply have never heard of, much less understand. For example, what is "PLM"? What is "BIM"? What do these terms really mean, once you have explained what the initials stand for? After reading your magazine, I only feel that I need to return to some university and get another degree to understand and keep up.

I am trying to get something out of your magazine, but I find this extremely difficult to impossible as I encounter terminology and concepts that are foreign to me. Your contributors and staff writers write as if everyone who will be reading their articles are always on the same page as they are. I don't have any suggestions to solve this problem. Perhaps a glossary would be helpful, I don't know. But what I do know is that, if things continue, you are creating an elite group of readers who will be the only ones that will benefit from your magazine in the all-too-near future. I find that this opinion is shared by those on my staff and our clients as well. I find that, instead of benefiting from reading your magazine, I am only daunted by the thought of reading it.

Just some food for thought. As for me, I am contemplating a change of careers.

—Martin L. Wayson, CAD technician
Bryant Associates, Syracuse, New York

Tips and Help
I am not a code writer but a code user. Thank you for the great job you do keeping us CAD users informed about new tips and forgotten old stuff.

—Anatoly Ostretsovby

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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