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(some of)my thoughts after the Miami BIMForum meeting

It is hard to really gather my thoughts after such an intense few days, but here goes.

On Wednesday morning, we heard presentations from as impressive group of presenters discussing applications of VDC relating to exterior systems: Will Ikerd (Intertech), Dennis Shelden (Gehry Technology), Scott Mellema (Permasteelisa), Matt Ryan (Webcor), Chuck Eastman (Georgia Tech) and Stacy Scopano (Tekla). Although I spent a decent portion of the morning taking care of BIMForum organizational things, what I heard from the presentations helped put a lot of my work in perspective (speaking both historically and intensity). It was definitely a good idea to start off the meeting with those presentations (compared to in Boston when we ended the meeting with similar presentations relating to steel).

Wednesday afternoon, I sat in on the Process Mapping Task Force where we listened to two presentations related to other process mapping initiatives. The first one was based on a virtual project that Johnson & Johnson, Tocci, KlingStubbins, Gilbane & EMCOR are working on (presentation available here; work product available here). The second one was based on USACE's BIM Roadmap.

Although the discussions of this group are supposed to be related to process, software selection kept coming up (i.e. can the owner dictate a software solution?). I have been thinking about software a lot lately - probably a little too much, actually - so I had a few thoughts on this. When it comes down to it, I suppose an owner can require use of a specific software - directly or indirectly (i.e. by requiring a deliverable in a specific file format). However, requiring a specific software may impact productivity and deadline among other things.

When I think about switching software programs for modeling, viewing, coordinating, etc. I can imagine the learning curve associated to it - especially if it is only for one project. I know that we have developed standards, protocols, and best internal practices for Revit; how would we go about doing such a thing for another software program, while maintaining similar productivity? The use of this program would go on for several years for the GC/CM; construction projects take time (but then again, the use of this program for the FM will go on for even longer)! This of course leads me to think about a potential switch - even if we stopped using Revit on new projects today, we will still be using it for another 2 years on already modeled projects. By that time, any current issues we have with Revit will have already been resolved. So whats the point?

At this point, I should reiterate the title of this post, adding some emphasis to a key point: my thoughts.

More on the BIMForum meeting later.

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