Analysis

Breaking out of the BIM echo chamber

1 August 2018 | By John Adams

Our industry events address a number of intimidating issues in such a head on way that those looking to understand the basics of delivering their role using BIM understandably stay away. – John Adams

It’s more than two years since the BIM mandate kicked in and despite some pockets of excellence emerging on projects, our path to an industry which uses BIM Level 2 as the default is not yet secure.

Many projects are quietly getting on with things and there is also an impressive emerging body of case studies, but some people are simply not involved in anything to do with BIM at all.

It’s very easy for those who have either instigated change or are involved in projects using BIM to convince themselves that everyone is following a similar journey.

There are a few important factors behind the illusion. Chief among them are that the length of design and construction projects can lock people into a process for many months, and also that those with BIM knowledge and skills are often automatically allocated to projects with BIM elements.

There is a self-fulfilling BIM prophecy emerging; it appears we may accidentally be fuelling a widening of the adoption chasm whilst trying to push the industry forwards.

As I’ve written before, we aren’t just leaving the laggards behind, we risk leaving great people with an insurmountable learning curve to tackle.

There are often-missed opportunities to address the learning challenges of those not currently involved with BIM at our industry events. We have a programme of world-leading events across the UK for the BIM savvy to learn and challenge each other which are genuinely excellent. 

However, these events address a number of intimidating issues in such a head on way that those looking to understand the basics of delivering their role using BIM understandably stay away. This leaves an audience of leading-edge practitioners watching a programme of bleeding-edge thinkers in what can only be described as a BIM Echo Chamber.    

The knowledge exchange that goes on at these events is incredibly valuable in the race to keep the UK at the front of a global BIM pack with our enviable reputation for delivering the standards and tools the global construction industry needs to digitise.

But to mitigate the split appearing in our skills market there is a genuine need to identify the most accessible and inspirational speakers from these events and connect them with those who are interested in starting their own BIM journey.

Creating some new events focusing on a distilled version of what we’ve learnt since the 2011 BIM mandate announcement will not only bring us closer to our ambitious BIM adoption targets, but it will actively shrink the skills gap by circling back to collect a whole host of knowledge and skills. 

This is why BIM Strategy has teamed up with the CIOB Northern Region and Constructing Excellence in the North East to curate an event that gathers some of the region’s best BIM explainers to Newcastle to deliver a programme which goes back to the start. 

BIM – From Confused to Comfortable features a broad range of speakers, from architects and engineers to clients, contractors and lawyers. It is a genuine attempt to dispel myths, build comfort levels, and offer a great path forward for those who attend.

More details about the event can be found here