Owning it from the start

Before writing this post, I reached out to a few people in the AEC space to talk about strategic BIM planning. For me, it’s a catharsis to talk about BIM. However, anecdotally, about 75% of space owners are reluctant to engage in strategic planning sessions and my colleagues in the software and data world echoed this.

The reason for this hesitation is anxiety. Anxiety about the difficulty getting started. Anxiety about being able to show return on investment. Anxiety to deliver projects that are on the books. It doesn’t seem like a big issue, but this anxiety snowballs. 

Enough doom and gloom. Here’s the happy picture: Imagine a world where the data created during construction or renovation better lived on in other ERP systems. You know that someone spent the time to model out your facilities. Those models have valuable information in them that usually is never accessed once your project is complete. 

Think for a minute about a world where this information is the same for every single project. Your unified building standards create visual consistency with your spaces and reinforce your company’s brand. This data goes beyond just visual consistency. Imagine the ability to tie BIM data to your company’s sustainability or safety initiatives. Think of how useful it would be if your entire portfolio of buildings was digitally managed. You could use this information to tell which spaces perform better than others, and truly understand the full cost of repairs and maintenance. 

This is precisely why now is the moment to begin, and own your BIM process from the start. BIM is your company’s lifeblood, and if visions of unified and accessible data don’t quash your anxiety, maybe understanding how best to get started will. It’s as simple as talking! Seriously, implementing BIM is that easy. 

Even if you lack in house BIM expertise, it’s possible to get started now. Similar to other data or IT initiatives, I suggest starting by creating a BIM Strategy. Workshops are the best first step. 

Strategy workshops map processes, and outline the systems and data flow you are already using. It’s important to keep the end in mind, so this is the stage to determine how you will define success which ties to the goals of your initiative. Depending on your goals, the execution may look different, but ultimately the BIM Uses are defined and a schedule of work is laid out in your BIM Execution Plan. 

The result: control. You as the asset owner are able to take control of the process by communicating to consultants of each project, your standards to be followed, templates to be used, etc. It really is that simple. 

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