Sunday, September 25, 2011


On Thursday afternoon I attended a "BIM Seminar" which had found its way into my inbox.  From the agenda I had assumed this was to be a cross-platform discussion of BIM issues, which seemed to me a most refreshing idea.

In reality it turned out to be a sales pitch for ArchiCAD.  I don't regret attending.  It's a few years now since I used ArchiCAD and it was interesting to see how it has developed.  There was also a session on VICO, software that has much in common with the likes of Navis Works, allowing construction managers to access the information in BIM models to drive their programming & critical path analyses.

It was a little strange though.  Couldn't help feeling there was an attempt to hijack the term BIM. 

Probably the highlight of the afternoon was the BIM explorer, an iPad app which allows clients & others to walk around exported Archicad models through a very simple interface.  But again, why BIMx ?  Do they intend to supply plug-ins for Revit and Bentley Architect, or is it really better called Archi-View.  Not quite as cool, but perhaps more honest.

Personally I think Graphisoft are doing some interesting things and I'm glad that Revit isn't the only game in town.  I would also like to see real BIM seminars taking place where ordinary architects, contractors, clients etc can discuss the implications of the changes we are facing as an industry, regardless of the proprietary software we have chosen.

What are the legal implications of handing over a digital model to the contractor ?  If he cuts his own section at an arbitrary point through our model and finds that the full intricacies of the way materials join together is not captured in 3d, can he make a claim ?  Or are we stuck forever in a world where the 2d paper prints (stamped & signed) are the only truly legal records of our design ?

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