BIM is not Revit!

In this article, I am going to explain why it is wrong to say that “if you know Revit, you are a BIM guru!”, which is something that is being spread in the AEC market.
Let’s take some steps in order to understand how it got so confusing.
Over the last years we’ve seen many “professionals” in the AEC market declare that they are BIM specialists, and if you take some time to analyze their profiles, you’ll notice a pattern. Some of them come from CAD, some are 3D designers, Revit or other 3D programs users, and if you’re lucky, you might find an engineer or an architect.
Sometimes we may have the impression that people see BIM everywhere; since there is no regulation for the “BIM specialist” title, suddenly everybody becomes one.
Unfortunately, what those self-entitled BIM specialists are doing is shoot themselves in the foot, because they underrate the real necessary efforts to implement BIM in a project. They change the management because they believe “the Revit guy” can do BIM.

Autodesk resellers cannot be hired as BIM consultants. They must stop fooling the market!

Consultancy and software supply are different activities and cannot be offered by the same company. This is unethical. The consultant must be impartial.
Many authorized Autodesk resellers have been offering BIM consultancy. How is it possible? It’s like going to a doctor that only prescripts medicines from a certain laboratory, for example. How can a reseller be a consultant for an open-source platform like BIM? These resellers are providing a disservice to the market as they purposefully create confusion about BIM and Revit implementation.
When they do this, they also create a wrong idea about the IFC format, since they are interested in defending only private formats. How is it still possible? This happens in Brazil because the country hasn’t developed a BIM culture yet and ends up being an easy target for commercial lobbyists. The world is moving towards Open BIM, while the companies here in Brazil, especially the public ones, are going backwards when choosing the private BIM, because they become slaves of one supplier and get totally vulnerable to their price policies.
There is no problem when resellers provide specific consultancy about the software they represent, but they must have the ethical commitment to explain to the client that software consultancy IS NOT AND CANNOT BE MISTAKEN FOR BIM CONSULTANCY.
The only thing these resellers do is convince the client that implementing BIM is the same as creating templates and various families. This is not BIM implementation. They must stop fooling the market.

Stay away from pseudo consultants!

Nowadays, pseudo “BIM implementation” courses and consultancies proliferate in the market. “BIM specialists” pop up with magical formulas, which will often lead to failures. Let’s understand the reason for such failures: the majority of those “specialists” have no adequate training and no practical experience in projects (the project process management will always be on a superior layer in the process, whatever the technology is). Many of them are “Youtube teachers”.
They intend to introduce BIM with “practical and cheap courses”. Your company will not acquire the necessary competency in ten or twenty hours. This is just a way to waste money while those people promote themselves and their useless lectures.
These tricks can also be disguised as workshops, seminars etc. They are usually offered by “pseudo consultancy” companies or companies specialized in “continuing education courses” (they always use these attractive names).
The “consultants’” profiles usually show that they are Revit specialists with PMP knowledge (which is not adequate for design management), but you will not find professionals that study and write about the subject. Why? Because they don’t have any intellectual production besides blogs for promoting “tips and online courses”.
Their approach is usually the following: BIM introduction (which is an easy subject and talks about changes and technological promises), superficial definitions of work process, interoperability, challenges, parameters etc. Then, of course, comes the practical part.
The “practical part” consists of Revit – not BIM – implementation through the “pilot project” paradigm (which never works, because it is neither ideal nor real).
The “pseudo consultants” then say lots of things about family development, templates, and “modeling manuals” (what is that?).
The more pretentious ones propose “formulas” for implementing it in design offices (as if it were possible to standardize it, since each office has its own characteristics, its own market, and an internal culture that needs to be known before establishing magical formulas).
Then they confuse you by talking about “project coordination” as if it were “project compatibility” and teach you how to do it with amateur software: Naviswork or Tekla BIMsight. That’s it! In twenty hours we have a new project “coordinator” producing gigabytes of “clash detections”.
They use a questionable literature to support what they say. The ASBea BIM Manual is the most typical example. I have already wrote a review in this blog and have come to the conclusion that it is, at most, a very basic and weak book, which focuses on “what” it is, but not on “how” to do it.

I have witnessed these self-proclaimed BIM specialist managers in well-known companies using Revit or Civil3D to elaborate a basic 2D or creating simple 3D models from 2D drawings. This is definitely not BIM.
Don’t get me wrong; Revit can be very useful, but it cannot be BIM’s Holy Grail. Even if it is used correctly, it still isn’t enough to fully implement BIM.
Many unprepared companies usually ask, “What about those outsourced 3D modeling companies that advertise on the Internet and promote lectures? I’ve heard that they can transform my 2D design in 3D models in a minute! This will solve everything, right?” My answer is, “it is a basic 3D model, not a solution. What does the contract say? What is your BIM scope? Do you have a BIM implementation plan?”

The clients’ demands now are:

  • BIM Implementation plans;
  • A modeling made by engineers and architects with at least five years of experience;
  • BIM project files modeled directly by the project professional, not by CAD-BIM “translations”;
  • Spatial coordination and clash reports with high-level software such as Solibri;
  • Sequencing of 4D construction connected to the chronogram through professional software such as Synchro;
  • Lists of automatic quantitative connected directly to budgeting data bank or to systems like SAP;
  • 3D viewing in high-resolution augmented reality;
  • COBie spreadsheets for facilities management;

As we can see, BIM influences all the important work processes in engineering and architecture.
Implementing it correctly and getting the real benefits of the new methods require more than hiring an outsourced company.
So, the questions you must ask yourself after reading this post are:
1. Are you implementing BIM just because the project demands it?
2. Do you really want to bring BIM to your company and have a better position in the market?
If your answer to question 1 is “yes”, then I regret to inform you that you’ll soon be extinct. The majority of the projects in large scale are already being developed with BIM. Clients are growing aware of what BIM really is and they know what to expect from your company. Are you ready to deliver it? Or do you really think you can fool them with 3D models?
If your answer to question 2 is “yes”, then BIM is going to change the way you work. It requires an investment in time and money, but if you focus on continuous improvements instead of waiting for a miracle in the short term, you’ll definitely have them.
Just because someone in your team is using Revit or is a Revit specialist/has a Revit certificate, doesn’t mean he/she is a BIM expert. Just because you have a motorcycle, doesn’t mean you are a professional pilot, right?

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