Believe it or not we have heard these words uttered countless times by designers often followed by as a contractor you get bigger fees, you just don't understand. Or the coup de grace, BIM has a ROI for owners and contractors but barely any ROI for designers.
First why is this important? This is one of the greatest copouts holding BIM back. Owners want design teams to create clear and concise contract documents in a short period of time. This has been going on since we have been designing and constructing buildings. If I had the choice of a gourmet burger of the same quality in 5 minutes or 30 minutes, I know what I would choose. It’s the same with BIM don't come to the table saying you are doing BIM. Then after reviewing the owner's requirements say, “Oh I didn't mean that kind of BIM. There will have to be a fee increase in order to do that.”
Second the economy sucks, yes we said it. Everyone's fees are reduced and that will not change until the economy does. Does that mean we continue the status quo until the economy changes? We say no. As members of the AEC industry we have a duty to our clients to provide them with the best project for the best value. For those who say BIM cost more and takes more time; we'll go out on a limb and say then you are doing it wrong.
Is there a cost for doing a project in BIM? Yes, there is yet it is no different than the cost a few years ago for doing a project in CADD. Now does this mean we go all out and do every imaginable BIM item on a project? Not in the least. It does mean we use the right tools for the job and push a little further each time. Saying you do BIM is not a differentiator. The saying goes actions speak louder than words. We believe BIM should not be a standalone entity but something which has been integrated into the AEC industries' fabric of work or standard of care, if you will.
We know some are going to read this and say:
“They aren’t talking about me, I do BIM.”
“In order to do BIM I have to spend too much money.”
“Contractors always get the bigger fee and the bigger ROI with BIM, of course they want it.”
We may have touched a nerve but as we always say discourse will eventually lead to the answer. Let us hear your thoughts and together we just may be able to solve the issue. If not that we can always have a cage match like they had at Autodesk University.