Digital COM

About the Author: Sasha Reed has over 12 years of experience working directly in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) market. As VP of Strategic Alliances at Bluebeam Software, Sasha interacts directly with AEC leaders to better understand the long-range goals of the industry and help align Bluebeam’s technology partnerships. In addition, Sasha is acting Chair of the Construction PDF Coalition.  The purpose of the Coalition is to establish Guidelines to provide Architects, Engineers, Constructors and Owners (AECO) with a common framework in which to create and maintain Construction PDF Documents. Sasha has been featured as the keynote speaker at the 2014 Bentley Florida User Group and spoken at numerous industry events including the American Institute of Architects’ DesignDC Conference, NTI Danish BIM Conference, the International Highway Engineering Exchange Program and the International Facilities Management Association Conference. Sasha has also contributed articles to numerous national publications and authors the Digital Com blog for Building Design + Construction magazine. Before Bluebeam, Sasha was a Project Manager for M3, a Herman Miller dealer, where she learned firsthand the challenges faced by the AEC industry from project conception to completion. 

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In a BIM world, how much information is too much information?

June 20, 2013

Editor's note: This is a sponsored article. All text and images were provided by the sponsor company.


I recently had a conversation with a senior technician for a building and engineering company about their use of BIM during the design phase of a project. He was explaining that their ultimate goal is to capture as much of the communication as possible within the 3D model.  

Knowing that many design discussions are iterative, I questioned how much of the design discussion did he want to capture: all of it or just the project critical discussions? He thought about it for a second and then said, “all of it.” However, he then admitted that his challenge was that his engineers were resistant to having these discussions within the model itself.  
Curious to know why, I spoke with an engineer about this interaction and asked for his opinion on tracking iterative design discussions within the model. His response was, “Why force 'sketch pad' conversations to be done with a chisel and hammer?”
He agreed that it’s important to clearly document changes within the model, however, he stated that it’s oftentimes easier to tinker and discuss issues in 3D and 2D PDF, outside of the model, as it alleviates the risk of unintentionally making changes to the model you later have to undo. Once you resolve your conflict and find a solution, you can then go back and update the model. The conversation still exists as an archived document but doesn’t add unnecessary risk or “chatter” to the model itself.
So I thought I’d pose this same question to you: What information do you find valuable to keep within the BIM world and what information do you feel is best archived or referenced outside of the model itself? Do you think there is such a thing as TMI within BIM?

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