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Bridging the digital divide between the BIM haves and have nots

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Bridging the digital divide between the BIM haves and have nots

Sasha Reed | October 7, 2013

Last month I attended the Monterey Design Conference, hosted by the AIA California Counsel.  This biennial conference, dubbed “Design 101” by the original conference Chair and TED Conference founder, Richard Saul Wurman, brings together the Who’s Who of the design community.  Architects from all over the globe and across the generational divide gather to discuss design and share ideas on how we can design and build better.

I was invited to speak at this conference in order to share my perspective on digital communication and BIM.   Co-presenting with my colleague who is an Associate AIA, we were able to provide both the designer and the builder perspective on this topic.  We discussed the challenges both sides face as BIM brings about the dawn of the Information age.  Many firms are finding the road ahead difficult to navigate as they grapple with limited budgets and complicated technology purchasing decisions.  All of this puts further pressure and strain on already fragile project pipelines. 

Our objective in this speaking session was to provide insight on accessible technology solutions that prove effective in allowing project team members to digitally communicate and collaborate.  We shared success stories from project teams who are using both 2D and 3D PDFs, to share rich model data downstream, therefore bypassing hardware limitations and sidestepping the software learning curve.  



After the session we spoke to many Architects from mid-size firms to sole proprietors who admitted that they have found themselves outside of the BIM bubble, struggling to stay in the game.  Many of their limitations were due to the inability to compete with larger firms' abilities to provide fully digital workflows.  Outlining ways in which project teams were able to communicate digitally, both within the model and downstream, allowed them to see both PDF and BIM in a new light.  

At the end of the day, there is no doubt that BIM is the future of design.  But for many firms, finding a bridge to access rich model data and share it with those typically left on the sidelines can be the difference between winning a bid or not.

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

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