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Bridging the digital divide between the BIM haves and have nots

There's 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. 

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October 07, 2013 |
Sasha Reed

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.

Sasha Reed | StrXur by Bluebeam
Bluebeam, Inc.
Vice President of Strategic Development

As Vice President of Strategic Development at Bluebeam, Inc., Sasha Reed collaborates with leaders in the architecture, engineering and construction industry to guide Bluebeam’s technology, partnerships and long-term goals. She joined Bluebeam in 2007 and co-created the Concierge Approach, a distinctly branded process of customer engagement, product feedback and solution delivery to which much of Bluebeam’s success is attributed, and which today is replicated at every organizational level.

Sasha is known industry-wide as a “conversation facilitator,” creating platforms for exchanges necessary to digitally advance the industry, including the BD+C Magazine Digital COM Blog, which she authors and manages. She’s been a featured presenter at numerous national and international conferences, including the 2014 Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Federal Project Delivery Symposium and NTI Danish BIM Conference. Sasha also co-chairs the Construction PDF Coalition, a grassroots effort to provide a common industry framework from which to create and maintain construction PDF documents, serves on the City College of San Francisco BIM Industry Council, and is Advisor to the Board of Direction for the National Institute of Building Sciences BuildingSMART Alliance.

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