Does BIM Work as a Deliverable?

Sasha Reed sits down with industry professionals at the BIMForum in San Diego to talk about BIM technology.

Sponsored content
May 28, 2015 |
Sasha Reed
Does BIM Work as a Deliverable?

BIMForum recently held their spring conference in San Diego with the theme BIM – Transforming Deliverables. With a topic like this, I just had to attend and see what I could uncover. Armed with a camera crew (and permission from the event organizers), I set out to conduct off-stage interviews, bringing these important conversations beyond the conference to you.

To kick off this interview series, I’ll start by sharing my sit-down interview with two of the speakers from the session BIM Won’t Work as a Deliverable, Will It? This was one of my must-see sessions, primarily because it was a multi-perspective panel aimed at uncovering the barriers project partners face today.  After all, in order to better define changes required for success tomorrow, we must take an honest look at our current state. Moderated by Dace Campbell, an Autodesk Customer Success Manager, the panel consisted of an architect, a contractor and an attorney. They were Josh Emig of Perkins + Will, Ricardo Khan, Director of Integrated Construction for M.A. Mortenson Company, and Lindsay Pflugrath, an attorney with Skellenger Bender. 

I sat down with Campbell and Khan to ask them about their approach and better understand the value proposition of BIM for each party represented. Campbell, an architect and former contractor turned technology partner, felt multiple perspectives were required in order to paint an accurate picture of the complexity surrounding this challenge. He believes we are moving towards a state in which BIM can be a deliverable with the Right of Reliance.   He further believes the benefits of doing so outweigh the risk. Khan echoed that sentiment, highlighting how this affects those downstream, from fabricators to constructors and ultimately affects what is delivered to the owner. Both agreed technology is only one piece of the puzzle; people, culture and process are other factors to be considered.

Speaking from the contractor’s perspective, Khan believes his role reflects what a lot of other contractors have experienced – they’ve evolved into integrators. Their new focus is in finding ways to build collaborative approaches with design partners in order to provide the best output for the owner.  He views the contractor as the “final touch point” in the process, adding, “It’s an exciting time for us.”  

And I couldn’t agree more. I personally find the contractor’s transformation to integrator to be one of the key pivots for the industry. When I asked Khan how he sees this transformation affecting his trade partners, he replied, “For our trade partners, we try to find the best information that they need to be able to execute their work, with zero rework, or first-time quality. And to be the safest they can. The model is just one of these extra data points we can provide them. The 2D environment is great; unfortunately, it’s still contractually obligated for us to build off of that, but the model becomes this communication vehicle, which allows us to truly eliminate interpretation. So that integrator role plays a part in communication with a visual context.”

Campbell agreed, stating that it even came up during the panel discussion. “It’s paramount if we’re going to be moving towards a situation where the model is something you can rely on as a deliverable, that every key stakeholder has uninhibited access to that data; you can’t have BIM illiteracy out in the field. It’s imperative that everybody, just as well as they can read a drawing or a spec, has the same literacy to read a model and have access to that. Whether they are the front end designer, an owner, downstream subcontractor or FM, it’s shifting the entire industry and building a model industry.”

It was at this point I agreed and added that in order for this to become a reality, it puts more pressure on technology companies to come up with solutions that are easy to use and take out the complexity for the end user. I believe this is one of the factors that make this challenge so complex. In order to affect people, culture and process, we need technologies that bridge the access and fluency gaps for all within the 3D realm.

Our conversation continued as we discussed the “BIM curve” and key takeaways from the conference.  We ended our discussion on the idea that in order for any of this to become a reality, we all must see BIM as a workflow. It shouldn’t be defined by technology, but rather, technology should be an enabler of these workflows. 

I’d like to thank each of the speakers who sat down with me and shared their ideas and perspectives. Special thank you to the organizers of BIMForum for allowing me conduct these interviews and share the full conference sessions with you. 

For more insights or to hear the full interview, watch the embedded video. If you’d like to see this session in its entirety, click here to watch on BIMForum’s YouTube Channel.

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.

Related Blogs

An exterior shot of the Beijing National Stadium
August 17, 2017 | Building Materials | StrXur by Bluebeam

Lighter than glass and 100% recyclable, one material takes center stage in the future of building.

Rendering of a Matrix-style theater
August 02, 2017 | Architects | StrXur by Bluebeam

An Australian Home Theater Company is out to prove that the easier you can see it, the easier you can sell...

July 19, 2017 | Architects | StrXur by Bluebeam

Our goal is to present unique perspectives you may not be able to find anywhere else.  

July 13, 2017 | Accelerate Live! | StrXur by Bluebeam

From my perspective, what separates organizations thriving in the digital revolution from those who are not...

March 15, 2017 | StrXur by Bluebeam

Who is succeeding, and on what terms? And what will it take for everyone to experience the benefits of that...

October 04, 2016 | Building Team | StrXur by Bluebeam

As the construction industry bounces back from the Great Recession, an entirely new class of tech-savvy con...

July 11, 2016 | Building Team | StrXur by Bluebeam

The lead up to AECX featured a discussion providing insight into the current state of the AEC technological...

June 23, 2016 | StrXur by Bluebeam

Two truths from the jobsite: 1) The best part about uncovering a problem is discovering its solution, and 2...

June 09, 2016 | AEC Tech | StrXur by Bluebeam

Rather than fighting to control the proliferation of apps, perhaps we should be training our eyes to look f...

Overlay Init