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Wisconsin becomes the first state to require BIM on public projects

Wisconsin becomes the first state to require BIM on public projects


By Jeff Yoders, Senior Associate Editor | August 11, 2010
This article first appeared in the 200907 issue of BD+C.

As of July 1, the Wisconsin Division of State Facilities will require all state projects with a total budget of $5 million or more and all new construction with a budget of $2.5 million or more to have their designs begin with a Building Information Model.

The new guidelines and standards require A/E services in a design-bid-build project delivery format to use BIM and 3D software from initial planning concepts up to bidding documents and finally to project closeout. There are five projects over the $5 million threshold up for A/E selection in the next few months, followed by 18 more expected between 2009 and 2011. The projects include new and existing construction for 16 state agencies, including the Department of Military Affairs, Department of Administration, Department of Corrections, and the University of Wisconsin system.

Public comments are now being taken on the new BIM standards and guidelines at the DFS website: http://dsfbimstandards.forumco.com/default.asp.

Two thoughts on this: First, by going through a thorough pilot program that delivered 13 projects worth a combined $300 million since 2008, the Wisconsin DFS is in a good position to make this requirement. They know what to expect and how BIM projects should be delivered.

Furthermore, requiring BIM will force a lot of architects and engineers that bid on state contracts to make the switch to 3D design. Overall, this is a good thing, but there will be unintended consequences. The new guidelines don't require integrated project delivery (IPD), so there's a potential for "BIMwashing" using traditional 2D documents, just as we've seen greenwashing in sustainable projects.

Weigh in on the Wisconsin BIM mandate debate on my BIMBoy blog at: /blog/1340000734/post/1190046119.html

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