Saturday, December 1, 2012


Maybe I'm just borrowing trouble but I can't help wondering whether the data portions of BIM deliverables will present yet another opportunity for contradictions to sneak into contract documents.  That is, will it be possible for data in the model or links to contradict information in specifications or drawings?

It's already a significant challenge to coordinate drawings and specifications.

When AE deliverables include things like COBie data, will there be new opportunities to inadvertently introduce contradictions?

I recognize that BIM, and BIM/spec integration, are inevitable. I'm even convinced it's a good thing.

It's just been my experience that every solution carries with it the seed of a new problem.


  1. Progress is rarely painless. New ways to do things of course present new ways to screw up. I also believe - no, I know this is a good thing. I've been asking for years why architects don't see the benefits of sharing information via the model. For a long time, the argument was, "What if we give the [consultant] [contractor] [other entity] our model, and it has a mistake?"

    Eureka! Until then, I didn't realize that we had always issued perfect drawings and specifications! No wonder we don't want to change!

    I'm less concerned about conflicts within the model (I assume the programmers are doing everything they can to keep that from happening) than conflicts between the data entered and the real world. It certainly is possible to populate the properties with things that make no sense, aren't available, or can't be built, and to me, that is and will be a problem for some time.

    When the software gets to the point that it won't accept erroneous information - not before I retire - the model will become much more bulletproof. Not idiot-proof, though.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sheldon. I, too am convinced that sharing the model with consultants, and with contractors, is ultimately a good thing for all parts of the AEC industry. Not to mention inevitable because of the expectations of owner/managers.

    I'm just bracing myself, however, for the inevitable discovery of inconsistencies and contradictions which will creep into the model as it progresses through the design team, through the builder team, and into the hands of the owner.

    Though devilishly clever, programmers can't possibly envision all the ways that contradictions will be able to creep into a model and all its linked tentacles, nor the resulting consternation and costs to designers, builders, and owners.

    Interesting you should observe "New ways to do things of course present new ways to screw up." My colleagues are probably weary of hearing me say "Every solution carries with it the seed of another problem." I probably plagiarized that from someone, but I can't remember who.