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I would if I could but I can't...

If you have ever stepped on a stair that wasn’t there, you’ll probably remember that sense of being jolted by something unexpected. I experienced it the other day, not whilst I was negotiating stairs but whilst I was talking to a colleague on the ‘phone.

In the course of our BIM-centred conversation (I have a lot of those!) he made a remark that challenged the basis of all my BIM beliefs and forced me to reassess what I have been preaching for many years to attendees of our Workshops.

When he first expressed his theory I was, for a second or two, in total disagreement. But then in my head I could hear a Tony Hancock-like voice saying: ‘He’s right you know!’.

My colleague had, in one sentence, expressed a theory that made perfect sense, even though it conflicted with my own long-held beliefs. I honestly found it hard to disagree with him - much as the purist in me might have liked to!

Here’s what got me thinking: my colleague had concluded that Building Information Modelling doesn’t work on most projects (with the caveat ‘with the current state of knowledge in the construction industry’). There is, he believes, a minimum and maximum project size within which BIM can be implemented successfully, which is between about £20-80m.

Implementing BIM on projects below around £20 is perceived as too much effort for too little reward, whereas implementing BIM on projects larger than £80m is perceived as too difficult and complex.

We talked through this idea for a few minutes and I must emphasise that he repeated the caveat above several times; in other words he believes that this is only a temporary state of affairs and it is understood and agreed that BIM will eventually become ubiquitous and the norm.

So what is your opinion about successfully implementing BIM? Do you or colleagues make the conscious decision to exclude smaller projects from the BIM process? Have you had experience of larger projects where it all simply became too much?

Please leave your comments in the space below.

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