All About BIM

I recently had the pleasure of attending a four-day course in San Diego, CA, hosted by the San Diego Chapter of the American General Contractors Association (AGC).  Humberto Martinez, one of our CAD Technicians, attended and completed these sessions along with me.

The official title for the course is Building Information Modeling (BIM) Education Program, and was taught by Dan Russell, CM-BIM, LEED AP, who works for Sundt Construction as their Director of Construction Technology. The thirty-two hours of instruction and training are designed to better prepare construction industry professionals to take advantage of the benefits of BIM.

One of the most powerful things I learned was that BIM is not in itself a type of technology but that it’s the collaborative process which also incorporates technology elements. I think that most people think BIM is just about 3D models.  That is only one part of it.  It is truly a collaborative process involving everyone, on any project, from the building owner to facilities management. The idea is to develop an inclusive environment for the entire life cycle of the project.  There are 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D and XD models associated with BIM.  The benefits for each company are different and there will be both successes and issues with this process.

We were told that BIM is 90% Sociology and 10% Technology.  The course had an attendee mix of designers, construction management, MEP, and subcontractors.  The classes helped me to understand that there is more to implementing BIM than just having software and the personnel to use it.  A company assessment should be done, along with a BIM Execution Plan. We also heard about the language that is being used in contracts, and how it can be modified on a per-project basis.  One of the main takeaways for me was that any company that wants to implement the BIM process, needs to have buy-in from everyone that will be involved with it (office and field), as well as upper management’s backing.  BIM may have been just a fad ten years ago, but it is now here to stay.

We are exploring the process of implementing this here at Giroux.  I have been talking about it for about 5 years now, and after this course, I can more easily identify what issues have held us back from proceeding to date.  For more information about the class, see the course description here.

Now that Humberto and I have earned the certificate proving course completion shown here, we are now eligible to take the exam to earn the Certificate of Management Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM).  We hope to take the exam to become certified as “CM-BIM” next year.

by Michelle Fainberg, CAD Manager

If you would like to learn more about Michelle and Humberto’s experiences with the BIM Education Program, or make comments about this article, email [email protected].