The BIM Manager’s Handbook: Guidance for Professionals in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction


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The Rise and Rise of BIM

BIM use has been expanding continuously since 2003,1 making BIM Management a moving target. Back then, BIM became the accepted industry acronym for a range of descriptions such as Virtual Design & Construction (VDC), Integrated Project Models, or Building Product Models. Until that point, different software developers had branded their tools with these varying acronyms, while essentially talking about the same object-oriented modeling approach that was first introduced to a wider audience by Chuck Eastman in the mid-1970s. Around 2002–2003, it was AEC Industry Analyst Jerry Laiserin2 who played a pivotal role in promoting the single use of the acronym “BIM” which had been coined by G.A. van Nederveen and Tolman in 19923 and which later became the preferred definition of Autodesk’s Phil Bernstein. It was the starting point for an industry-wide journey to holistically address planning, design, delivery, and operational processes within the building lifecycle. This journey raises a great number of culturally sensitive and professionally relevant issues: By nature a disruptive process, the adoption of BIM overturns decades of conventions related to the interplay between architects, engineers, contractors, and clients. BIM Managers are drawn right into the center of these changes in practice. Despite the clarity about BIM’s origin, there is no clear starting point to the commercial breakthrough of BIM; conceptually, BIM dates back to the early 1970s with the introduction of mainframe computers.4 Some of the key BIM software platforms in use today have their origins in these early developments. The increase in processing

Defining Good, or Even “Best Practice,” BIM

The term “Building Information Modeling” has remained of such a generic nature that interpretations about its meaning are vast and many. Some see “Modeling” as a verb, describing the activity of generating, assembling, and coordinating virtual building information.11 Others refer to BIM as “a model” of building information, either in terms of geometric components, data, or a mix between the two. Considering the vast differences in defining BIM itself one needs to wonder if it is possible to define good BIM, or even “best practice” BIM


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