The Wrong BIM Workflow

Why firms fear upgrading to BIM

Understanding the concept of BIM is quite simple and when explaining its benefits most of the Architects react like “yes, it make sense..”. But the big fear comes when the first un-successful and failure experiences start to happen.

Lately some firms already tried to implement BIM or are already using it without finding any real benefit. Sometimes the workflow and results are even worst than when working with the classic 2D methodology.

Here is a link to a very interesting article from Shoegnome Blog explaining how a bad understanding or using of BIM can bankrupt your firm.


BIM Vs 2D CAD Workflow. Courtesy of Shoegnome

The problem increases its size when firms try to develop a “BIM model” at the same time as producing all the documentation in the classic 2D workflow. This phenomena is often called “do things twice at the same time with twice amount of resources”.. Another common case is when the team starts to use BIM developing a good Model but when the schedule gets tight they desist and go back to 2D manual production of information cutting the BIM workflow. This can be called “the fear of failing”. When I speak with some of my architect friends they basically tell me “we tried and it was a mess, we lost a lot of time”. I don’t blame them…

Go with the flow

The big issue for Architects is to understand that once the project is developed in BIM, the production of the 2D documentation should be extracted from the model. That is the true BIM workflow, this is how BIM makes you save time and improves the accuracy and coordination of a project.

Design Process BIM

Full BIM Workflow: From 3D to Data to 2D.

As an ARCHICAD user I always recommended architects to use it. Most of people that already tried it appreciate how it easily matches the architect workflow. More than 10 years ago I started using it without knowing what BIM was or its “benefits”, and easily and without any pain it became an efficient tool for our design process at any stage of development of a project till its execution. But of course I am sure every one can find a different BIM software that serves them best.

A.02.4.1 Layout _ Layout2

Example: Any kind of 2D documentation can be extracted directly from the model. In this case 1:200 and 1:50 sections were setup to be automatized.

This was one of the main topics in the last seminar we did at the Hong Kong Institute of BIM. I remember the skeptical faces on the room while showing all the all the drawings produced from one of our project extracted from the model developed in Archicad. One effort that firms need to take is to extract the documentation (both 2D and 3D)out of the model in order to develop a full BIM workflow.

In my perspective those that already took the big step of use BIM and try to implement it in their firm and in a real project should not desist. It is a fact that all countries are already moving toward this platform in order to collaborate and develop projects. The benefits are clear so is a matter of How to join the change and take the step.

Showing 2 comments
  • Cosmo

    The problem is that building Contractors still need 2D drawings in black and white. Often I see poor quality 2d drawings generated from good BIM models: usually it’s poor differentiation of ‘cut’ and ‘seen’ planes in plan or section, line weight or style issues, poor text placement, ‘flying’ objects that need a dotted line or two to explain how they tie into the rest of the building or simply a need to see the drawing as a step in the communication of the design, not a by product of the software.

    • Enzyme Team

      Thanks for the comment Cosmo,

      I completely agree with you about the fact that we still need to produce 2D drawings for contractors. I heard the same problems you are describing from other architects that are not satisfy with the quality of the 2D drawings they extract from the model. It can be frustrated at the beginning..

      I have been developing my 2D drawings from my models developed in Archicad. I know it is sometimes not completely clear how to achieve the quality we are used to. Lately when we submit PDF and CAD drawings for coordination with other consultants or contractors the result has been quite satisfying. In my experience with Archicad is quite intuitive achieve a good and clear graphic result.

      When telling some consultants that the information we provided was extracted directly from the model they were skeptical about it because the quality was very satisfying for them. It is true that some times some 2d drafting help to improve the 2d documentation is needed, for example in details, but the gross part of the job is done if the set up for the 2D information is done properly..

      Which BIM software are you using?

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