Is BIM better?

Is BIM better?

Is BIM better?Posted in parallel on

As a slight reprieve from all the Pro-BIM chat, let’s ask a simple question, is BIM better? I won’t bore you with what you’ll expect and what you probably already know. Instead, let’s take the contrarian’s approach and channel those few who remain in our firms – you know who they are, that would answer ‘No’…

BIM introduces change. Change in the Optimist’s eyes is all well and good but let’s be real; The optimist often overlooks or ignores the details and as the saying goes, the devil is in the details. The optimist is easily wowed by all the magical things BIM can do but ignores the fact that, well, we don’t really need to do all that. When I tell the optimist that this change effects how I budget projects, and I don’t want to change the way I budget projects he responds with something about “LOD’s”. I have a system that’s worked for 30 years . What the hell do I do with an “LOD” and how the hell do I budget for a BIM project?

My friend the optimist tells me that there’s more effort up front in a BIM project and then it tapers off in CD’s but I haven’t seen this. Has anyone actually got any hard metrics on this? Sure I’ve seen the HOK graph from 10 years ago that BIM folks like to throw around and look knowledgeable about. But it’s just a diagram of a theory. Show me some real and actualized project performance data. My friend the project accountant showed me real project data from a large project with about 45 production staff and yeah, there was a lot of billable hours up front. They got that part right. But those hours continued through DD’s and into CD’s without much change. Full disclosure, I haven’t seen the project closeout numbers but they sure weren’t looking good and weren’t giving me much faith that there would be a downturn in hours.

I’m told that BIM teams can be smaller if they are experienced. Well my guys seem to be taking a heck of a long time doing this BIM stuff that I don’t understand and I can’t tell if they are doing it right or not. Good thing I can review the docs and that’s all that matters. Wait, what? We are delivering the BIM model? How do we know what we are delivering in this thing? How do we quality check a document set and a BIM within the budget of an average project. It is going to take more hours to do that. I was told BIM was a more efficient method. It seems to me it is less efficient plus I’ve got to go and learn all this new shit, when what I was doing before seemed to work just fine.

More productivity sounds great, but I don’t see it. And to top it off, I still had to buy new workstations, new plugins and tools, training services, and now I’m told that I need a BIM Manager on each project. Well Mr. Optimist, I’ve followed your rainbow, where’s my pot of gold, because I don’t have it. All I have is headache and a bitter attitude towards BIM.

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Revit standards analytics

At the Design Technology Summit we discuss a wide variety of topics and challenges relevant to our firms success. Recently member firm Francis Cauffman wanted to get an understanding and baseline of Revit progress within the firm. They began analyzing their Revit projects and usage of firm standards within their models. The approach taken was to create a new blank Revit file and load into it 20 recent or current projects, then query these projects using schedules such as Wall, Door, Floor, Ceiling, Specialty Equipment, and so on. The schedules would show total count across all the projects, sorted by Family and Type and revealed some very interesting information about the difference between what was considered standard content in the firm’s template and what should be included in the template. It also revealed the usage of best practices in projects and identified teams that needed some attention.

This kind of tactic is one of many that are often discussed at the Summit. If this kind of strategy is of value to you, then you will find DTS is a great resource. Come and join the discussion at the Summit!

Attendance at DTS is by invitation only and limited to 40 registrants. We feel that his number will better foster an atmosphere of active and meaningful discussions between everyone.

If you received an invitation, we are hopeful that you are able to join your fellow invitees.
If you have questions feel free to contact
If you think you belong at this event, but did not receive an invitation, please email to sign-up for future follow-up and communication (Please include your name, e-mail, title, company, company size, address (optional), company website and a brief response on “why you belong at DTS”?).

DTS:Management – Billable/ Overhead Op-Ed published!


We’re all really excited to announce that we’ve released our first piece! DTS:Management’s ‘Billable/ Overhead Op-Ed’ is a featured article in the July/ August 2015 issue of DesignIntelligence.  You can find the article in its entirety by clicking the link at the top.


Leadership is a key theme of this issue, especially as it relates to how firms handle leadership change across generations.  Our billable/ overhead dialogue contributes to the already formidable roster of articles.  If you’d like to order a copy of the entire publication you can do so here.


We’re very much looking forward to hearing your feedback!









A message from the Chairman

An update from the Design Technology Summit Chairman:
As I write, the Design Technology Summit (DTS) is only a month away! It is hard to believe that the time since the summit in San Diego has flown by so quickly! The good news is that in a few short weeks our first official documents will be published and released! This is our first opportunity to go “public” in a big way and the Management group under the leadership of Robert Yori (SOM) have secured a spot in a well circulated print and digital magazine for their first OpEd piece. Second, our Innovation group is going to recognize the spirit of Innovation at RTC NA with the innovation aware. So far we have a number of people who have submitted entries. If you’re attending RTC NA and would like to submit (but didn’t) you can update your registration information (for assistance e-mail

Lastly, we still have seats open at DTS, so if you are already a member, please register, we would love to have you back. If you’re interested in becoming a summit participant, please let us know how you qualify. If you are on our mailing list and you missed it, we sent out a registration reminder a few weeks ago, just search in your inbox for “DTS 2015 – Elevator Pitch”.

We look forward to seeing you in a month!



Innovation group update

The Design Technology Summit is quickly filling it’s 40 invite-only seats. As you may know by now, this gathering of AEC technology and BIM leaders has three subgroups. We updated you on the collaboration and management groups and this is a quick look into what’s happening in the Innovation group.

Every firm mentions it in their mission statement; being innovative. It isn’t as easy it may seem, however. Researching leading design firms from the inside out, we’ve begun to identify key components of what makes them innovative and have asked tough questions about how they got there and the one answer that kept coming up was, in hindsight, a very simple one:

“We have a culture of innovation”

While we have identified the key trait to innovation, we continue to try to answer the question of,

How does a company properly foster a culture of innovation?

Taking some of what we have learned since the innovation group’s inception, our first major initiative, “The Innovation Project”, will be kicking off this summer at RTCNA and you’ll want to be sure you’re there to hear all about it!

Seats at the summit are filling up. Come and participate. If you would like to become a member of the Design Technology Leaders Group please contact and include your name, e-mail, title, company, company size, address (optional), company website and a brief response on “why you belong at DTS”?