If you like solving problems, if you need a creative outlet, try building information modeling (BIM) on your construction projects.

BIM isn’t new. Neither is 3D modeling. Think back to when you built with Legos (and maybe, if you’re like me and have a 4-year-old son, that was just last week). The advantage to using BIM in construction is studying the project before it begins. The old way of design-bid-build using 2D didn’t allow you to spatially understand what’s happening among all the components of a building or project. You could think of BIM as a way of making a virtual prototype. In addition, it can be used on small or large projects with the bonus of direct links to the field.

With the BIM process, not only can you do clash detection, but the information that resides in the model at the end of the project is also incredibly useful. Down the road, owners, facilities managers and maintenance teams can use the data to run the building. After all, data is king.

Construction has the reputation of being a “stubborn industry.” Even though there are millions of brilliant people involved, it has been slow moving when it comes to BIM adoption. But why? BIM drives efficiencies and saves money, and that alone should drive adoption. Somehow, the adoption curve is not steep. One theory is that designers in construction are very good at what they do. There’s a pride in their accomplishment, and with each success that gets greater. But when you introduce a new technology process – like BIM – suddenly those people are pushed outside of their comfort zone and outside their area of confident expertise. There’s a fear of failure, even if it’s temporary, and the long-term picture of doing things better is just too far off to make the gamble worth it.

On the other hand, BIM may be more widely adopted than we think. Perhaps some of the industry leaders, some of the architects, some of the engineers are holding their BIM successes close to the vest for as long as possible because of the competitive advantage they are enjoying.

Whatever the true picture is, adoption of tech in construction has been on the uptick recently, since disruption became a sign of the times. People are using platforms better. Information is moving from silos and getting shared. More and more companies are working together. Collaboration has been taking shape fairly quickly.

It’s not about just about moving information around from person to person. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re building something. Collaboration is the way it should get done. There should be give and take. There should be respect. This is a good time to cultivate relationships, because you can usually learn something from someone else which you can apply to your own unique situation.

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The Construction Brothers – Tyler and Eddie Campbell – host their own popular podcast about construction topics. They both have extensive experience in the construction industry, and they have great insights into the technologies that are emerging throughout the industry. Listen to our conversation as we unpack all things BIM and the adoption of technology in the industry during episode 29 of the Bridging the Gap Podcast.

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