Monday, June 14, 2010

It’s time to get on the BIM train

My first introduction to Building Information Modeling was way back in 2006 at the first annual Glazing Executives Forum during GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo. Patrick MacLeamy from HOK gave a luncheon presentation to a group of contract glaziers saying that BIM was coming, fast—and boy was he right.

The number of firms that have obtained BIM software has doubled between 2006 and 2009, according to the 2009 Business of Architecture, a survey from the American Institute of Architects. That’s 34 percent of all firms, and about 50 percent of AIA architects, according to the survey, as reported in a June 11 release from the AIA.

There are a lot of industry companies that have already jumped on the BIM train—companies such as Kawneer, YKK, Trainor Glass, Wausau Window and Wall Systems, and Vitro America, to name a few. However, I’ve spoken to other folks in the industry who are employing the wait-and-see approach. My observations at industry events last week alone make it clear to me that the time for waiting and seeing has come and gone.

I was jet-setting my way across the country to attend the American Architectural Manufacturers Association Summer Conference 2010, June 6-9 in Oak Brook, Ill., and the AIA 2010 National Convention and Design Exposition, June 10-12 in Miami. And BIM was a major topic of conversation at both events.

AAMA is in the process of developing the first BIM standard for commercial fenestration.

"The purpose in developing a standard for commercial fenestration products is to better assist users of BIM files in understanding the level of information contained within the manufacturer's model, said Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO, in a Jan. 22 release. "This will benefit the overall industry by standardizing the data contained within the model so that BIM can be implemented across a broad range of products efficiently and effectively."

“I believe it will be a highly used standard, once it’s created,” Mike Turner, vice president of marketing, YKK-AP, and task group chair, said of the standard during the AAMA meeting last week.

At AIA, I saw many companies on the exhibit floor touting their new BIM models, and the seminar sessions were filled with talk about BIM. One of the major topics, similar to AAMA’s move for modeling standards, was the AIA’s call for open BIM software standards.

For more information about BIM and the glass industry, I recommend looking at the following articles we’ve run in Glass Magazine. Let me know your thoughts about BIM, and how your company is getting on the BIM train.

--By Katy Devlin, associate editor

No comments: