It is quite interesting to follow the process that is unfolding in Ireland.
BIM, started as a grassroots effort, largely among small, nimble practitioners doing what I called little bim. We got great results and much was learned from the effort.
Shortly after the turn of the century, a few small, nimble practitioners figured out that to move BIM into the mainstream the effort had to come from the top-down. It was too big of a leap for a small group of evangelists, alone. Without a high level push it became obvious that BIM would be “little” for a very long time.
That is when organizations such as the US Coast Guard, GSA, the State of Wisconsin, et.al. came to the forefront. The Forfas Report gives me hope that, in Ireland, the high level support is building. For the same reason, I am a fan of the progress being made in the UK.
In the last three years, things have changed again. If the leadership in Ireland seriously considers and responds to the fact that there is another significant step that has emerged in the chronology I describe above, Ireland may well become the poster-child for the future of the built world.
As high level organizations have explored integrating BIM tools and processes, they have learned many lessons. It is not merely about design and construction… there is so much more to it than that. They are making planning, design, construction and O&M into organizational assets that have value across their business lines. They are not just doing large projects with little bim, and calling it BIG BIM, as do too many in the design and construction industry.
Organizations such as the California Community Colleges, US Veteran’s Administration and Department of Defense Healthcare System are embracing a more systemic approach that closely mirrors the way that data operates across the internet. And, finding that it can be done effectively and beneficially, TODAY.
Since Ireland is exploring next steps, they have the potential of creating a system that gets all of the good from current best practices, while embracing the next practices that have demonstrated a more productive path forward. To the good of all.