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BIG BIM in the Connected Age

At 2 AM, November 3rd, 2004, the rules changed.

Later that day the press (after becoming exhausted from reporting the election of the new president) buried the notice below the fold on page 18 of the Daily Times. The building industry missed the event entirely.

For the next four years, travel agents, bankers, book publishers and many others complained and cried foul, yet within the decade each and every one suffered the upheavals created by the new rules. Each is now well into the change.

The building industry carries on, oblivious to change.

Behind the scenes, a few brave souls have volunteered their time and energy to the cause of building industry efficiency. With members scattered across the world, they work to create ways for the sector to adapt to the new rules. Whether the building industry likes it or not.

Over the years, the volunteers have created two visions for the solution. 

The first group (little-bim) continues the work of visionaries of 20 years ago. These experts continue the approach chosen in the days of the Information Age. They create welded together, feature-rich tools and processes designed to allow experts to create new and fantastic buildings. Most design and construction professionals have come to realize the inevitability of little-bim.

The complexities imposed by the new rules have limited what little-bim can achieve. Especially outside of design and construction. Little is said about the fact that to embrace little-bim one must also embrace the fact that little-bim will only comply with the new rules at some future date (TBD), once we have some new (as yet unknown) resources, and many more standards are in hand. Today, workarounds are still the norm.

The second group (BIG-BIM) realized that the new rules would need a much different approach. They started by analyzing how the new rules might best work, industry-wide, given the “first principles” that drive the sector. Anything could change if the modification improved conditions, now and in the future.

Their solution embraces the work of little-bim experts while enabling others to participate without experiencing the behind-the-curtain complexities. The tools and processes create new things at the intersection of many ideas.

For the building industry, BIG-BIM is the heart of life in the Connected Age.

BIG-BIM gives us the ability to respond to the needs we know while allowing the building industry to pivot to meet the needs of an unpredictable future.

BIG-BIM adds context and purpose to the data that surrounds us. To get people the information they need; when they need it; to do what needs doing. Rules link curated repositories. Semantic consistency and access controls are part of a framework of sophisticated standards that enable innovation and resilience across the built environment.

BIG-BIM is a strategic approach to the future, with immediate benefit to design, construction, maintenance, operations, recapitalization, disposal and acquisition sectors. By embracing this direction, we can be at the forefront of BIM innovation, avoiding the inevitable retooling that underlies little-bim.

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