So knowing that I'm a BIM-for-Construction geek, you can see where this is going. Thankfully (and I mean that on multiple levels, :)) there are now many builders around the world with deep experience in BIM. And there is a rapidly growing appreciation for that expertise within the owner/developer community. But when choosing a contractor how does an Owner ascertain the difference between a builder who talks a good BIM story (my son would call these firms, the "posers") and one who actually practices what they market (continuing with my family's vocabulary...my dad would call these firms, the "genuine article")? You have to admit, in the pursuit phase a poser can make his facile stuff look pretty good.
Well if the Owner is the equivalent of the College Admissions Office - deciding who to accept and who to reject - then the pursuing contractor is the equivalent of the student hoping to score well on the entrance exam. Don't we need some kind of scoring mechanism so that the posers and the genuine articles are easily differentiated? The manufacturing supply chain did this with ISO9000 in their pursuit of constantly improving quality. The software industry did this with CMM in order to bring some science to bear in qualifying vendors and software outsourcers. (Version 1.0 of the Capability Maturity Model, or CMM, was developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. SEI continues to expand the model for process improvement. www.sei.cmu.edu/cmmi). And, perhaps closer to all of us, the US Green Building Council did this with LEED rating systems.
What do you think? I'm asking builders, architects, owners/developers, engineers, construction managers, and subcontractors alike. Should we leave one's "BIM Maturity" or "BIM Rating" open to persuasive argument, or should we entertain the idea of an independent rating or certification? Such a score would not be the only factor considered when an owner awards a contract, but it could be one of the more important factors informing their decision. The higher the contractor's score, the further down the road he is to "Awarded."
I know my son wishes he could talk his way into Dartmouth. And there is a reason it doesn't work that way.
At Vico, we've the BIM Master Class Series to help GCs "cram" for a BIM test. It's a 7-session series for GCs and Owners to learn more about BIM technologies, methodologies, and best practices, including an in-depth look at contracts, coordination, model-based scheduling, and model-based estimating. We'll continue to add courses to this series, so stay tuned.
If you want to see how your firm stacks up across seven areas of BIM expertise, please considering calculating your BIM Score. And let us know if your score is what you expected.
So what say you? How should the industry reward/distinguish GCs who make an honest investment in BIM? Please offer your comments or feel free to email me directly.
If you're interested in this topic, you'll also want to research:
Calculator: Determine Your Firm's BIM Score
Webinar: The BIM Master Class Series
Webpage: The D's of BIM
Webpage: The 5D BIM Checklist