Vico Guest Blogger Series

Granite Countertops and BIM

Posted by Holly Allison on Tue, Nov 08, 2011 @ 08:37 AM


I’ll admit it: I love watching House Hunters and Property Virgins on HGTV.  The format is so simple: the couple who is in the market for a house prioritizes their wishlist of features and then visits three houses.  They then rank the three properties based on their wishlist and select the home want to buy.


Do you want a fixer-upper – something that you can redesign to fit your needs?  Are you willing to pay for the location you want – whether it means better schools or an easier commute to work?  Do you need backyard space for your dog?  Do you want a finished basement as a playroom for the kids, or a “man cave” for watching the game?


Inevitably, there is always a young couple who lists their priorities in this order: granite countertops, hardwood floors, updated bathrooms.  I’m not kidding – granite countertops is their first priority.  They have talked to their friends, read a couple magazines, and seen a couple model homes where granite countertops is the feature listed first on the tearsheet.  And so they have made it a necessary checkbox on their list of must-haves.


granite countertops and bim


What kills me is that they don’t even know what granite looks like!  As they walk into the kitchen each and every time, one of them asks the realtor, “I love these countertops – are they granite?”  The realtor always delivers the next line with a straight face, “Actually, this is laminate, but you can always pick out the granite you like best and upgrade them.”


I think we see the same scenario play out with Owners and BIM.  Owners know that they should ask for it and have made it a checkbox on their list, but they don’t necessarily know what it means or what it looks like!


So during the bidding process, the Owner is educated by the GCs’ and CMs’ proposals and presentations.  Some GCs try to use just 3D as BIM.  Some GCs show a beam hitting an AC unit and claim that clash detection is all the BIM you need.  Finally, the last presentation shows the 3D model integrated with the schedule and the estimate.  This GC offers multiple design options and shows how the schedule and the estimate dynamically update with the design.  They use cost-loaded schedules to dive deep and cash flow reports to illustrate the detailed timeline.


In one of our most popular articles, we ask the question, “Should there be a grading system akin to the SAT scores to help Owners distinguish the best qualified GC?”  And so many of you responded, “Absolutely, yes!  It is the only way that we can stop Hollywood BIM.”


Well, we listened to you and developed a new grading scale for BIM aptitude: the BIM Score.  The BIM Score is a comprehensive look at the capabilities, best practices, and integrated workflows that each GC and CM employs.  The BIM Score is a leading indicator of how well the project will be delivered – and how happy the Owner will be with the delivery process.


So let’s ask the question in a different way.  If GC’s wore their BIM Score on a jersey, what would yours say?  If the Owner lined up the GC’s bidding on their project, who would have the highest BIM Score?


There’s only one way to find out – calculate your BIM Score!  Find out how you compare to other GCs in your area, which capabilities need attention, and which should be promoted.


This way, the next time an Owner asks for BIM on their request for proposals, you’ll not only be able to describe what BIM looks like, but you’ll be able to deliver it best…and you’ll have the BIM Score to prove it.


Some Owners ask for BIM like young couples ask for granite countertops.  Now your firm can educate Owners on what BIM really is and deliver the project to prove it.  Calculate your BIM Score now and start wearing it proudly!


Reference these other resources on the topic:

Calculator: Determine Your Firm's BIM Score

Blog: BIM Is Bigger Than You Think

Blog: How Does Your Firm Stack Up with BIM?

Blog: Does the AEC Need the BIM SATs?


Tags: BIM Score, calculate your BIM Score, integrated 5D BIM, grading scale for BIM, BIM SATs