Good Foundations - What is BIM Design?

May 03, 2020 2 min. read

In simple terms, BIM Design is the process of building a BIM. This includes planning the actual model, figuring out how the stakeholders will interact, and knowing the vision of what the finished structure will be.

None of this is possible without effective collaboration. So really, the question of “What is BIM Design? ” ought to be “How do teams effectively collaborate on a BIM?”

While every project is unique, there are some universally-recognized approaches for BIM collaboration, which include: 

  1. Getting stakeholders involved as early as possible in the design process
  2. Building a BIM execution plan and sticking to it
  3. Adopting a collaborative attitude that values the completed project and everyone’s contribution to its success over proprietary secrets

Getting Stakeholders Involved

Every element of a plan has a function (structural, plumbing, electrical, aesthetic, etc.), and everyone under the AECOO umbrella has expertise that matters to the finished project.

While it may be necessary to limit meeting sizes, everyone who will collaborate on a project must have the chance to add their voice early on, because this helps to prevent clashes and other issues before they happen.

Check out: 50 tips for better BIM coordination meetings

The Importance of a BIM Execution Plan

A BIM execution plan is the ideal first step for any BIM project. It sets the framework for how the design and construction will unfold, lets everyone know when and how to expect updates, and provides a vision for the completed project.

For information on how to build an execution plan, check out our free ebook BIM Track’s Ultimate Guide to BIM Coordination

A Spirit of Open Collaboration

There is one key component to designing BIMs that is hard to quantify, but which can improve outcomes immeasurably: encouraging stakeholders to adopt a collaborative attitude. 

Many stakeholders, being experts in their fields, are often concerned about revealing trade secrets or speaking too openly about their workflow processes. But a mindset that favors generosity in the sharing of information will lead to better working relationships all around, easier communication, fewer RFIs during construction, and ultimately better outcomes. 

For ideas on how to lead meetings that favor collaboration, check out 7 Steps to Kick-start Project Collaboration with BIM Track

Alessandro Masi

Content Creator

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