Contractor’s 5-Step Guide for Getting Started with BIM

Building information modeling implementation trainer offers contractors advice on easing your entire company into BIM before a project demands compliance

This excerpt from the ConAppGuru blog offers advice on how construction contractors can begin using building information modeling (BIM) on the job site. Ideas come from Josh Bone, Eastern Regional Sales Director with ArchiCAD software creator Graphisoft. Bone has been teaching BIM process, adoption, and implementation for the AGC of America BIM Education Program for three years. 

Building Information Modeling is bringing increased efficiency and decreased downtime with fewer RFIs to project sites, but there are still many general contractors that are not yet using BIM. If you want those benefits, here are five tips to help you get started:

  1. Find the best authoring software for you. If Revit’s price tag and complexity are daunting, consider SketchUp. Too much of a design tool? Take a look at Revit LT or ArchiCAD Star(T).
  2. Get software training. You can learn a lot on YouTube but you’ll get a big head start learning how to communicate with the software from a professional trainer.
  3. If possible, ease into BIM. Start building models to help with preconstruction before you land a contract with a BIM deliverable. Model multiple construction stages to simulate a project timeline, and model details that need clarification.
  4. Share your models in the field. Using the model as a communication tool – providing dimensions, angles, quantities, and sizes that can make craft workers’ jobs easier, for example – helps everyone on the jobsite get positive first-hand experience with BIM.
  5. Ease into collaborating with BIM. Your first collaborative BIM experience should not be your subcontractors’ first exposure to BIM. Two alternatives: A) Lead modeling activities and work with the trades to help develop their models. Manage demand by focusing on aspects of the project with the most risk. B) If subs develop their own models, hire a BIM consultant with experience coordinating projects and communicate a clear BIM execution plan to all parties in a project kick-off meeting.

Get more, including advice on how to select a champion to lead your BIM effort, from the ConAppGuru. 

More on getting started with BIM from Autodesk