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October 27, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

A BIM Tool For Construction?

Jodrell BankI’m indebted my fellow Middle East BIM blogger Zolna Murray (Debunk The BIM) for raising the issue of it being time we saw a modeller dedicated to construction, because it has been a concept that I have been thinking about for a while as well.  None of the current crop of BIM tools is particularly well suited to the task, being as they were conceived as design tools, and carry a lot of development baggage that makes it hard for them to adapt to a different set of requirements.

I should probably explain what I mean by development baggage, as those outside the software development arena will probably struggle a bit with the twisted analogy I’ve used. When you have a legacy software product, such as, for example, AutoCAD, there is an underlying architecture to the product, it’s DNA if you like, which cannot be altered to any great extent because of the millions of existing users, and billions of existing documents or drawings which rely on it. Read more…

October 24, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

Why Coordination Fails

One of my presentation themes which never fails to focus minds on the reason why we need to consider a better way of working uses a simple analysis of the number of building elements in a project, and their inter-relationships, and the documents which have to accurately reflect information about them. These “coordination paths” are the lines of coordination which need to be created and maintained during the development and execution of the project. Read more…

October 23, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

Beyond BIM into the World of Data Products

I recently came across an interesting article on Orielly.com – The Evolution of Data Products which touched on the way in which the way we consume data has developed in the course of the digital revolution. More specifically, it discussed the change from data we browsed and reviewed at as pure data, to actual products which deliver real world results rather than just words and numbers. Read more…

October 23, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

Top 10 Tips for a Successful BIM Implementation

Normally I do not like these top ten lists, they are a clichéd method of generating web traffic on commercial blogs, and widely despised by internet old hands like me. But as this blog is not commercial, just a vehicle for my rants and random commentary, I am going to put aside my prejudices, and deliver a top ten list of my own, just because it is a handy way of getting across the concepts. Read more…

October 23, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

The BIM Experts BIM Tools Survey

I have created a series of surveys to establish the common usage of different types of BIM tools by members of the BIM Experts community, which is probably the largest of it’s type on LinkedIn. Please go ahead and identify which tools you are using (multiple selections are allowed), and then we can get an indication of the spread of tools in general use.

Architectural BIM authoring Tools:  http://goo.gl/thb9T

MEP BIM authoring Tools:  http://goo.gl/2GVrK

Structural BIM authoring Tools: http://goo.gl/E77aY

Facility Management BIM authoring Tools: http://goo.gl/1GK3t

Construction Management BIM Tools: http://goo.gl/KGpYP

BIM Utility/Other Tools: http://goo.gl/GwUFN

I will post the results of the poll in a month, please let me know if there are any obvious omissions.

NOTE: I have Updated the Structural and Utility/Other Polls to include additional tools I had missed, which unfortunately means the previous polls have been deleted, any votes will need to be recast.

September 13, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

Snatching Pole Position and other Riyadh Games

Now that Ramadan is over and the kids are back at school, life in Riyadh is returning to normal. The scorching heat of the summer has gone, although 39degC is still pretty toasty, and the roads have started to return to their default state – complete chaos. Despite having some of the widest roads anywhere, the road layout and antics of the locals contribute to making getting about Riyadh a painfully slow, and frequently life threatening challenge. To get a picture of what it’s like, here are just a few of the things which contribute to the chaos.

Read more…

August 2, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

IFC is rubbish, it never works properly

How many times have you heard someone say this, or read it on the web? Plenty of times I’m sure, you don’t have to look very hard to find people with very negative views on the buildingSMART IFC model data format. But if you analyse why they consider the data format to be flawed, you will find that their views are not based on a scientific, in-depth review of the definitions and scope of IFC, but of their perceptions from the implementation of the format in the supporting software. Read more…

July 29, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

Be careful where you park in Riyadh

Parking can be challenging in Riyadh

A few months ago on my way to the office I noticed a bunch of people gathering round a car which had been parked next to a wall, the outer skin of which had collapsed onto the car. To my amazement, it was still there when I went out this morning testing my new camera, which probably means the car, like so many in this city, was not insured. Read more…

July 26, 2011 / Brendan McFarlane

Oh no, not another BIM blog…

I know what you are thinking, the world doesn’t need yet another blog about building information modelling. There are endless similar sites out there on the blogosphere, and surely everything has been said a million times already.

But what the heck, I’m in Saudi Arabia and frankly there’s not an awful lot to do when you’re not working. So I’m going to start yet another BIM blog whether you think it is a good idea or not. As those who may have stumbled across some of my comments on LinkedIn’s various BIM related groups will know, I am not worried about challenging norms or speaking my mind on contentious subjects, so I hope it won’t be too predictable. Read more…