We’ve all heard the expression “this is the greatest thing since sliced bread”, so today we’re wondering “what really is the greatest thing since sliced bread”?
For Architecture, 30 years ago, it was CAD or Computer Aided Drafting. That’s right, 30 years and not much changed. Really not much changed from the drawing board to the computer. You still created lines on a sheet of paper in 2 dimensions that represent an eventual 3 dimensional reality. This was not really a paradigm shift by any stretch. It really just made mistakes easier and less time consuming to correct. If you’ve ever tried erasing ink on vellum you know exactly what I’m talking about.
But now we are in full swing with BIM or Building Information Modeling. BIM, unlike traditional CAD, is a true paradigm shift in thinking because you approach design and documentation from a 3 dimensional perspective rather than 2 dimensional. This means from the very beginning you’re thinking about grades and site positioning and views and roof profiles and elevations and wall sections and basic construction detailing. Not to mention the benefits of collision detection when coordinating consultant information for other trades, etc.
In my mind this is technology that should have been embraced a decade ago, but now that we are finally pushing in that direction as an industry, BIM truly is the best thing since sliced bread.