BIM and backups

Nearly every lesson learned in life, whether that lesson be personal or professional, is not learned by listening to a parent or mentor, or by reading a book, or even by observation. No, unfortunately nearly every lesson learned in life is learned the hard way – through experience. Things would be so much easier if we could learn these important lessons through observation or the retelling of someone else’s woes….but no. It simply isn’t true.

Take for example the average BIM workflow. Unlike years passed where you had multiple drawing files for a single job – site plans, floor plans, ceiling plans, elevations, sections, details, etc, all separate files – we now have one single central file. You may have other files reference to it, but for the most part, especially for residential architects, your entire project is in one file. And when, not if, something goes wrong with that file you better hope you have a fairly recent backup to fall back on and hope to hell you only lost a couple of hours worth of work.

THIS is a lesson I’ve just learned the hard way – through bitter, soul crushing, mind numbing, stomach churning experience. An entire project gone. The file was somehow corrupted and all data is unretrievable. As if that wasn’t bad enough and to add insult to injury the backup file was also corrupted and all data is unretrievable. Still not impressed? Let’s go one further – the project was halfway through Design Development and Construction Documents are due tentatively on the 17th of July. O_O

No other backups, no Time Machine, no Dropbox, no Carbonite……nothing. Solution? Start over from scratch. Luckily I keep multiple copies of all my PDF submissions for projects so I was able to recreate floor plans in half a day. Exterior elevations will be brought back in 2D and I will have to start over with all of my building sections. All told not a total loss and not nearly as bad as it could have been, BUT a valuable lesson learned nonetheless.

Never put your faith in technology. It will fail you.

2 thoughts on “BIM and backups

  1. Wow, that sucketh. I go for redundancy… I have the files on my desktop HD and I backup weekly/project milestones to 3 external hard drives. All but 1 external hard drive is also encrypted, that one is locked in a safe. If all 3 external drives and the desktop drive fail, the project wasn’t meant to be 😉

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