Concrete not yet on the BIM wagon. Why?

Tocci Stock

Credit: New Jersey Institute of Technology

One of our VDC crew sent around this email regarding a recent experience regarding concrete contractors in our area and BIM:

All of the concrete contractors we interviewed for [the project] lacked BIM experience – they actually barely knew AutoCAD. The need is there; we still modeled slurry wall and cap beam for [the project].

The linked article explains why concrete subs aren’t using BIM and what they are missing out on:

http://www.concreteconstruction.net/technology/pushing-the-technology-envelope.aspx

(As usual, the future is happening on the west coast.)

As Concrete Construction puts it, it isn’t so much an aversion to change that appears to be hindering BIM progress, as much as it may be a trepidation to dedicate the necessary resources to adopt this process.

Some other key points they’re considering:

  • BIM has largely been marketed and developed to cater to the design end of the industry.
  • BIM’s clash detection functionality has less of an impact on concrete work as it does for other trades, as it is usually completed first (although there is a benefit in planning).
  • BIM models can imply an exactitude that doesn’t mesh with the reality of concrete.
  • Because there are so many variables in concrete design, it’s difficult to develop a library of standard parts and components.

Over the years we’ve more than declared our stance on the importance of BIM, so to see such a large portion of the industry arriving late to the game is certainly perplexing. What do you think? Are Concrete Construction’s conclusions spot on? Or is it simply that a large portion of the industry is undervaluing or not understanding the full potential of BIM (once the shell-shock of upfront costs for hardware, software and staff training wears off)?

Side note: When is the future going to happen on the East Coast?? Come on, Atlantic neighbors…



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Responses

  1. Ohhh! they said “BIM Models” !!!???!!

    We’ve got a Gilbane project @ Georgia Tech where the concrete sub is modeling their concrete using Tekla… I think we’re seeing some of the more advanced subcontractors break away from the pack!

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