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Building Information Modeling: A Framework for Collaboration

September 03, 2008

Building information modeling technology has arrived and is being used by designers, contractors, and suppliers to reduce their costs, increase quality, and, in some instances, achieve designs that would be impossible without digital design and fabrication. Public and private owners now are requiring BIM, and it has been widely adopted for complex projects. Studies by Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering report that BIM use has risen significantly and will continue to rise in the near future. And between 2006 and 2007, the number of licensed seats ofAutodesk’s flagship BIM product, Revit, doubled from 100,000 to 200,000. Moreover, McGraw-Hill estimated that a tipping point was reached in spring of 2008 where more teams are using BIM than exploring it. Pilot projects now have been completed where the entire structure was built using CNC fabrication driven from the design model. As the technical issues of standards and interoperability are addressed, the software capabilities will develop further. This explosive growth has been supported by preliminary development of BIM standards and of related issues, such as electronic data licensing and file transfer. BIM is not tomorrow’s vision; it is today’s reality.

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