Thoughts on landscape architecture, the landscape profession, 2B's news updates and technical musings.

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05 Feb 2014 10:31     A+ | a-

As the built environment profession, often led by the larger practices, attempts to understand and embrace Building Information Modelling (BIM), 2B are keeping an eye on progress.

A multidisciplinary focus day in November (held in Hull by the BIM Regional Hub) was a useful insight into where we are at, where we will be expected to be, and how the various professional strands within a project can work more collaboratively together using BIM.  In January, we attended the excellent BIM Xtra event in Leeds, held by the Centre for Knowledge Exchange.

Both events were well attended by various built environment professionals, and emphasise how a major benefit of BIM is the opportunity to liaise more effectively with other professions, and earlier within a project.

We felt reassured as it was emphasised that BIM is a way of working, rather than any one specific software package - indeed, one speaker, Steve Race, claimed that BIM could technically be achieved with pencil and paper 'but you'd need a lot of bits of paper'!

We think we'll probably stick with computers - but it's good to know that the IFC format exists, which can make BIM information compatible across different software packages, so you don't necessarily have to work with other consultants using the same software.

It seems that much more work is needed before this is an efficient and smooth process, but encouraging that it's out there. Fundamentally, BIM is good communication and collaboration, assisted by modern technology to increase accuracy and efficiency. However, the new technology side of things does mean a change to contracts needed, training, and probably investment in software - though not necessarily that we all have to have the same package to be able to work together effectively.

We are also glad to know, through Bill's ear-to-the-ground at LI Technical Committee, that the LI's BIM Open Project is continuing to gather information, and ensure that Landscape Architects are not forgotten in the development of new software. We look forward to the release of their book later this year!

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