SPOILER ALERT : TRUE Story
We get calls from different sections of the industry, some of them have some exposure to BIM, some are curious, and honestly speaking I personally enjoy interacting with the sections that I am not very familiar with, as it requires some thinking of how can we make BIM beneficial for them.
One day we got a call from a PM company where they want to advise their client on using BIM, so can I give them rate of BIM (without knowing anything about the project)? Briefly explained that there is no way that I can help without understanding their requirements, and the project. So we met.
Everything was a red flag, but yet silly me I didn't notice it.. So we sat with the team for about 3 hours, explaining what BIM is capable of, and what we suggest that we should do on this project. It was Tuesday and we agreed that they will send us the drawings and we will provide them with a proposal on Thursday, that is basically design drawings modeling, reporting design issues, clashes etc.., BOQs. and this is considered phase one, if they are happy with BIM, we can go into next stage which is support on site. Deal? yes.
Fast forward 30 minutes later : I am back in the office and got an email from them thanking me for my time and informing me that after I left (note:30 minutes ago) they had another thought (about a thing they didn't know what was it, or why would they need it 3 hours ago) and they think that BIM model and clash detection, reporting, BOQ and a coordinated model is easy and not what they want to provide the client with, therefore they decided that we should propose a full "Design checking and review, Value engineering proposals, and design alternatives" Architectural, Structural and MEP, and that should be submitted by Tomorrow, and oh.. regarding the drawings? we can't release it .. you can only get it once we sign the offer.
I genuinely thought there is something wrong, Called the guy :
The guy with a happy - in power voice tone : That was surprising huh ?
Me : Umm.. Not sure what is it about to be honest? I mean what you asked includes our engineers as a design consultant so not very BIM-ish.
Him: Well .. come on .. you know better you tried to sell us the easy part.. We don't want your engineers to check the design manually .. why would we hire you to do this? we know that BIM can do design check, value engineering and design alternatives WITH ONE CLICK.
Me: Oh wow.. you did actually know that, didn't you huh?
Him *joyfully* : For sure what did you think ? oh and regarding the deadline relax we don't want you to submit the design check, value engineering and design alternatives by tomorrow, just the proposal.
Me: With all due respect I've been in this field for more than 12 years, never heard of this technology, so obviously we can't do it, but can you please put up the good word and allow us to attend the magic when you implement it ?
The Story ends here, however the scary part is this hype created around BIM as a black magic, google BIM and you will only read about how easy, fast, powerful, game changer, "reduced my time by half", "got 50 times the work I used to handle", and all that with a single keyboard click.
This is a work of sales teams, however as people that have to use that technology and help our clients with,and basically make it work ! We had to suffer of this dream that is being sold to the industry.
Yes BIM is super powerful, and it is the best solution to many of the issues we used to deal with for decades, however the moment it is " a click of a button" is the day that we don't need Architects and Engineers, which might happen.. but it is not here yet. and no point of selling people that idea.