It’s none of your business, but BIM is your business

scott-chattertonBy Scott Chatterton, International BIM Lead for HDR Inc. & Director of CanBIM

Scott Chatterton is the International BIM Lead for HDR Inc. and sits on the board of directors for the Canada BIM Council. His extensive knowledge of BIM in the design and construction industry enables him to create and apply efficient design and construction practices using the latest BIM technology and techniques. As a result of his experience, Scott is a sought after author and presenter at BIM-related conferences, addressing ideas on BIM workflow, processes and protocols.

Technology has been a major factor in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industries throughout history and with the advancement of technology since the beginning of the digital age in the 1970s, computers and software have become ubiquitous.

The advent of computer-aided design not only advanced the design and construction process, but also improved efficiency in construction and building performance.

Recently, we have taken another technological leap; BIM is dramatically impacting all aspects of the AEC industry. Since the late 1990s, designers – both in architecture and engineering – have been using 3D digital modeling to improve their processes. Designing today’s modern buildings would not be possible without BIM, as leaders in the industry take advantage of BIM’s visualisation and coordination benefits.

University of Kansas Earth Energy and Environment Center Design Charrette

University of Kansas Earth Energy and Environment Center Design Charrette

Contractors quickly realised the benefits of BIM for construction management. Being able to construct a building digitally, prior to starting construction, has innumerable benefits. BIM is a valuable tool for construction sequencing, material quantification and cost estimation.

Regardless of your role in the AEC industry, BIM will touch all aspects of your business: your workflow, how you acquire projects and how you complete your delivered product.

There is no doubt the transition to BIM has its challenges, but the long-term benefits are significant. There are some tactics to consider when integrating BIM into your organisation:


  • Culture: One of the biggest changes will be cultural. Moving to a digital environment requires a shift away from traditional processes, and people typically do not like change. Transition people slowly; give them plentiful training resources and make it clear that they have permission to learn.
  • Technology: Your 386 computers with Windows 98 cannot handle BIM. It may be time to overhaul your network, including computers and software. Think of this overhaul as an investment in the future. Providing your people with the right tools will ease the transition to BIM.
  • Process: Adopting BIM creates an excellent opportunity for revamping your entire workflow. Utilizing BIM will create efficiencies and streamline your processes, allowing you to deliver a better product, faster.


Whether you are an organization of 1 or 10 000, making BIM part of your work will fundamentally change your production. Embrace this change and commit to the integration process, and you will reap the rewards of a strong, efficient, modern business that is poised to take on all BIM projects.




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