Though BIM software has been around since 1970s, how many AEC professionals in India use the software to its full potential?
Indian Architects regard BIM as a tool that requires high level of understanding from the user to operate it. While CAD and SketchUp have been serving small to mid level firms meet their drawing and 3D needs, offices that handle large and complex designs are bound to switch to BIM due to clients’ demand. Leading builders are now appointing BIM consultants for better coordination between all disciplines.
I have worked in small to large firms. During a regular office meeting in a firm, a colleague requested for REVIT in office and my boss’s reply was
How can you write a poem when you don’t know the grammar?
What could be the possible reasons BIM has not caught on in India?
ArchiCAD and REVIT are the widely used BIM softwares in India. While Autodesk offers 3DS Max,AutoCAD and REVIT as a package,ARCHICAD also offers a suite of different applications in a single purchase. Cost does not seem like a constraint to switch from CAD to BIM.
Yes, Training and experience in BIM application is a must. Companies which want to use BIM over CAD have to take the initiative to train its employees in REVIT from a result oriented approach. On-project training would be highly beneficial for the company on a long term basis.
At the floor plan stage , BIM and CAD will take the same time to complete, but rest of the drawings, i.e. elevations, sections and 3D view will take lesser time to generate. The layer of information that can be added and extracted from BIM is immense. Many free plugins are also available for calculating material quantities and estimates.
Bentley’s AECOsim has several features packed into a single software. BIM definitely is not time consuming but yes we have to be patient when it comes to producing details. Indian Architects expect BIM to do all the work. Blown up details have to be drafted partly with 2D line-work and partly with detail components , hence drafting time required is the same, but modeling and documentation in BIM definitely reduces the coordination time.
General feedback from Architects who attempted to switch to BIM is that while some of the tools have been created to meet International standards, they need to be customized to Indian design standards. For example, the families available in BIM library are suitable for UK or American designers. While American manufacturers of Architectural products are providing BIM families free of cost, Indian product families are not readily available.
The sequence of an Architectural project, if followed in the concept-schematic-design development-construction drawing-as built stages, using BIM, can produce exceptionally good results. Design changes would be reflected uniformly in all drawings when the model is changed . In the Indian context, the design approach is different from an International approach, so BIM has limitations.
Is it time for Architectural Institutions to include BIM in the curriculum?
It would be a good idea to introduce BIM in the curriculum at an undergraduate level to familiarize students with its advantages. Established designers are of the opinion that design schools are training their students in software rather than in analysis and creative thinking. While that is true to a certain extent, it is equally important to keep up with the technological innovations in every field. We as Architects have come a long way from the days of hand drafting to 2D CAD, 3D CAD and now we are at BIM. In my opinion, introducing BIM as an elective in the pre-final year in college gives a choice to interested students to get trained in BIM and work on a project from design to construction drawing stage.
BIM’s capability to combine model, drawings, details, material quantities, cost and time in one file saves AEC professionals a lot of time, money and trouble. Indian AEC professionals have to be ready to embrace new technologies that will improve their business and at the same time improve the quality of output.
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About the author
Resmi is a project manager at eLogicTech Solutions?—?a company that provides drafting services to the Architectural/Engineering/Construction community worldwide. The company specializes in Building Information Modelling,Technical Design and CAD solutions to every market segment which demands quality construction design and drafting services. Prior to joining eLogicTech, Resmi worked as a project manager in SMG DESIGN INC, Hyderabad and holds an M.Sc degree in Building Sciences from National University of Singapore with a Bachelors in Architecture from M.S.Ramaiah Institute Of Technology, Bangalore, India.