BIM | Reading Time 4 min

Collaboration and BIM

Renato Caenaro, 2/8/2021

We are all talking about Smart Working, merits and difficulties, especially organizational ones, but what about if we put collaboration and co-design in the equation?

Collaborative design is a nice concept, certainly more brains, interdisciplinary between them, working together are able to have more perspectives and therefore face any decision better than a single brain could do. But to really exploit the synergies, it is necessary to overturn the current working system:

  • a strong management dedicated exclusively to the exchange of information of the working group is needed.
  • it is necessary to move from a sequential industrial organization to an iterative and collaborative organization.
  • appropriate Technology Infrastructure.

Project team members should share their models with other members at regular intervals. At certain milestones, models from different disciplines need to be coordinated, allowing stakeholders to resolve potential conflicts early and avoid delays and costly on-going changes during the construction phase. Before coordinating the models, the respective models must be checked, approved and validated as “ready for coordination”.

I found this article that describes collaborative design, I would just like to add that nowadays, with the increasing adoption of BIM, collaboration becomes mandatory not only to improve the creative phase but also because it is required that specialists from different disciplines collaborate. to the realization of the same project.

When we talk about "appropriate technological infrastructures" in reality what are we talking about?

We are talking about a multitude of free and non-free technologies, available in the cloud or to be installed on your PC, which require a server or rent as PaaS with a fee, etc...

To this we add the mix of devices/software we use for communication: cell phone, Whatsapp groups, mail

Not to mention any project management software such as Trello (just to get a free one)

All this to get to what in my experience I have identified as the sharing paradox:

  • smaller realities: freelancers and small companies / design studios do not have the systems knowledge to create an integrated system composed of multiple efficient tools, and certainly have difficulty in allocating a budget for this purpose.
  • large companies: large companies / construction companies have qualified personnel, budget but also hands tied by internal procedures / policies / privacy and a healthy fear regarding the sharing of their files and documents to devices external to the company.

These two cases actually prevent collaboration, or at least make it very difficult, so much so that it is often not seen as a competitive advantage but as an inevitable problem to be solved.

Finally, not to mention costs: in a team made up of any type of reality, who are the costs derived from collaboration based on technological tools? Who has to pay for software licenses, subscriptions, hardware? It is easy to say that the costs must be shared but then in practice this division becomes difficult when the service vendor does not allow the subletting of the licenses or when it comes to purchasing hardware that then goes to a single company.

Are you tired of having to tackle this purely technological problem and circumvent obstacles with a lot of inventiveness? Are you a small team that needs to collaborate on the go? Are you a small company that collaborates in a network of companies? Are you a large company that has to manage the design of a pool of external designers?

SilentWave built a specific solution called HiveDrive.

Click here for more info!