By: Steve Bennett, CAD Manager, HMC Architects

Building Design+Construction recently asked HMC, “What’s next for BIM technology and adoption?” Here is my take on where the industry should be headed:

Realtime collaboration
We are right on the edge of realtime collaboration between separate companies becoming a standard for every project. As it stands currently, IPD and design-build focused projects would benefit most from this, but I’d like to see all project delivery methods utilize an environment where everyone can work on the BIM within the same computer network. With the proper protocols in place this would breakdown any remaining barriers and encourage best practices for high-performance architecture and high-performance buildings.

Facilities management and down stream use
By enabling realtime collaboration, we can start to invite the owner and their facilities management team to the table and let them collaborate with us on the same network that the rest of the design and construction team are on. They can see the project develop and provide input immediately. After completion of construction, I’d like to see a wider adoption of tools that allow facilities management personnel to be able to take advantage of the data generated during the creation of the building.

Simulation/data reporting on building performance
The last big area that could take advantage of BIM is energy usage simulation during design followed by sensor tracking after completion to see how the building performs compared to the design. The more buildings that we can track actual energy usage and other performance metrics, the more informed we will be for future buildings we design and construct. It will also allow us to better manage existing buildings and ensure we are taking advantage of the environmentally friendly features we designed.

In all, I would say the future is very bright for BIM/VDC. Realtime collaboration, facilities management use of downstream BIM and simulation & data reporting on building performance are just starting to gain momentum. Getting these different areas to become more mainstream than it currently is will present a similar challenge as it was to getting BIM mainstream. I think building owners will become more supportive of these efforts as more and more projects take advantage of these trends over time.

Also, read what some of the others in our industry are saying about what’s next for BIM too. BD+C BIM Article >>