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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If BIM is a process, then BIM Model is an accurate term

If you truly love kittens, have a look at some of the following definitions.

According to Wikipedia:
"Building information modeling (BIM) is the process of generating and managing building data during its life cycle[1].... The process produces the Building Information Model (also abbreviated BIM)..."

According to a recent paper, 'BIM can be defined as 
A process that allows data generated by one party to flow seamlessly to other parties for beneficial reuse.”'

Also, in reviewing the 'origins of BIM' on Wikipedia:
"Architect and Autodesk building industry strategist Phil Bernstein, FAIA, first used the actual term BIM "building information modeling."[citation needed] Jerry Laiserin then helped popularize and standardize it [3] as a common name for the digital representation of the building process as then offered under differing terminology by Graphisoft as "Virtual Building", Bentley Systems as "Integrated Project Models", and Autodesk as "Building Information Modeling" to facilitate exchange and interoperability of information in digital format. According to him[4] and others[5], the first implementation of BIM was under the Virtual Building concept by Graphisoft's ArchiCAD, in its debut in 1987."



In summary - if BIM is actually a Process, and a Model is actually a Noun, then it would not be inaccurate to say BIM Model.  The Process leads to the creation of the Thing.  James Van acknowledges and dismisses this line of reasoning in this recent post.  To quote:
"Some of my friends and colleagues have suggested that saying 'BIM model' implies the verb interpretation of BIM so you get 'building information modeling model,' but I think that's a thin argument."



What do you think?

Above PDF link via

6 comments:

  1. How many #fluffykittens had to die for this blog post?

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  2. Well, I think that it is not so complicated. Building Information Modeling is the process of creation a Building Information Model. This "model" can be composed by an unique model or a collection of coordinated models (wich we could name "meta-BIM").

    The problem is that BIM is an acronym for both terms, and "BIM model" is reundant but usefull to distinguish from "BIM" (process).

    In fact, it is virtually impossible to make BIM without BIM models becouse BIM with CAD models it's a fallacious. Isn't it?

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  3. I dont think it matters. Teach people how to model correctly and put as much information into one model as you can and stop getting caught up on whether or not people use a term properly. Teach the process instead of pointing out wrong uses of coined terms and you can inversely start to chip away at the other issues!

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  4. It’s great that people have made it out to be a process, but to use it as a process is pretty useless because it’s so indefinite. It’s like if I was describing the fact that someone drove a car, but instead I made up an acronym like “PMD- Person Movement Description”. Then proceeded to tell you that “Bill PMDed.”
    You’d know what I just said had to with Bill moving, but nothing else.
    Why would you use a term that doesn’t provide any detail.
    Car Washing (CW) is a process that can be achieved in a number of ways, but you can define the inputs, the steps and result of each. “I do BIM” describes nothing.
    It could mean you build something in Revit or you made a fabrication model. None of these are processes they are results. Results are things, not Verbs.
    Here are a few phrases that don’t actually explain anything.
    “I BIMed the design today.”
    “I practice BIM.”
    “When Steve came by I showed him my BIM Model”

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  5. Here is Greg's comment from Arch|Tech copied to here:

    Arch | Tech: Protect the fluffy kittens: Greg said...

    My sense of it is that the acronym BIM has become a thing in and of itself.

    Like SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus), BIM has become/ is becoming, a word in it's own right and, as such, begins to lose connection to it's original acronym. We now say scuba gear. even though the acronym includes the idea of gear already, without batting an eye. The same holds true, in my opinion of ATM, PIN, VIN, etc.

    Bottom line, language grows and develops as it will and if the general vernacular wants to say BIM Model I, for one, won't get my tights in a bunch over it.
    January 6, 2012 12:29 PM

    ReplyDelete