Thursday, February 9, 2012

Humpty Dumpty BIM

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

Over the last few weeks I've had a number of conversations with representatives of institutional owners who have expressed an interest in BIM, especially as a tool for managing the planning, design and construction process in a way that will arm owners with a digital asset that can be leveraged to increase efficiency in operations and maintenance.  They fear, however, that planners, designers and constructors cannot deliver a fully functional digital asset that is compatible with the existing software tools used in day-to-day operations and maintenance.

As counsel to integrated teams interested in delivering fully functional digital assets to owners I know what is possible.  Unfortunately, as a litigator I've also experienced the myriad of ways in which built industry professionals can thwart one another and disrupt the delivery process.  Owners - who are none too innocent themselves in many instances - lack the in-house expertise to leverage a federated BIM after delivery.  When a BIM consists of 2 parts Revit, 1 part Bentley, 1 part Tekla, and 3 parts Archicad, owners cannot assemble an in-house team capable of re-assembling the federated BIM, much less extracting relevant data and leveraging it over time in operations and maitenance.

Owners view the current BIM as delivered as Humpty Dumpty BIM.

Typically, once the BIM is tossed over the wall by the design team neither the constructors nor the owner's in-house staff can put Humpty Dumpty together again.  And they should not be expected to do so either.  There's no reason Humpt Dumpty should be pushed off the wall.  He should be scrambled, poached, hard boiled, or fried, depending on the prefrences of the owner's users.  The cooks - planners, designers and more and more contractors - have to stop tossing Humpty Dumpty over the wall.

If your team is about to throw Humpty Dumpty BIM over the wall again call me before you make a mess!

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International


Michael Bordenaro said...


We hear you!

Many are trying to determine the ways to make sure Humpty Dumpty stays together.

In Chicago, the BIM/IPD Group that you have supported is having Kristine Fallon Associates address this subject at the AIA Chicago offices on February 23. If enough people from around the country express interest in the event described below, we might be able to webcast the presentation.

Let us know if you get interest in this event...

"Designing Building Information Models for Building Owners"

Kristine Fallon Associates, Inc. ( will present a major research project on structuring Building Information Models (BIM) correctly to produce both Construction-Operations Building information exchange (COBie) and IFC Facility Management model view outputs.

Building owners are driving adoption of BIM that delivers on the promise of seamless data transfer from design through construction to operations and maintenance. However, this is technically difficult to achieve.

The US Army Corps of Engineers funded KFA's research to provide deeper insight into the possibilities, pitfalls and technology issues.

KFA will also share insights into GSA's recently published BIM Guide for Facility Management.

Advanced Solutions, Inc. ( is sponsoring food and beverages for the event on Thursday, February 23th starting at 5:30 pm at AIA Chicago's Board Room, 35 East Wacker.( The event is organized by the Chicago BIM/IPD Group at

Sunil Manjeri said...

Dear James,

I read your newsletter sent to my mailbox each time with enthusiasm as it is very informative and engaging.

I have read a case study of a GC in the US called Mortenson that employs a person at each site to look after all issues of BIM. Subs, the Contractor's site personnel, consultants and the Owner all have access to him as he is permanently posted at site and any change in the Project is immediately reflected in his work. This way BIM implementation is not Humpty Dumptied and its usefulness is extracted till Project Closeout.

Sunil Manjeri
Godrej Properties
Gujarat, India