The BIM Page

New Year, New Company, Newforma, New View of BIM

Building Information Modeling—The Great Debate

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New Year, New Company, Newforma, New View of BIM
Several of the AECO software industry's best and brightest—and most experienced—players have formed a new company called Newforma. Defining itself as "a software development company serving architecture, engineering, construction, and owner-operator (AECO) organizations worldwide," Newforma states its vision as facilitating "the seamless flow of information between every AECO role in support of both project and business processes."

Newforma's mission is "to work with AECO organizations to define the key areas where improvements in interoperability will provide the most dramatic benefits to the project lifecycle." Because the collective vitae of Newforma's management team spans such AECO heavyweights as Autodesk, Citadon, Marinsoft and Softdesk, the company clearly has the human and intellectual capital to deliver on its vision and mission. Their latest insights are contained in a white paper, "Building Information Modeling Two Years Later—Huge Potential, Some Success and Several Limitations," available exclusively here at The LaiserinLetter.
Read the Newforma BIM white paper (PDF).

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Building Information Modeling
—The Great Debate

Jerry Laiserin

Autodesk and Bentley debate Building Information Modeling
Leading design software executives in face-to-face webcast recorded
on April 3, 2003

Autodesk, Inc., and Bentley Systems, Inc., two of the world's leading makers of design software for the built environment, challenged each other to a face-to-face debate about their respective approaches to Building Information Modeling (BIM). The Debate was webcast live online from Noon-2:00pm, Eastern (USA) time on Thursday, April 3, 2003. The "presidential-style" Debate was hosted and moderated by Jerry Laiserin, editor of the LaiserinLetter, the web/email resource of analysis, strategy and opinion for technology leaders in design business. Access to a recording of the Debate is free, but online registration is required. The intended audience includes all those involved in the design, construction, ownership and operation of buildings and facilities worldwide.

In the Debate, which followed a timed question, answer and rebuttal format, Autodesk was represented by Phillip G. Bernstein, vice president of the building solutions division, and Bentley was represented by Keith A. Bentley, co-founder and co-chief technology officer. Host/moderator Jerry Laiserin, who is widely credited with popularizing the term, Building Information Modeling, and evangelizing its adoption by the design software industry, said "We at the LaiserinLetter are honored to have been jointly selected by Autodesk and Bentley to provide the vendor-neutral, expert context for this landmark event. Thanks to the industry leadership of Phil and Keith — along with the teams of outstanding people behind them — the design/construct/own/operate industries can now see, hear and compare Autodesk’s and Bentley’s visions for the future." Back to top

More About BIM
Mario Gutman, CAD Director with HOK in San Francisco, writes:
> "I've been enjoying your newsletter. There's been a lot of interest in the BIM thread. Any chance you could pull that together into a single summary doc?"

> Thanks, Mario! A single document would be a problem, but we can pull together on this page a set of links to all the elements of the debate, in chronological order—along with some organizing commentary that we hope will make the topic easier to follow. If there's sufficient interest, we will turn this into a discussion forum open to all subscribers' postings.

+ Our "Comparing Pommes and Naranjas" launched the debate, with a proposal to adopt BIM as the industry-wide term for the information-rich superset/successor to "CAD."

+ Autodesk responded with its "Statement on BIM."
>> There's also an Autodesk BIM white paper (PDF).

+ Bentley responded with its "Statement on BIM."
>> There's also a Bentley BIM white paper (PDF).

+ Graphisoft responded with its "Statement on BIM."
>> There's also a Graphisoft BIM white paper (PDF).

+ Martyn Day of London responded negatively to our initial BIM proposal in a letter he titled "BIM, Bam, Bong", which we published as "An Orange by any Other Name"—along with JL's reply to Martyn's views.
>> John Mullan of Winchester, UK, took Martyn's side, and offered some reminiscences about his use of Sonata as well as a contemplation of switching to Revit.
>> Martyn Day parried our earlier reply with additional criticism of BIM and Autodesk, to which JL replied in the same issue.
>>> Martyn Day fired back even stronger opposition, which we published as "Have a Nice Day"—along with JL's replies to Martyn's views.

+ Ken Jensen of Seattle proposed "AIM"—architectural information modeling"—as a better alternative to BIM, to which JL replied in the same issue.
>> Ken Jensen made a more forceful case for "AIM versus BIM";
>>> JL responded to Ken's latest with the "Ad BIMinem Argument"

+ Paul Teicholz of Berkeley offered his strong support for BIM, citing benefits to the construction and facility management processes—with which JL concurred.

+ Volker Mueller of Columbus, Ohio attacked our initial BIM proposal as "BIM, BAM, BUMmer", to which JL replied in the same issue.
>> Volker Mueller returned with additional points in favor of "Putting the 'D' Back in CAD";
>>> JL responded to Volker's latest with the "Ad BIMinem Argument".

+ Jim Bedrick of San Francisco joined the BIM "bandwagon"—a view JL received favorably.

+ Jonathan Cohen of Berkeley argued for a more precise definition of BIM, a point JL supported whole-heartedly.

+ JL's "Much Vexation about Representation" opened another sub-thread, with consideration of paper-versus-digital, 2D-versus-3D, and geometry-versus-building information.

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