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BIM: Interoperability & People

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This seminar explores the interconnection between interoperability and people in a BIM environment. One of the declared ambitions of BIM is to enable collaboration to extract the added value from people working together rather than in silos. This is presented as an automatic outcome of the adoption of BIM. However, the challenges are that BIM has not been designed around people, it has been designed around machine logic. Logical structures such as IFCs and UNICLASS are essential for interoperability and so people must work with these and work together. At the same time, individual software have ‘native’ logic and data formats which allow them to function but are only understandable through experience. The success of BIM requires people, as individual and as multi-disciplinary groups, to handle these software interoperability inconsistencies. The seminar will present how a wider BIM system development, including software development, organisations, protocols, procedures and work practices, is required to undertake this.

David Boyd is Professor of Construction and Director of the Centre for Research in the Environment and Society in the Birmingham School of the Built Environment at Birmingham City University. He is course director of the MSc Integrated Design and Construction Management which aligns BIM with Integrated Project Delivery. Birmingham City University has developed its new buildings using BIM and has been pro-active in driving new approaches to design and construction; these projects have been become learning vehicles for these approaches. David has worked for many years on how knowledge is used in practice in the construction industry and has lectured internationally on this. The challenges of connecting human and information perspectives to make construction more effective gives a new relevance to this work.

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