Why Isn’t There a Smarter BIM Tool for Building Design, Yet?

This Viewpoint article by Lachmi Khemlani, Founder and Editor of AECbytes, questions why we still don’t have a smart building design tool which does not require us to painstakingly model every detail in our buildings, but can automatically create much of it from a conceptual sketch using a rule-based expert system. This is not as far-fetched or “out there” as it might seem—we already have a tool for infrastructure design that can automatically create structurally sound infrastructure components with minimal input from the user.

URL: http://www.aecbytes.com/viewpoint/2015/issue_74.html

5 thoughts on “Why Isn’t There a Smarter BIM Tool for Building Design, Yet?

  1. What I’m often asked as a BIM Manager – is why is BIM so hard? I explain that it’s often the learning as compared to CAD. You can do CAD drawings and know very little of the software (lines, arcs and text), but in most BIM applications you have to know almost every aspect of the software in order to produce work. There doesn’t seem to be a way to enter slowly into these solutions. Also in order to make things “friendly,” so many constraints are put on the software. Why is there a unique set of commands for building a wall, roof, or floor – aren’t they all just 3D shapes? Why can’t I create my own Category for components?

    For BIM to get smarter it must get back to the basics of object and view creation. So much “intelligence” has been added that making BIM “smarter” has been handcuffed by “exceptions.”

    “When you find there too many exceptions to the rule, the rule must be changed” – Walker N. Picker.

  2. What a great question! Since the advent of BIM it has become increasingly complex to model a fully detailed building that includes all of the HVAC, structural, piping, electrical, etc. components. Now we have specialized modeling tools for the various disciplines that need to be integrated in order to collaborate, eliminate clashes, estimate and schedule the work, etc. As BIM has added additional disciplines, it has become more complex. The architect leads the conceptual design effort, but needs to link with other disciplines in a complex design and construction process to realize a successful building.

    A system that used various algorithms and rules to generate detail design (level of detail 3 and 4 al least), would be a tremendous achievement and benefit. It would need to be aware of building codes, energy and lighting knowledge, constructability knowledge, cost tradeoffs, and probably much more. Even if it could not bring all of this knowledge to bear, it could make a reasonable and feasible start that then could be modified by the project team. This would be a tremendous step forward.

    Lachmi, many thanks for bringing this question to your forum.
    Paul Teicholz

  3. Talking about BIM tools, there isn’t anything which can’t be smarter. It is just the way we need to use it. AutoCAD in its simpler terms is very fruitful and any engineering drawing can be easily completed. The lines, arcs, text, attributes are the only aspects to be known for CAD designs, which is not the case for BIM tools.

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