Dossier vedette du magazine de l’ACQ

Dernièrement, j’ai participé à une entrevue avec le magazine de la construction CONSTRUIRE publié par l’Association de la Construction du Québec (ACQ).

On y discute la place du BIM dans les différentes étapes du projet d’agrandissement de l’Aérogare. Plusieurs éléments techniques sont présentés ainsi qu’une liste de logiciels utilisés.

Bonne lecture!

Continue reading “Dossier vedette du magazine de l’ACQ”

Dossier vedette du magazine de l’ACQ

Luxury of Time

BIM implies workflow analysis, documentation, standards, sharing models and lots of communications. The implementation of BIM processes is all about rethinking work habits and requires time and effort but pays off on the long run. Time is a factor the construction industry rarely has.

With the arrival of BIM, the standard design process is enhanced by the possibilities of 3D modeling. But the fact is to reach the full benefits of BIM, designers in all disciplines need enough time to complete and coordinate the virtual models before releasing it for construction. It’s the best way to ensure optimum efficiency.

Owners, like everyone else, understand the value of time in a project. But still most projects suffer from condensed schedules. Organisations are launching projects to reach their corporate objectives with a budget and a time frame in mind. There is always a target delivery date that is critical to the project because it serves the corporations tactical business plan. If possible projects are planned to have just enough time to be done under a reasonably normal schedule. “Just in time” project delivery is an effective strategy to support infrastructure development, especially in a volatile and competitive business.

Industries such as Casinos have deadlines based on massive incomes. A delay in the schedule is not a solution. With the evolution of technologies, people are exposed to the immediacy of everything. It influences also how they work. You can throw coins in the wishing well but projects will always be shorter and shorter.

A project is an enormous puzzle with many hidden parts that you often discover a bit late in the process. This volume of activities relies on multiple planning from different actors. Time management in a construction project is not an easy task. It requires leadership, flexibility and agility. Some aspects are easier to control than others. There will always be client’s new requirements or site conditions forcing a re-evaluation of the schedule, but if you are geared correctly you can adapt faster. BIM tools and processes help your design processes, cost evaluations and schedules more effective and performant.

With collaborative environments, designers can coordinate their work instantly with each other. In a design-bid-built , to make the coordination time really effective on the overall project schedule, it would be a pure waste of time to let contractors change the design and do the entire coordination again. Architects and Engineers needs to bring their design to a level where contractors only need to fabricate and do the final coordination. For sure contractors will always have to modify the design at some points because it’s impossible to plan for everything, but at least they won’t have to redo the entire coordination. This means a lot of time gained between the tendering process and the construction phase.

The use of BIM processes, with good level of BIM maturity teams, is probably the key to do “just in time” projects and not “just too late” projects.

Luxury of Time


I frequently hear about how this type of projects and this type of contract is not adequate for BIM. I would say whatever the type of project, just do it and be smart. Don’t just apply a recipe your learned on the web. Use your experience and your imagination. Who  would be against optimizing workflows, reducing rework, facilitate communications? Not me.

I believe BIM applies to a project sizes and complexity. Once your start taking control on the tools and that you see windows for optimization in your processes, you’ll never go back to just draw lines on a screen end extensive use of Excel spreadsheets.

To call it BIM, you need at least to have a 3D model. Well you don’t have to, but it goes well with the Modeling part of the acronym. If you work with a database but it’s not linked to a 3D model, it’s just called data management.

The fun part in most of 3D authoring softwares is that they use databases to store information. Some modeling tools allow users to access this database to get information or to add information to it. Because objects are parametric and can be tagged, now you do more than just draw a 3D model with pretty rendering.

All this being said, once you have a 3D model with tons of informations, there’s few limits to what you can achieve. It all depends on your needs: scheduling, quantities/costs, procurement, facility management, the limit is your imagination. You just need to gather around you the right people to support your vision and acheive your goals.

Go ahead, challenge your consultants, contractors and employees. Ask them to do better. You’ll figure out that BIM is not only a fancy marketing acronym.