Are You Seeing a Return from your BIM Investment? (Part 1)

There are a lot of things in this world that I don’t understand – what seems logical to some, is not obvious to others. In our business at Summit, we deal with buildings and how to deliver them in a better way. So I should understand why people with expertise will argue against the logic of such beneficial change as BIM.

So, I continually ask myself: why has the process of designing and delivering a building project not changed to leverage the technological advancements so easily available to all participants. Why, when presented with benefits that can be quantified into 30, 40 and even 50% returns, do many simply want to do things “the way they always have”?

For a yearly expense equivalent to one person’s salary in a 20-30 person firm many could see such returns. In any other walk of life that would be considered a phenomenal Return on Investment and yet to improve all of their staffs’ work environment, to improve the buildings they deliver, and, as a result, take more of their fee home with them, the design professions are not willing to take this “risk”. As someone who has worked in this industry, I SHOULD understand this! Even more puzzling is why do savvy building owners, smart risk-takers who are willing to invest in expensive projects, not want to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions due to this technology and process change?

In the next few blogs, I will examine how I came up with the statements above, why every participant in a BIM process should benefit, how the buildings produced will be better, and why this investment is the best risk one will ever take, because where else can you gain a 30-50% return where you are in control of the risk?

Briefly, I hope to discuss:

  1. Return on Investment proposition. I will try to explain why in a small to medium sized firm, an investment roughly equal to the cost of one staff member will produce a return of substantially more for all.
  2. Improve Staff Satisfaction. Those who get the opportunity to properly utilize BIM enjoy their work environment and will not return to traditional methods.
  3. Produce Better Buildings. I will examine the question of what, and whether we can quantify is, in fact, is a better building.
  4. How everybody in the process will benefit. 

While a true Return on Investment calculation is different for all organizations, I will show you the basic premise behind the ROI possible and give you some options for seeing the potential in your organization.

Continue on to part 2 of this post where we explore the detail.

Bob Heyman is President of Summit Technologies, a leading provider of BIM technology consulting services and software in Vancouver. You can find Summit on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

You can view his most recent webinar – Where to Win with BIM – here

Bob Heyman


Bob Heyman is the President of Summit Technologies. With over 10 years of experience in architectural practice and over 22 years consulting and supporting design professionals, Bob has extensive experience in helping companies to optimize the design and construction process.

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