As 2015 starts, people like to pull out and dust their crystal balls to identify what will be the biggest trends for BIM. On our end, we see the convergence of many exciting technologies. We can expect that many of these will improve productivity. The following are my best guesses (Edwin’s) for the coming year (not necessarily shared by our entire office):
Single model collaboration
Collaboration for Revit (aka C4R, formerly Skyscraper) will allow closer collaboration by eliminating the costly step of IT setup for long distance collaboration across offices and domains. A possible result of this may be an increase in attempts to use one model for all design consultants. While there are some inherent benefits (eliminating duplication of elements, mechanical systems can be wired to electrical systems, immediate feedback on changes…) there are some significant risks, particularly if there is a disparity in Revit ability among the team and no planning or BIM Execution Plan. Inevitably, with C4R, we should expect to see a handful of “brave ones” take this step. Hopefully we will also see “prepared ones”, which leads us to the next item.
Related to the previous trend, as increased collaboration workflows evolve, the planning step to ensure BIM and project success will become unavoidable. People are getting tired of broken promises when using BIM. Using an independent/external BIM consultant will become more common. By having accountability to an external BIM consultant, teams will help ensure that the GIGO (Garbage-In-Garbage-Out) scenario is eliminated and that downstream uses of the model such as, pre-construction, electronic as-built or facilities maintenance, will bring value to building owners and fewer headaches to all involved.
Dynamo will continue to be a hot topic. Already it has evolved to be a valuable addition to advance various interoperability initiatives (Rhynamo, Dynaworks, Robot Structural, Slingshot…) Slowly, we are starting to solve important issues that users face every day by using Dynamo; simplifying workflows and automating some things that Revit “should be able to do” but that for some reason it couldn’t previously. The fact that Dynamo comes included in the latest Revit release shows that Dynamo is here to stay and will grow to be a powerful complement that helps Revit do a lot more than it could do alone by itself. This year we should expect further development of the non-geometry abilities of this tool which in my opinion is the greatest promise of Dynamo.