CYBERSPACE – What is the BIM one million? An effort by the folks behind www.theB1M.com to bring together an online collection of one million places, people, and organizations all invested in building information modeling.
So far, they’re at 179. It’s going to be a bit of a slog.
“Yeah, you look at that and think, ‘that’s a long way away,’” admitted B1M director Fred Mills, “but when you take into the global market and the amount of people using BIM, we think it’s quite modest.”
Thus far, the project is a labor of love. While they started off with nominal fee to join, but have since made membership in the web site free of charge. Mills and his fellow site operators are hoping site members will create profiles and find each other for the purposes of collaborating and learning from each other.
Creating a profile isn’t much different from creating a Twitter account, and signing up gets you a free BIM-focused newsletter and access to events they’re planning on organizing.
Mills said the site hopes to eventually make money, through endeavors like selling market data they collect on the site and some sponsorship opportunities, but for now there’s no real focus on revenue.
Basically, as a construction professional with a background in design and project management, Mills just wants more people aware of and using BIM in the industry. “My motivation is that BIM can help us deliver a better environment,” he said. “It’s a great tool for delivering built assets … the importance is to leave a better legacy for the future.”
He’s also hoping to be a trusted clearinghouse for BIM information. “There’s a lot of noise in the industry about BIM,” he said. “Some of it good, some of it not so good, and some of it downright confusing. We wanted a central database where anyone can come right in and have the same space to share and state what they’re doing … It’s kind of a mix between a social network and a knowledge library.” He said site features will soon become more interactive.
As for where laser scanning and 3D data capture fits in, Mills said he believes they are vital to the growth of BIM use. “There are professionals at the top of the BIM industry who really see its power,” he said, “but maybe some who are just getting into BIM might not know much about laser scanning. I think that’s more to do with promoting it. And hopefully we can do some of that. It’s an incredible starting point for your BIM model; for me the 3D data capture is a really powerful starting point when you need to model your existing building quickly and accurately. It’s priceless, really.”