By Martyn Horne, Member of the UK Landscape Institute’s BIM Working Group
There are big changes on the horizon for landscape architects and designers, especially in the UK where all project and asset information, documentation, and data must be electronic and managed within a collaborative workflow by 2016 because of the BIM Level 2 Mandate. While working within the same program isn’t required, the CAD software that each party uses must be capable of exporting to one of the common exchange formats, such as COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange).
In order to meet the mandate, there’s a strong focus on managing and maintaining all of the assets associated with a design in a single dataset that corresponds to a common standard. It’s all about “putting the I in BIM” and getting your data in order from the earliest stages of your project.
While this transition is intended to increase collaboration throughout the design, construction, and implementation processes and decrease costly in-field errors along the way, there is pushback. Often architects and other designers remark that COBie simply doesn’t work or that it stifles creativity.
However, those complaints are rooted in “FUD” – fear, uncertainty, and doubt – and it has bred the misconception that COBie complicates early stages of the design process.
Rather than being bogged down by COBie, remember that it’s not an all or nothing process. Your BIM workflows are best complemented by “data drops” of increasing complexity and detail, as well as an understanding that this is an evolving process that will improve as more architects, designers, and manufactures come together to get our data in order.
For more information about how COBie and BIM are transforming the UK and beyond, read my recent article at Adjacent Digital Politics.