BIM Implementation in SMEs: an Experience of Cooperation between an Architect Agency and a Carpentry Firm.
Most of French architectural agencies are formed by less than 3 people. Architects are generally attached to both traditional knowledge and architectural processes. Thus, BIM is sometimes perceived in France as a disruptive technology that could negatively impact the architect's work. Usually, construction projects featured as BIM projects are often too large and out of touch of small architectural agencies. This situation does not allow them to assess BIM advantages for their daily work. This context and the current strained economic situation of the AEC sector make difficult the integration of new BIM practices in small architectural agencies.
The experience we made is a first step for the definition of a progressive appropriation method of BIM practices leading to a better comprehension of the contribution of these technologies in French architectural agencies.
We experienced a digital mock-up (DMU) exchange between a small architectural agency and a carpentry firm with an engineering consulting department. The architects from the agency have recently begun working with a BIM software program: ArchiCAD. They are very skilled users of Autocad and 2D drawing but have a good understanding of BIM modelling potentialities. According to the model of Succar, they are still in the transition between Pre-BIM and the first stage of BIM level maturity. The particularity here is the alignment between architects choices and engineers decisions who want to solve together errors generated by the traditional process. This context is favourable for implementing and experiencing BIM stage 2.
In this paper we present the context of the experience, the used methodology, the BIM implementation and finally the different encountered exchange problems and the brought solutions.
Keywords: BIM, construction, IFC sharing, carpentry, architecture, experiment, SME, digital mock-up, DMU, ArchiCAD, cadwork.