The 7 Habits of Highly Connected BIM People

by Jad Dellel, Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Lead on August 17, 2017

As attendees of a recent Autodesk Connected BIM Meetup learned, Connected BIM is Building Information Modeling combined with the power of the cloud.

Connected BIM processes go beyond design, leveraging the power of the cloud to help make collaboration possible almost anywhere at any time, while providing data continuity across the project’s lifecycle and deep insight to help improve decision-making.

For example, Connected BIM helped customers like Rambøll Sweco achieve 20 percent savings in the planning and approval phases of a complex railway project (read more).

To become a highly-connected BIM Champion, you should embrace these seven habits to increase your productivity, gain a competitive advantage, and enhance your impact on the BIM Community:

1. Capture the context

By adopting Reality Capture’s (RC) workflows, the Connected BIM Champion collects data insights from previous projects and converts them into a 3D model or 2D drawing that’s ready for design. Here are some examples of usage:

  • For building renovation, RC can seamlessly fasten new conceptual designs to the structure’s true virtual representation.
  • For infrastructure design, RC can help design and view projects in the context of the real world.
  • For construction verification, RC can help you compare the scan project with the original AutoCAD model, and even produce virtual tours.

A Connected BIM Champion leverages laser scanning, photogrammetry, and LiDAR to capture existing conditions and monitor a project’s progress through its phases.

2. Enhance collaboration across geo-dispersed teams

Bret Taylor, former CTO of Facebook, believes that the future of collaboration is "connected, mobile, and social—work is about communication. It's about people sharing work, ideas, and opinions."1

Connected BIM Champions are team players who understand that many factors make teamwork challenging: time zones, cultural differences, distribution, etc. They know that advances in technology will affect their teams and that they will need to unlearn obsolete ways of working. Connected BIM Champions embrace diversity and better collaboration to drive team productivity in this new era of connectivity.

They are already using cloud solutions like Collaboration for Revit and BIM360 to enhance collaboration.

3. Use the computer as a design advisor

A Connected BIM Champion understands the power of generative design to enhance his or her skills. This means using cloud-based simulations to explore permutations of a design and quickly generate alternatives. These tools test and learn from each iteration, guiding the designer to what works and what doesn’t.

A Connected BIM Champion stays abreast of enhancements in AI and generative design tools like Dynamo, Project Fractal, Dreamcatcher, Nastran, and Netfab.

4. Interact with buildings before they are built

The Connected BIM Champion creates immersive experiences using Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). This means going beyond visualization to design in context, and allowing stakeholders to have a first-hand experience within the design. Collaborators can virtually step inside a project together and make design decisions in real time. According to Kelsey Stein, VR expert within Skanska, VR helped them to win more projects—five of the last six submissions.

Tools such as Autodesk Live, Stingray, and 3DS Max take visualization to the next level.

5. Use detailing and fabrication to bridge design into construction

Detailing and Fabrication is the stage where building components (ducts, pipe, steel, rebar, etc.) need to be finalized and manufactured in a way that makes them both reliable and accurately constructible.

As early adopters of BIM within their industry, Connected BIM Champions are extending design to Detailing and Fabrication, and adopting and using connected solutions and workflows.

In addition, they are closing the gaps between digital intent and physical reality by using Advance Steel for Structure and Autodesk Fabrication Portfolio for MEP.

6. Share knowledge with the community

Connected BIM Champions contribute to their professional community by sharing their knowledge through webinars, articles, and short videos, or by speaking at industry events, such as Enterprise Meetups.

They participate in creating shared value by strengthening the local community (i.e.: mentoring interns or training their partners). They also share the lessons they’ve learned with others—to influence and inspire the next generation of champions and other professionals.

7. Connect socially with peers

Connected BIM Champions are social creatures. As connectors within their communities, they share best practices online; promote productive workflows; and connect with peers via social media or at live events.

If you already embrace most of these habits—or know someone who does—we would love to know. Stand up and be recognized as a Connected BIM Champion.

Feel free to reach out to me directly:


1Dessauer, Heather. "The Future of Productivity: Teamwork and Collaboration." July 27, 2017. Accessed August 17, 2017.

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