BIM World Munich Conference: Reflections on My “BIM There, Done That” Presentation

BIM World Munich Conference

I titled my presentation at the BIM World Munich conference “BIM, There, Done That: High end luxury residences in tropical paradise.”

Rather than share the typical facts and figures, I shared a live walkthrough using the BIM model of a resort we designed in the Dominican Republic. The 300 people in that auditorium — architects, designers, software providers — sat on the edge of their seats.

Many of us were surprised that only a quarter of architecture firms around the world have adopted Building Information Technology (BIM) and Virtual Reality (VR). I’m honored that, as the only architect there from Central America, I could open more eyes to the power of this technology.

As I expressed during my presentation, technology is wonderful and we should embrace it. However, a talented young architect gains very little by using BIM if he has not built something from the ground up. The solution is for young architects and more experienced architects, many of whom attended the conference, to work together.

When I interview new hires, I ask: “Where do you see yourself in three years?” Often they reply that they want to have worked in two or three firms.

Yet an architect, especially a new one, will gain the most experience by working at a single firm for several years because a project can last three years from conception to permits to the building.

Until you actually complete the construction, you cannot say you’ve been able to close your first cycle of one project. Along the way, Building Information Modeling and Virtual Reality are tools we can use to better communicate with each other, and with our clients.

At the conference, an architect came up to me and said, “Wow, I would have never thought of it like that.”

The real understanding we need to come to is that BIM is more than just a program, it’s a shift in mindset — a philosophy to design and build in a more integrated way.

Without it, many professionals put things on paper and in the back of their minds, they think they’ll finish solving issues on the construction site. For me, that’s irresponsible. By using the technology we have available, I solve everything before it gets built.

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About the author

Roderick Anderson

SARCO Architects is a small-sized boutique architectural firm located in San Jose, Costa Rica. It is a family business owned by Roderick and his wife, both of whom are architects. The firm works exclusively with international clients, providing high-end custom architectural design services for luxury vacation homes and investment properties in Costa Rica, Panama and the Caribbean.