Autodesk on BIM

For a while now, the LaiserinLetter has been promoting the term "building information modeling" as the successor to "CAD" for AEC design/documentation software. Herewith, Phil Bernstein, Vice President of Autodesk's Building Industry Division—the largest vendor of AEC design/documentation software—offers his view.

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for your thoughtful article [IssueFifteenJL] articulating the need for a common concept to move our industry beyond traditional notions of "CAD". We at Autodesk agree that "building information modeling" provides the most succinct description of the expanded capabilities available in new design authoring tools, and we join you in suggesting that our industry settle on it, and move ahead.

Autodesk uses "building information modeling" as a touchstone for our strategic vision to engage our customers and partners in a dialog about how technology might support and perhaps even accelerate the adoption of more efficient and effective processes in the building industry. We have no interest in protecting the phrase for our own exclusive use. In fact, we believe that adopting a shared vision for our industry will improve focus on the really interesting debate: how can the industry further refine building information modeling to accelerate its adoption in practice? How can we develop integrated technology solutions (not point products) that most effectively serve our customers' needs?

But this is only part of the story. Autodesk strives toward an equally important concept centered on extending the value of the information model far beyond the design stage. That information is the basis of valuable new forms of collaboration and greater efficiencies in the construction and building operation phases of the building's life cycle for comprehensive "building lifecycle management" - a complementary and equally important concept describing the expanding role of digital design information in the overall life of a building project.

The building industry holds tremendous potential for innovation. But innovation requires a re-thinking of how we use information technology to reduce the redundant design data entry, miscommunication and ambiguity that lead to inefficiency in design and construction practice. Autodesk's mission is to lead in resolving these issues.

Best wishes for the New Year,

> Thanks, Phil, for this cogent opening salvo in the great BIM debate! If I may extract your key phrases: "Autodesk's mission is to lead in resolving" issues such as accelerating (BIM) "adoption in practice," developing "integrated technology solutions" and "extending the value" to "comprehensive building lifecycle management." How best to achieve those goals is a debate topic that I will be delighted to moderate—on and/or off line—in the weeks and months ahead.

Moreover, I applaud Autodesk's vision and leadership—along with that of Bentley Systems and any other software outfits that choose to join this debate—in helping advance the long-term best interests of their customers in the AEC and FOM (facility operations and maintenance) industries. We all need and deserve a rigorous and open airing of all the issues.

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