What is a BIM Manager

What is a BIM Manager?

As the world of construction evolves and the use of BIM practices expands and becomes widely adopted the role of the ”BIM Manager” becomes ever more important, but what is the purpose of the BIM Manager?

There are as many descriptions as there are types of BIM Managers/co-coordinators. In this article, we will give you a summary of what we think the duties of a BIM Manager are. That is not so to say that we have the right definition but merely our interpretation of how we view the (BIM Manager’s) role and its duties.

In general, we find that there is not much understanding of what a BIM Manager should be doing, apart from the usual of being ”an advance user of Revit”. Very few seems to know the importance of the BIM Manager in the role of auditing central models, checking Revit/Archicad standard across the projects, data distribution for COBie, specifications, model/family creation, etc.

We have seen companies that give this title to people who have experience using the Software but not necessarily have much experience in how a building is put together or how to manage a team of people.

We find this very unproductive. One of the main skills to efficiently be able to co-ordinate a BIM project is a clear understanding of the team structure. This is especially emphasised when working with a central model with subcontractors. Not to mention the various stages of construction from concept to hand-over.

In most cases, this misunderstanding comes from the unfamiliarity of BIM itself and what it can do. Although not completely true, companies often try to adapt Autocad standards and changed them into BIM standards. This is fundamentally flawed and not a good way of applying BIM.

In essence, Autocad creates 2D drawings with very little or no information that can be managed or extracted for any purpose. An example of this is the tremendous power of scheduling in a BIM platform. In CAD you can’t globally change the material of doors or quantify the number of trees you have, these time-saving practices are not really something of the importance of in a CAD file as you can’t really do them. A BIM manager is aware of these processes and how the models should be following naming conventions and protocols to facilitate these.

What are we looking for in a BIM Manager?

As a company, when we look for a BIM Manager we don’t necessarily are after someone who can use Revit or Archicad. In fact, the candidate doesn’t need to have knowledge of the software at all. It helps but is not necessary. We look for a person that is able to be able to organize and implement standards to be followed in a BIM project. Some of the best BIM Managers we know rarely touch the program. Their main task is to look after large teams of people.The team produces information and the BIM manager ensures that a certain quality is reached and the project meets the deadline dates.

The role of a BIM Manager above all else is to be able to deliver a ”coherent communication tool” be it in Revit / Archicad / Microstation among all the various parties in the project. This means that BIM Managers don’t just deliver 2D Drawings but have to coordinate and understand the relationship between modeling and how that geometry is linked to information such as specification, room names, legends etc.