So what is the holdup in integrating digital engineering into industry wide practices?

Well the reasons are many and varied. In some areas, a true and consistent standard of digital engineering may not yet be established. Some companies may not want to spring for the bill when it comes to staff software and training in this area. And compatible software may not always be available. And some long-term employees might not be open to learning new skills. Companies as a whole might fear change in any form, along with potential commercial and legal issues.

These problems can be solved, via a thorough advisory and advance planning stage, involving client participation. The client can complete an Employers Information Requirements (EIR), which outlines specific BIM uses, goals and drivers. And building designers should set forth their technological capabilities in meeting these requirements.

Designers also can prove their digital engineering capabilities via a pre-contract BIM Execution Plan (BEP) which specifies how, when and what will be completed in regards to this particular project—and who on their team will be doing specific tasks. Clients should be given ample time to review this document.

As in most things, working together—and identifying problematic issues early—is the true key to success. It’s also vital to choose the right team to carry out each particular part of the work plan. And always, digital engineering protocols and procedures must be followed.

If all of these guidelines and protocols are followed, then it should be easy to engineer a better future for the building design industry—and digitally.