This article by Benjamin Glunz originally appeared on the BIMsmith Blog.
BIM Managers seem to be popping up everywhere these days.
But what does the title "BIM Manager" actually imply? Why might a firm need a BIM Manager? What parts of BIM need to be managed, and who has the right skills to manage them?
Prior to founding Anguleris Technologies (creators of BIMsmith), I was a BIM Manager at my firm - although I don't know that we called ourselves that back then.
"What the heck is a BIM Manager?" you say?
Well, the role has a bucketful of functions and responsibilities that you might find useful.
What Is A BIM Manager?
A BIM Manager is the gatekeeper to how a firm implements its BIM workflow. They are often the key decision makers on what applications, workflows, and BIM standards will be used throughout an entire firm. This makes them an essential part of any modern architecture or design firm.
What does a BIM Manager do?
As the gatekeeper to how firms implement their BIM workflow, BIM Managers play a very key role in an architecture or design firm. BIM Managers:
Manage a firm’s BIM platform of choice (such as Autodesk Revit)
Enforce common BIM standards within the firm
Curate and/or build a firm’s library of BIM content
1. BIM Managers Handle A Firm’s Workflow and BIM Platforms
Once again, a BIM Manager acts as the gatekeeper to how a firm implements its BIM workflow.
Assuming a firm has made a commitment to an existing software package (such as Autodesk Revit), it will likely hire a BIM Manager with expert level experience in that specific platform, in addition to any other technologies that are tangential in that universe.
This person will often be the key decision maker on what applications and workflows will be used throughout the firm.
Ideally, these decisions are made based on experience, research, and testing along with conversations with other stakeholders in the firm, such as project architects.
2. BIM Managers Enforce Quality and Standards
The next role of the BIM manager is to be the “Keeper of the Standards.”
Construction drawings require precision of communication. In this case, communication is handled through text and graphics.
What Kind of Standards Exist With BIM?
Every firm has its own standards for how drawings are visualized. Everything from fonts and line weights to “how should we draw a toilet?” will come up in a conversation about standards. BIM standards can be drawn from any number of authorities, but each firm determines exactly what standards they want to implement.
I once sat through a 30-minute argument *cough* discussion between two principals on the difference between filled leader heads vs. arrow leader heads.
Needless to say, the BIM Manager helps to set the tone for visual communication and then “makes it happen” from a technical perspective.
3. BIM Managers Are In Charge Of A Firms’ BIM Library
Another key role of the BIM Manager is to be a BIM content curator.
What Is “BIM Content?”
The term “BIM Content” indicates the digital models of building products or materials that come together to form an entire building model. These models are also referred to as BIM objects, BIM models, or can also be described by file format, as in "Revit families."
For example, you might add a skylight model (product) to the second floor master bedroom in the model of your new house (project).
Where can you find BIM content?
BIM product models can be "homegrown" and modeled from scratch by a BIM Manager within a firm, but are often provided for free by product manufacturers on a BIM library site like BIMsmith.
Whether the BIM product models are created in-house or obtained elsewhere, the BIM Manager has the lovely role of checking and curating the content library to ensure that it will function properly for the rest of the architects and draftsmen who use it.
How Much Money Does a BIM Manager Make?
View the rest of this article on the BIMsmith Blog: What Is a BIM Manager? Who They Are, What They Do, and 3 Key Roles They Play For Firms