10 Years of Leadership in Building Information Modeling

As the business voice of Canada’s BIM community, Canada BIM Council, or CanBIM, represents, supports and advocates on behalf of the entire Architectural, Engineering, Construction, Owner, Operator (AECOO) community to build a positive business environment for the effective deployment of BIM, for all engaged in utilizing BIM in Canada.

What is BIM, exactly? BIM, or Building Information Modeling, is a 3D model-based process that gives professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure for their clients. The ability to see a project in 3D increases efficiencies not only in the building process, but the operational process as well, and has overhauled the way projects are being designed, built and delivered.

The result of these efficiencies brings high-quality and streamlined information that equals fewer errors and less money spent per project. BIM technology can also
amalgamate the traditionally fragmented nature of building industries by enabling different parties (from contractor to Project Manager) to be on the same page, a crucial tool for managing information, accelerating productivity and facilitating operations. In short, it will soon be a required technology for AECOO professionals who wish to stay at the top of their game.

Strengthening the Industry

Gerry Lattmann, Executive Director, Canada BIM Council, says that the Canada BIM Council started in 2008 as a group of industry members who saw the need for advocacy around adoption of what was at the time a new and emerging technology. Since 2008, technology has continued to evolve at a rapid rate, and new technologies such as Automation, Prefabrication, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics have fallen under the Canada BIM Council prevue, strengthening the industry’s need for such a council.

In 2018, the Canada BIM Council celebrates its tenth anniversary. As Lattmann says, there are many unknowns about how BIM will impact the design, build and facility management processes, but Canada BIM Council members will be best prepared for, and help influence, those impacts.

“We have a set of strategic goals that will continue to evolve over time as CanBIM evolves with the emerging and rapidly changing BIM environment within Canada and, by extension, to its international partners,” says Lattmann.

BIM Certification

As the use of BIM is increasing throughout Canada, CanBIM relies on its four pillars: to Lead, Educate, Advocate, and Engage. “Having a unified voice allows for professional, educational, construction, fabrication and supply chain members a dedicated support system as they grow,” says Lattmann. “We provide our members with advocacy, learning opportunities and best practices for BIM in a Canadian context while maintaining connectivity with our international partners.”

Like any technology, BIM is only as good as its users, and prior to CanBIM there was no way for companies to verify or vet how well anyone knew the technology. CanBIM Certification is the industry benchmark—a nationally standardized and recognized level of BIM Competency and Process Management.

Through its accreditation, organizations are assured that a CanBIM-certified individual or company has “passed an assessment process based on rigorous peer review of knowledge, application and experience,” says Lattmann. “Our certification program promotes and maintains a nationally accepted standard of BIM competence and skill by which the design, construction and building operation industry are assured of effective and competent individuals.” Since 2014, close to 300 certifications have been granted by CanBIM.

“Many of the member organizations are blazing a trail in the adoption of BIM technology in their firm and projects,” says Lattmann. “There has been a huge leap forward automation, robotics, machine learning, and these are all technologies that our members are looking at and investigating.”

To recognize the great strides of its members, CanBIM holds the annual Innovation Spotlight Award (the physical award is constructed each year by a different CanBIM member organization) as a way of shining the spotlight on the latest innovations and use of technology.

10 Year Anniversary

A decade of AECOO-industry support is a major accomplishment, and one that will be amply celebrated. Lattmann says CanBIM regularly holds about four major conferences a year and four smaller ones, and this year they will all be focused on where CanBIM will go in the next 10 years. “Celebrations have already begun with a golf tournament in September and other member-related events,” says Lattmann, adding networking is a large part of the events and has fostered many working relationships. “I look forward to engaging with our members, giving them quality support and information that they are looking for to progress as a company, this is the most rewarding part of this job.”