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Customer Q&A

Learn how industry professionals have achieved business goals and transformed their work through Building Information Modeling (BIM) collaboration and coordination.

Featured interview

Herrero Builders: Making the case for BIM on construction projects
San Francisco-based building firm uses BIM to create value and eliminate waste, especially for healthcare clients.

Norb Howell of Gannett Fleming discusses BIM

John Mack
Herrero Builders
“Projects where we use BIM tend to be more profitable because there are fewer issues. These projects also tend to be delivered early. If you’re delivering early with help from BIM, how can you not have time for it?”


Q: There are a lot of different definitions of BIM floating around. What is BIM to you?

A: John Mack: To me, it’s all the information connected to the lifecycle of the building. With BIM, you create a database that brings everything together. It doesn’t have to be design or 3D information. Anything that can be tied to the building is part of BIM. BIM starts with the parcel number and expands from there to encompass everything—the design, the preconstruction process, construction, and maintenance of the building. At some point, there’s a demolition, and you start all over again.

Q: What was the impetus for your firm to adopt BIM?

A: John Mack: We turned to BIM about 6 years ago. Client demand, particularly in healthcare, was a key factor. Healthcare clients saw the potential for BIM to have positive schedule and cost impacts on their projects. They started putting BIM requirements into their contracts. Those requirements were a little vague at the time, but they’ve gotten more specific. It’s hard to imagine building a hospital today without BIM. Clients in other sectors have been slower to require BIM, but we usually take advantage of BIM whether it’s required or not.

Q: On what percentage of projects does your firm use BIM and why?

A: John Mack: We use BIM on more than 80% of projects. In my opinion, there’s a role for BIM on just about every project. Occasionally, we’ll have a project where a team might consider skipping BIM. Sometimes people don’t feel they have enough time to create models as part of the preconstruction stage. They need to be reminded about the benefits BIM delivered on the last project where they didn’t think there was enough time for BIM. Projects where we use BIM tend to be more profitable because there are fewer issues. These projects also tend to be delivered early. If you’re delivering early with help from BIM, how can you not have time for it?

Q: What are the benefits you have seen on BIM projects?

A: John Mack: It goes back to what I was just saying. You see some of the clearest benefits in the schedule. I’ve been in the industry now for 28 years, and delivering ahead of schedule used to be quite unusual. In the time we’ve been doing BIM, that’s changed. About 90% of BIM jobs are on or ahead of schedule. We had a job with a delayed start of 3 weeks and ended up delivering it about 2 months early. It’s because we took the time to plan it using BIM and lean processes. When selling BIM to a client or a project team, the schedule benefits make people take notice.


Additional Q&As

iNFRANEA: BIM and the infrastructure lifecycle

The firm’s managing director, Johan Kuppens, talks about the role and benefits of BIM across the lifecycle of infrastructure assets.

Gannett Fleming: Getting a large firm on board with BIM

Gannett Fleming, a multidisciplinary engineering and architecture firm that serves a wide array of public and private sector clients, talks about the firm’s move to BIM.
  Gannett Fleming Q&A

Clayco: Selling clients on the benefits of BIM

BIM helps firm deliver clearer designs, compressed timelines, and a better built environment.
  Clayco Q&A