BIM challenge to dispel perception of ‘geekiness’

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Warren and Mahoney, Wellington associate principal Jason Howden was one of the RMB BIM Innovation Awards judges.

One of the RMB Building Information Modelling (BIM) Innovation Awards judges, Jason Howden, associate principal of Warren and Mahoney, Wellington, says one of the challenges is to dispel BIM’s “geekiness”, and the attitude that it was for “those kinds of people over there who played video games”.

Mr Howden, who has been using the technology for more than 20 years, says there is a lot of stigma associated with it in the construction industry which was not a diverse one.

“That stigma holds back innovation. A lot of people who have alternative thinking are pushed out,” Mr Howden says.

“The construction industry was used to doing what it had always done. People in the industry were taught by experienced and seasoned people who were also taught by experienced and seasoned people.”

Mr Howden says dispelling BIM’s “geekiness” will help foster greater uptake in the construction industry.

His father was a building contractor and his grandfather too. But he was one of the alternative thinkers.

“It’s just as valuable as putting up a straight wall and making sure your concrete is laid right.”

Mr Howden says he has been using it for 23 years, so the technology is not that new. 

“If digital technologies like BIM could be used to build higher quality buildings, reduce costs and enhance safety then the industry is on to a winner, especially with construction costs at an all time high,” he says.