Digital experts on BIM's language problem

Experts say BIM uses a language that those outside it struggle to understand

According to several experts speaking at the Consrtruction Manager/BIM+ Construction Digital Summit in London on 15 May, they highlighted how the terms BIM is described in are often virtually impenetrable to those not familiar with them.

Alistair Kell, principal at BDP and head of information technology and process, said: “Something has to change. We are at a point where the technology is being adopted by a new generation and they adopt it well. This language is all they know.

“Those of us who are older have been brought up in a very different world and we need to figure how these worlds come together and move forward. Without that, our clients start scratching their heads when we start talking about EIR and AIR.”

Richard Saxon, Associate Director of Deploi BIM Strategies, urged the industry to avoid jargon. “You don’t need any of that new stuff. It only confuses,” he remarked.

And Alex Lubbock, head of digital construction at the Infrastructure & Projects Authority, added: “We still have to explain to people what ‘BIM’ is as a word and that is a problem.”

Lubbock advocated the use of the term “digital” instead. He said: “The maturity of the UK is that we have moved across to start talking about digital. This is a Digital Construction Summit, not a BIM summit. Digital is synonymous with productivity. We don’t question digital because it is all around us.”

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