I grew up with a soccer ball at my feet. So it was no surprise to see me relaxing in front of the big screen this weekend, son by my side, to watch United States and England play in the opening round of the FIFA World Cup tourney.  And the game was a lot like … Building Information Modeling (BIM).

Nelson Mandela Stadium Designed Using BIM 

Odd analogy?  Not really.  There was a lot of excitement leading up to the game.  To some, there was no chance of success.  To others, this was the time to shine.  To many, however, survival was the only question.  As an observer, I was bubbling with anticipation … only to come away with … a tie game!

Do you see my point?  BIM is similar to the United States game against England for three reasons: 

  • There "was" and "remains" a lot of excitement about the future of BIM.  If you go into the project with the expectation of a win, then you are more likely to actually win.  In other words, the potential successes from use of BIM on a project become more of a reality once the whole project team buys into the excitement.
  • A tie is not that bad.  While you always want a win for the construction industry, a tie is still better than a loss.  Let me translate: Until BIM becomes an industry standard, it is still good for BIM proponents to take what points are available … and keep playing.
  • There will always be the naysayers.  A number of soccer fans simply do not think the Americans have what it takes to compete in the World Cup.  Likewise, to many in the construction industry, the jury remains "out" on the value of BIM.  "Though it makes sense in theory, they remain unswayed that the cutting edge design tool has many practical applications or that it represents the wave of the future," says blogger Kevin Doyle.

Finally, there is one more bit of information to share about BIM and World Cup soccer.  Two of the five new venues built for the every-four-year event were modeled using BIM software and techniques.  For example, to design the unique roof structure of Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, steel detailers used BIM software to model the project.

So, just as the sky is the limit for the future of BIM, the Unites States’ performance against England proves that the power of positive thinking is an important element in both soccer and construction project management.