How Agile BIM can improve collaboration and facilitate BIM adoption


(Sébastien Lucas / Future Architect) #1

Why BIM is not enough to collaborate efficiently

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a set of technologies and standards that is revolutionizing the way we design architecture projects.

BIM has always claimed to be the missing tool that will change the way we collaborate in the architecture & construction industry with more fluent and efficient workflows. It could be true in the future.

But many practial barriers prevent this BIM collaborative ideal to be truly effective now.

Industry specific barriers

  • Each stakeholders -real estate groups, architects, ingeniors, construction companies, …- learned not to communicate too much to the others and often use sparse communication as a defensive tool
  • The AEC (Architecture Engineering Construction) industry is a traditional industry that is building thanks to many “low tech” technologies by comparison with aeronautics, product industry…
  • The adoption of new technologies is slower as all the links of the construction chains need to adopt the new technology

BIM software barriers

  • The BIM files are heavy -hundreds megabytes of information- so a cloud based solution is limited by file transfer that need to be incremental to be efficient
  • The privacy of files shared on the cloud is still a problem for many companies. Due to this fact, they often prefer products, that could be installed locally despite it complicate the communication in real time with other members of the team. File sharing could not be as easy as with a centralized shared database.

What is Agile Methodology in short

Agile is a method that came initially from the development community and was first applied to software development. Since it has been successfully used by many startups and more and more traditional companies in different domains like business development, products design, industry…

The main ideas in agile methods are :

  • to simplify decision making process
  • to prevent loosing time in endless meetings
  • to flatten the decision hierarchy so that anyone can take decisions
  • to have a clear feedbacks and statistics to know of how fast things are going
  • to use short term planning -2 weeks for example- instead of long term & rigid planning
  • to allow changes to better adapt in an “agile” way
  • to make frequent releases to allow project team and product owner to make informed decisions

<img src=‘’, title=“Typical agile board or Kanban as seen in zenhub UI”>

Screenshot of Zenhub agile board (called also Kanban). All tasks are described as “stories” or “issues” and dragged and dropped along columns that describe their completion state.

How Agile could be a good fit for architecture & construction projects

Agile methods have already been used successfully in different industries, from software where it was invented and improved to other non technical startups tasks.

Agile methods indeed are not attached to a specific domain and are very adapted to project based
activities like are architecture design.

Architecture & construction projects are spanned on a long time. They gather an important team coming from different background with different technical knowledge…

One of agile methods benefit is to allow developers to work with non technical people and allow to communicate despite the different level of knowledge.

Seems a good fit!

From design in architecture offices (BIG Copenhagen)

To site works

How Agile Methodology can facilitate BIM adoption in AEC industry

BIM adoption is not an evidence

BIM is a great idea. But often it is blurred by an impression of complexity. BIM is a stuff for BIM managers? People that do not know BIM already may think a montain of complexities will soon arrive and are fearing to change their daily practices.

But the complexity is not because of BIM. The complexity is in the construction projects themselves.
BIM as all technologies is designed to make this complexity easier to manage.

What can do Agile to facilitate BIM adoption

So what Agile methods can do with BIM to make complexity more manageable and improve collaborations at all stages of the project?

Agile methods allow people from different backgrounds to work together, define small chunk of actionable projects tasks. And encourage to communicate on difficulties as soon as possible.

Build the new collaborative BIM software with agile methodologies in mind would really make a change in the way people leverage BIM inside their own organisation.

Introducing Bricks, the agile app for architecture

Let’s list a few qualities that such agile BIM application should have :

  • be visual / Architecture design is a visual work and images facilitate comprehension
  • be flexible / Allow to organize work and team withing small time period
  • be transparent / Show what everyone have done and can do to move the project forward
  • be friendly / eEncourage discussion in the context of the project model

I am thrilled to annouce the next release of Bricks app beta at the beginning of 2017.

Are you interested to be one of our happy beta testers?

The first 100 accounts will get life time 50% discount on Bricks subscriptions !

Ask an invite to Bricks beta

The beta version of Bricks will be free for 6 months. We only ask you to give us some feedbacks to understand how you are using the app and how it it could be improved to better fit your workflow.

<img src=‘’, title=“Ask an invite to Bricks, the agile app for Architecture”>
Bricks solution to say bye to endless meetings!

(Sébastien Lucas / Future Architect) #2

(Sébastien Lucas / Future Architect) #4