Most of us in the industry are aware of the benefits of dry construction, but what about DRY communication? DRY is an acronym for: “Don’t Repeat Yourself !” Originating in software design and development, it means that : “Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system“. It does make sense to reuse the information and knowledge available, right? Building Information Models (BIMs) are great for keeping all the information in one place, up to date and available. But, do we use them sensibly when it comes to communication? How often do we use our content-rich model to produce isolated fragments (drawings, schedules, specifications) which we loosely pack (as a link) into some kind of message (like an email), leaving the rich content lock in  our BIMs? When we invest our time in the BIM authoring tool to define integrated 3D views, drawings and schedules of our building and enhance these  good quality data to build a coherent model, why do we then split it all up and create redundant overlapping information? Why do we then spend extra time explaining how all these fragments fit together and how they actually describe the design or answer any questions others raise?

Figure 1: Typical example of information splitting leading to repetitive tasks and lost context

xbim are trying to help people make better use of their BIMs to improve the quality of communication by automating message creation whilst respecting traditional practices. We have communication templates, so you don’t have to repeatedly select and export bits and pieces. We keep drawings and 3D views aligned with the model, so you don’t need to explain where things are in the building. We allow you to limit spatial extent of the model and related data, so you don’t have to repeatedly remove unwanted content. We support this level of control in Revit with our xbim Flex plugin. Other authoring platforms will be supported in the future as well.

Conversation in Flex

Figure 2: Using Flex to create a BIM enhanced e-mail, avoiding repetitive tasks and creating an unambiguous message.

xbim call these e-mails BIM Enhanced e-Mails (BEMs). So, don’t repeat yourself! Xbim flex is not the only tool which can help you to avoid repetition in your daily work. And it is certainly worth to have a look at how you can save time in such a routine task as the daily communication.

Remember you read about BIM-BEMs here first!