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BY AIDAN ACKERMAN, ASLA

The pros and cons of adopting BIM have oversized impacts on smaller firms.

FROM THE JULY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Small landscape architecture firms face a unique set of challenges when deciding whether to adopt Building Information Modeling, also known as BIM.

In this article, we define small firms as those with fewer than 10 employees, including sole practitioners. Each firm we interviewed falls into this category. For a small firm, the decision about whether to adopt BIM is fraught with questions about cost, loss of productive work time, employee training, and even impacts to the firm’s design culture. Few examples of successful BIM implementation in small firms have been documented, contributing to a fear that some of those firms are being left behind as the technology advances. Yet BIM adoption in small design firms is not as uncommon as it may seem. A 2018 survey by ASLA’s Digital Technology Professional Practice Network surveyed 480 ASLA members on their digital technology usage. Of the 27.3 percent of respondents who identified information modeling or BIM as important to their work, more than half were from firms of 10 or fewer employees. Of the 19.8 percent of survey respondents who identified information modeling or BIM as something they were interested in pursuing, more than half were again from firms of 10 or fewer employees. (more…)

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Foreground

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, 1921–2021 (In Memoriam)
Remembering the life and career of the celebrated landscape architect.

On the Safe Side (Maintenance)
A landscape laborer is far more likely to get hurt on the job than a landscape architect. Some firms are starting to take a harder look at their role in reducing worker risk.

Features

Small Firm, Big Leap
BIM training and software costs are a significant debit for small design firms. As principals weigh the pros and cons of adoption, the competitive cost of not being “in the model” is part of the equation.

Mine, Ours
As Western nations look to a postcoal future, the Lausitz region of Germany eyes turning its defunct mining pits into lakes and its industrial scrapes into tourist attractions. For now,
the contradictions are delightfully instructive.

The full table of contents for July can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be posting July articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Mine, Ours,” Michael Dumiak; “Small Firm, Big Leap,” http://www.shutterstock.com/Italy3d; “Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, 1921–2021,” Kiku Hawkes Photography; “On the Safe Side,” SiteWorks.

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