Even BIM101 Training Provokes In-Depth Conversation!

Last night, Tocci kicked off a year-long internal BIM training program with Session of BIM 101; Laura Handler, our Director of VDC and an AGC Certified Instructor, is leading us through the entire AGC BIM Education Series. Although BIM 101 is mostly a review for our team, it was nice to have a refresher. But of course, we took a few detours since our team couldn’t stick with the basics! Here are some notes that Laura scribbled during and after class:

Benefits of BIM

The session includes a few slides on the benefits of BIM, but I thought I’d open it up to a discussion to ‘wake people up’ and hear their thoughts. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the depth of the benefits discussed. My favorite came from Bob Tierney, our General Superintendent, who talked about BIM as a workforce development tool, especially for emerging professionals. I’m completely butchering his quote, but he said something along the lines of, “I had to see a detail get built a hundred times in the field before I really learned it. You [younger] guys will learn it so much more quickly, because you get to see it virtually.”

Is BIM Easier When You Self Perform?

The session ends with a case study from Mortenson Construction, comparing results achieved on two similar building – one BIM-enabled, one not. After class, Drew Dana, a Cost Engineer and VDC Champion, and I discussed why so many of the “BIM in the Field” success stories come from self-perform contractors. Here are just a few of the thoughts we tossed around:

  • Since they are all employees of the same company, modelers at self-perform contractors may have easier access to trade feedback – so they are able to provide more relevant data.
  • Self-perform contractors see a greater ROI in BIM. They also have greater access to detailed finances, so perhaps are able to more accurately capture ROI.

Participants will complete BIM 101 in the next four weeks and will start BIM Technology in the fall. Who knows what discussions the Tocci team will have then?


  1. Hi Laura,
    Thanks for leveraging our case study as part of your education program. Self-perform work does favor BIM and VDC as it is about improving planning through the virtual medium. Measure twice and cut once… Like Bob mentioned, you can build the project virtually (lots of times), address challenges, then execute right the first time in the field.
    From an ROI standpoint, we found that successful ROI starts at the project planning phase with the BIM Execution Plan. Once the team defines the VDC strategies, they must define the measures in which the TEAM will track to validate that BIM/VDC will deliver value to the customer. We also partner with local academia to help gather and report on measurements as part of reporting ROI of BIM. For more case studies please visit our resources page:
    http://www.mortenson.com/ResourceSearchResults.aspx (select VDC in the drop down menu)
    Keep up the great work and I really like the new website!

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