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BIM technology has not yet developed a track record on claims and the recent survey of professional liability insurance carriers by the AIA Trust has not indicated evidence of claims thus far. However, much concern is being expressed for the potential risks associated with multi-party use and manipulation of the architect’s 3D model, and rightfully so. The AIA documents that have been developed attempt to address these concerns. Meanwhile, practitioners are eager to use BIM because of its positive attributes, potential for advancement of collaborative practice, and the simple fear of not residing on the leading edge of design technology.

This leads many practitioners to make the decision to boldly go where no one has gone before in the arena of risk as well as technology. The good news is that you are not alone, and if you become a student of BIM and closely follow the explorations and practices ongoing in the industry, you can be among those who realize the most from this exciting new approach to the business of architecture.

Meanwhile, live long and prosper with your BIM endeavors, and be careful out there.

The authors wish to express appreciation to Glenn Birx, FAIA, LEED AP, Vice-President and Principal in the architecture firm, Ayres Saint Gross, Andrew Watkins, AIA, Associate Principal, Ayers Saint Gross and Michael B. Bomba, Esq., Director and Associate Counsel with the American Institute of Architects, for their valuable review and contributions to this article.

For More Information:

Guide, Instructions and Commentary to the 2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents

2013 AIA Digital Practice Documents – Frequently Asked Questions, go to

AIA Documents questions? Go to, call (202)626-7526; go to

BIM Handbook: A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers, Designers, Engineers, and Contractors, 2nd edition (Wiley 2011) by Chuck Eastman, Paul Teicholz, Rafael Sacks, and Kathleen Liston

BIG BIM little bim, 2nd edition (4Site Press, 2008) by Finith E. Jernigan

BIM in Small-Scale Sustainable Design (Wiley 2012) by Francois Levy

Building Information Modeling Project Execution Planning Guide (The Pennsylvania State University, 2010) by John Messner et al.

National BIM Standard – United States Version 3 (National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, DC, 2015)

The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th edition, Article 11.3, Small Firms, Small Projects, and Building Information Modeling (Wiley 2014) by The American Institute of Architects

Building Information Modeling (BIM): Trends, Benefits, Risks, and Challenges for the AEC Industry (American Society of Civil Engineers 2011) by Salman Azhar, Ph.D., A.M. ASCE

The BIMForum is an organization formed to facilitate and accelerate the adoption of building information modeling in the design and construction industry. Go to

AIA Center for Integrated Practice (CIP). The AIA’s online clearinghouse that contains useful resources necessary to lead the industry toward collaborative design practices. Go to

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