I first heard about this story from Roopinder Tara, who tweeted about it yesterday. I waited a day to see if there would be more reactions, but I have not seen any.
The story is this:
An American cable news network, MSNBC, ran a featurette (sponsored by Boeing) about BIM being used to renovate buildings. During the report, we see computer animations of several buildings, as well as of a plant, perhaps an oil refinery.
(Update: I have confirmed that some of the "BIM" footage shown by MSNBC was created with AutoCAD Plant 3D -- and not Revit or ArchiCAD.)
Reporter Amanda Drury raves that this "revolutionary new" BIM technology is saving millions of dollars on renovation projects. She names Autodesk and then Autodesk Revit as one of the sources of this software.
Interspaced with the animations are brief interviews with architect Christopher Johnson of Architecture 365. Behind him, we see a computer screen, on which we can just barely make out Graphisoft's ArchiCAD -- the only BIM software he uses. In other clips, we see him inspecting a renovation project on-site, presumably the same as in some (not all) of the computer animations.
Now, the report is accurate in one area, that Autodesk Revit is one brand of BIM software. I wonder if Autodesk provided Navisworks-generated animation graphics to MSNBC.
Graphisoft, however, is furious, for the report implies that Johnson uses Revit. Graphisoft blogger Steven Benford reported:
Immediately after the story... aired on CNBC, Graphisoft contacted Paul Sullivan, Senior PR Manager for AEC Solutions at Autodesk, and CNBC reporter, Amanda Drury and Drury’s executive producer, Lisa Hughes.
Although both Autodesk and CNBC acknowledged the representation of Kit Johnson’s work in the story is misleading, they maintain the story itself is factually correct. As of today, CNBC has refused to issue a correction or retract the piece.
I consider the mix-up in names about as serious as a reporter mixing up Ford and GM. A big deal to some in the industry, a means-nothing to most viewers.
More serious, however, is how Autodesk staff talked it up on Facebook and Twitter. Mr Benford includes a screen grab of Autodesk's Facebook page where the company boasts of architect Johnson using Autodesk BIM software; and a screen grab of the AutodeskAEC Twitter account boasting of a Texas architect using BIM software from Autodesk.
Unfortunately for Autodesk, MSNBC never said which software Johnson him uses, jus that he uses BIM software.
Mr Johnson himself afterwards said:
Small firms like ours are producing incredible construction documents seamlessly with ArchiCAD. This video is clearly an example of BIM-wash.
Graphisoft does get a chuckle out of this sad-news story: "Of all the thousands of Revit users in North America, they evidently could find none that are using Autodesk building information models to build buildings better, cheaper and faster. So they highjacked one of ours."
For me, the funny part is that MSNBC and sponsor Boeing seem to think that BIM is new, when its been around 20 years (for Graphisoft) and 11 years (for Revit). Welcome to the past, folks. Have you encountered the "cell" phone yet?
http://blog.graphisoftus.com/graphisoft/have-we-been-bim-washed (include the MSNBC clip)