Update: 9/29/2015: This post has been updated with additional online BIM resources that have proved themselves worthy over the past year and a half. We’ve updated the piece to have 45 options instead of the original 38.
If you’re a Building Information Modeling (BIM) manager or developer, you know it’s not easy to keep up with the quickly changing construction technology landscape.
There is an overwhelming amount of information published daily, and it can be difficult to sift through pages of tangentially-related content.
Fear not. I’ve taken the time to search through the best-known BIM blogs, publications, associations, events, and tools, and selected the industry’s premier resources.
Here we go!
Laurie Handler, the Virtual Construction Manager at Tocci Building Corporation, aims to showcase innovation within the building industry and offer insights into BIM technology.
This blog is run by Autodesk’s Developer Technical Services (DevTech) team. This is a good resource for managers and developers using Revit, Navisworks, and other Autodesk AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) and BIM technology.
Beyond Design has been a key asset for BIM managers since 2009. It’s run by Autodesk’s Navisworks team and covers a variety of tips and tricks, best practices, and insider knowledge to make the most out of BIM software and management.
Get the latest news and tips from Australia’s BIM community, all run through one-man show Brian Renehan. The blog may only update once a month, but every article is worth it.
BIM on the ROCKS offers lighthearted industry stories. They also cover BIM initiatives, tips and tricks, and promote relevant conferences and industry awards.
Buildz, which is run by an Autodesk engineer, offers great tutorials, from writing data to text files to how to use the formula node in Dynamo. They also frequently update their readers on the newest developments and releases in the industry.
Construction Code is independently run by Stephen Hamil, who started working on NBS products in 1999 and has a PhD “in the digital modeling of building structures.” He offers BIM advice while also cataloging his own professional life.
While this blog isn’t updated as frequently as others, Antony McPhee of Australia makes every post count. With no-nonsense guides and photos to help users out, this blog is a great resource for experts looking to improve their craft.
This blog is exactly what it sounds like. Tim Grimm covers Revit add-ons and plugins, many of which are free.
Jeffrey A. Pinheiro, a.k.a. “The Revit Kid,” offers to-the-point video and written tutorials for Revit developers.
This independent blog is largely an aggregator of the latest news, tips, and tricks coming out of BIM, Revit, Navisworks and IT. Best of all? They keep it brief.
AECbytes is offering a new quarterly print magazine for $49 a year. They also keep an updated blog.
AECMagazine is a free online UK magazine that publishes bi-monthly. It keeps readers up-to-date on the latest technology solutions in architecture engineering, and construction.
AUGIWorld is Autodesk User Group International’s official magazine which is published once every two months. This in-depth publication provides specialized insight into topics like CAD management, AutoCAD add-ons, and management advice. AUGIWorld is reserved for AUGI subscribers only.
This international, research-oriented journal focuses on information technologies in construction. They particularly focus on computer-aided design. Readers can order a year’s worth of print articles for $99.
Cadalyst’s quarterly print magazine provides software and hardware reviews, illuminates technology trends, and delivers expert advice to help CAD and BIM managers stay up-to-date. Each issue is $9.95 and $2.25 for shipping and handling.
This magazine zeroes in on the intersection of construction and technology (for example, the latest issue features an entire app catalog that’s sorted by how relevant it is to certain professions). It is published every other month.
ABC works with all levels of the government to make sure the construction industry’s interests are best represented. This trade organization offers member discounts on products like Revit and AutoCAD licenses. They also champion collaboration within their membership while also supporting open competition and free enterprise.
BIMForum aims to promote and hasten the AEC industry into adopting BIM. They help develop best practices for VDC and host a large and engaged community. A $150 membership provides exclusive access to benefits including videos from BIMForum meetings.
This international organization creates standards and tools and provides training for construction professionals across AEC and facilities management industries.
Fiatech centers on the large commercial assets like hospitals, power plants, and refineries. They cover all points of production, from planning and design to engineering and construction.
The MCAA serves the AEC industry as a resource for education, forecasting, and networking association. Many of their educational tools teach advanced BIM techniques. This association is ideal for those in the HVAC community.
NAHB is a trade association that represents the home-building industry. It provides a network for BIM managers to connect with home builders. Membership comes with joining any home-builders association in your area.
The CAD Society is an authority on all CAD products. They offer mentorship programs, CAD discounts, and provide a point of contact between users and vendors. Membership is $20 for students and $40 for professionals.
The AEC Hackathon is an annual event held in London, and has by far the coolest branding of any AEC company I’ve seen to date. The conference is entirely dedicated to sharing ideas and awarding businesses who are shaping the digital construction industry.
Every year, Autodesk University hosts conferences that provide outstanding opportunities for networking, training, and even certification. It features over 650 classes for engineers and designers. Last year, for example, it offered classes called “Influencing Company-Wide BIM Adoption” and “Safety Is No Accident: Actively Evaluating Project Safety with BIM.”
This international convention features a host of education session presentations. It is well-known within the industry. The conference is well-attended by its most prominent members, like BP, GM, and Waste Management.
This themed annual conference is hosted every year by BIMForum—2014’s conference will be held in Dallas. It aims to address a specific issue within construction technology while also providing ample networking opportunities. For example, in April’s conference, they focused on optimizing project design using BIM.
The national BIM conference is run through AEC Science and Technology, an organization that frequently produces high-quality industry reviews and observations. The conference is dedicated to how to best implement BIM at your company.
Hosted annually, the Revit Technology Conference (RTC) focuses specifically on “all things BIM and the whole ecosystem that supports it.” This conference is independent of any specific organization.
Featuring speakers like Lynn Allen from Cadalyst, Steve Stafford of Revit Op-ed, and Tom Whitehead of DCI Engineers, these regional conferences boast some of the best BIM training for professionals the industry has to offer.
Free Object Libraries
For CAD and BIM resources, ARCAT is a one-stop-shop. Their free, no registration system has everything from concrete to pollution control system.
Using Revit or AutoCAD? Autodesk seek offers both branded and generic BIM product specifications, drawings, models, and files. Because manufacturers supply their own product information, users can quickly find product specifications for over 66,000 commercial and residential building products.
The National Bim Library offers generic and proprietary BIM objects to professionals for free. With its vast library of foundations, doors, windows, walls, and more, it’s often been cited as the “primary source” for free-to-use objects.
Polantis is a free-to-use BIM library that is fantastically organized and simple to use. While its library is a little smaller than others on this list, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
SmartBim offers product models from over 40,000 families types in 10,000 Revit objects. Need a sprinkler? It’s an entire category. An ice maker? They got ‘em. A hospital bed? They’ve got four!
Google Chrome has a pretty limited selection, but what they do have integrates well with popular BIM software. ArchiBIMViewer, for example, allows its users to review IFC files on Google Drive, and Bimshare creates a platform for teams to work together across the web—without having to download BIM software.
Android and iOS Apps
Tekla BIMsight Note is a great project management app for teams on the go (and aren’t they all?). This program records all project communication and can even read .bcfzip notes.
The Autodesk Buzzsaw app allows Buzzsaw users to securely access their AEC project designs and docs straight from their phone. Autodesk also offers AutoCAD 360. This app allows users to work on their projects on and offline, use the phone’s GPS to orient themselves in the drawing, and upload files to email.
Ready to present your hard work? BIMx makes presenting your ArchiCAD project easy—right from iPhone or iPad.
Capterra Architecture Software Directory
If you’re looking for new BIM software, look no further than Capterra’s architecture software directory. It has all the best BIM software that can be further filtered to your company’s needs.
Capterra Construction Management Software Directory
Covering over 100 construction management software products, the Capterra construction management software directory allows you to filter by important features like business process control and forecasting.
This is a long list, but I’m sure that there are more great resources out there. What are some of your favorites that I missed? List them in the comments!
Looking for Construction Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Construction Management software solutions.