Another part of me tends to see the short term argument: what's in it for the design professional who shells out big bucks for new software and training? Those who stand to reap maximum benefit from BIM are the owners. In today's market, the owners, operators and developers are just starting to grasp the concept; however, take a look at the upcoming BIM requirements from GSA and you might think again. Right now, even early adopters of BIM are not likely to be delivering a Revit or IFC model to the client. They still require 2D vector format - or even just paper
Architects and Engineers face a simple choice: evolve or become obsolete. If we remember a time when ink on mylar was the medium of choice, we'd see a similar paradigm shift. Our BIM work on Freedom Tower was recently part of the National Building Museum exhibit "Tools of the Imagination" in which tools I used only 10 years ago were on display under glass cases!! What happened to those practitioners who decided to maintain their traditional ways? Believe it or not, they're still around. I volunteer for my village's Architectural Review Board and you'd be amazed at the number of pen+paper, diazo blueprints we review every month. That said, from my day-job perspective we see a growing number of small to mid-size firms starting to compete for our work. They can only accomplish these types of projects and provide value-added services using BIM tools. Eventually, it will be commonplace for owners to require a Building Information Model which they will assimilate into their facilities management programs and report data back to the A/E's on the continuing performance of the occupied structure.