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The term BIMwash is derived from Whitewash, “a cheap white paint or coating of chalked lime used to quickly give a uniform clean appearance to a wide variety of surfaces”Metaphorically, to whitewash means to “gloss over or cover up vices, crimes or scandals or to exonerate by means of […] biased presentation of data” (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2003).

In essence, BIMwash is the attempt to­­ hide imperfections (BIM Incompetency), while at the same time, promoting an inaccurate view of one’s BIM capability or credentials. Using a more measureable definition, BIMwash is when:

BIM Claim[1] > BIM Competency[2]

That is, BIMwash exists when an individual, organization or project team’s BIM Claim is significantly higher than its actual BIM Competency to deliver on these claims[3]. This formula signifies that, in order to accurately measure BIMwash, BIM Competency must first be understood and measured.

[1] BIM Claim is what an individual, organization or project team choses to publically identify as their extent of BIM competency.

[2] BIM Competency is a term that combines BIM capability and maturity. BIM Competency can be applied to individuals, organizations and project teams. This will be further explained later on.

[3] If BIM Claim < BIM Competency, then there is a missed marketing opportunity!

SOURCE: BIM ThinkSpace, 2011. Episode 16: Understanding BIM Wash [WWW Document]. (accessed 4.17.21).

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