Intro to BIM


In the last couple of years, there has been an increased popularity in the usage of Building Information Modelling, and the reasoning behind it is that BIM is a comprehensive software that saves time and money. 

What is BIM?

BIM is an acronym for Building Information Modeling, an intelligent 3D process in which a single digital model of a building is represented with all of its functional and physical characteristics. BIM enables everyone included in the construction process such as architects, clients, suppliers, and environmental managers to access and work in it. 

Using BIM authoring tools, architects create digital 3D models of a building, allowing them to see the facility built digitally before the real construction even begins. Having a digital facility enables those who interact with the facility to anticipate all potential threats, errors, and correct any deficiencies at an early stage. BIM eliminates errors from seeping in at any stage of development/construction by signaling conflict detection.  This directly affects the quality of the project. 

What does BIM enable us?

BIM is applied in all phases of the project: planning, design, construction, construction management, and maintenance. By having such a holistic approach, BIM enables:

  • 3D visualization – a real life realistic model of the building.,
  • Change control – all data is stored in one place. Consequently, all changes to the project are automatically changed in each view: basic, cross-sections, facades, etc.,
  • Object simulation –  information entered by any engineer can be easily and accurately simulated in the initial phase, and in that way it can be assessed long before construction.,
  • Data management – BIM also contains information that is not visually displayed, such as lists, charts, invoices, and estimates which allows an accurate display of the costs and the remaining budget at any stage of construction.

The utilization of information revolving around the construction process is one of the biggest benefits of using BIM.

What is the “I” in BIM?

This is where the real power of BIM lives. All of the information gathered — from conception to completion— isn’t just stored, it’s actionable. Good information protocol improves the decision-making process, enhances efficiency, and provides a competitive edge as it saves time and money. 

The data collected in a BIM model is referred to as an ‘information model,’ and it is shared through a mutually accessible online space known as a common data environment (CDE). Information models can be used at all stages of a building’s life; from inception to operation — and even renovations and renewals. BIM streamlines the flow of information between all disciplines and stakeholders, providing the opportunity for higher quality design and construction as well as greater insights for owners and project stakeholders.

Objects in BIM

What else makes BIM really special is that it is not based on a simple digital drawing, but on a detailed 3D model, where each change is automatically saved. Each component of a building is essentially an object. This means you can take a window, door, or any other component and the file will tell you:

  • Products performance properties such as durability,
  • Physical characteristics meaning a graphical representation of what product looks like in real life and,
  • Objects functional data allowing the engineer to see and alter the way it was intended to be used.

This is particularly helpful when assessing an occurrence of a problem as well as the interaction of any particular object to each other.

Environmental Impact Analysis

During the construction of a building, it is important to think about its environmental impact. The construction process, and later on the construction itself can be bad for the environment if it is not utilized properly. In the contemporary world, the analysis of the environmental impact and sustainability of our actions is facilitated through the usage of digitization and programs such as BIM. 

Building information modeling software can portray a building in a sixth dimension, which is an analysis of the structure’s environmental impact over time. This helps engineers in identifying the most energy-efficient materials and regenerative design elements. 

Conclusion

BIM can build, view, and test any object in 3D making the process of construction more efficient, manageable, and less time-consuming. It also ensures good communication between everyone included in the process – architect, client, suppliers, builders, environmental managers, everyone can access the digital model of a building.

Before BIM became a practice, there was more room for human error to occur. A minor miscalculation could result in tremendous issues, causing delays and unanticipated costs. By offering a single source of information and making it accessible to all stakeholders, BIM software considerably minimizes the occurrence of these issues. 

Building Information Modeling is a step towards the digitalization of construction, and its usage will be more prominent in the future.