What is BIM? Building Information Modeling

Steven Spielberg

BIM is a building design methodology characterized by the creation and use of coordinated, internally consistent computable information about a building project in design and construction. BIM makes a reliable digital representation of the building available for design decision making, high-quality construction document production, construction planning, and performance predictions, and cost estimates.

BIM Services provides the potential for a virtual information model to be handed from Design Team (architects, surveyors, consulting engineers, and others) to Contractor and Subcontractors and then to the Owner, each adding their own additional discipline-specific knowledge and tracking of changes to the single model. The result is anticipated to greatly reduce the information loss that occurs when a new team takes “ownership” of the project as well as in delivering extensive information to owners of complex structures far beyond that which they are currently accustomed to having. BIM Services are revolutionizing the AEC industry by virtual construction of the project even before moving to the construction site. Building information modeling (BIM) technology is used for the entire building life cycle, including the facility operation and maintenance.

Benefits of BIM Services

  • Coordination with different components of the building lifecycle to recognize, analyze and eliminate conflicts.
  • High quality and accurate documentation of construction process.
  • Minimize building lifecycle to increase interaction between Architects, Engineers and Contractors
  • Enables pre-fabrication of different components of the construction to minimize design lifecycle
  • Cutting project cost my eliminating waste of construction material.
  • Improved construction management.
  • Produces accurate quantity take-offs.

BIM Services provide a platform for a simultaneous design process and a unique work environment structure that fosters collaborative project development and a highly detailed design process leading to a more cost-effective project.

Why BIM is Important

As because 3D objects are machine readable, spatial conflicts in a building model can be checked automatically. Because of this capability, at both the design and shop drawing levels, errors and change orders due to internal errors are greatly reduced. Thus as a building representation, BIM technology is far superior to drawings. But the larger implications are not just consistent drawings and clash detection. Because building models are machine readable, it becomes practical to use that data in many other ways: to generate bills of material – that can be used for cost estimation or automatic ordering and tracking, for energy, lighting, acoustic or other analyzes – not as post facto checking if an almost finished design is “OK”, but rather to provide feedback while designing, informing the designer of the effects of changes. Thus building models allow for better integration of many processes, allowing the kind of tracking and control that computers allow in manufacturing and your local grocery or department store, tracking every item from creation to delivery. Many of the uses of BIM data are waiting to be discovered and developed.

Will it Become Standard?

BIM tools are as different from CADD tools as are a slide rule from a computer, as different from a set of toy soldiers to a battle-oriented computer game. BIM supports on-line simulation of a design, on-line simulation of construction – called 4D CAD. The BIM processes provide better building products at lower costs to the owner. Early case studies have shown these benefits by users who have applied BIM well. It will certainly become the standard for construction within most of our lifetimes.

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