Building Information Modeling (BIM) has become a mandatory measure to successful building construction and efficient collaboration among all involved. Through BIM, the construction industry has experienced a revolution bringing all parties into a digital world. Continue reading to learn more about BIM, its purpose, objectives, incredible benefits and prospective.
What is BIM?
BIM is a process that enhances collaboration between architects, designers, engineers, and construction professionals by enabling multiple teams to work on the same 3D model of an asset at the same time. In other words, it allows for concurrent design, planning, and construction work to be performed by those BIM actors.
By using BIM companies do not have to continually send various edited models with appended information; instead, they can do it in the same file, and the rest of the participants receive updated data timely.
What’s more, after the building has been constructed, the owners and stakeholders can extract information from the BIM model for use in facility maintenance procedures, safety checks, and a host of other applications throughout the building’s lifecycle. In this way, the equipment which was used in building construction retains its value, bringing additional profit to the stakeholders.
The process of using BIM
The process of decision-making in constructing any building can either pile on additional costs to the whole project or bring exceptional results, diminish expenses, and reduce risk. BIM comprehends the physical and functional information of an asset. The 3D BIM model on which teams work during the building design process is ultimately one digital file containing crucial project data, allowing thorough and accurate decision-making throughout each project cycle.
Significantly BIM can take into account not only width, height, and depth of a 3D model, but it can also include additional dimensions like time (4D), cost (5D), and as-built operation (6D).
For BIM to be fully and properly utilized to its maximum potential, it must include five crucial elements: processes, technologies, information, policies, and people.
- Processes. Refers to particular stages whose beginning and end must be made clear. This ensures that the inputs and outputs are known for those involved in a specific stage.
- Policies. Since BIM involves several parties, the policies must be set in advance to minimize the possibility of disputes along the way. For instance, what are the policies regarding decision-making, standards, and best practices?
- People. BIM is used by people, so they must be taken care of. If processes and policies are clearly set forth, then successful BIM implementation by the people involved is that much more within reach.
- Information. BIM can include two types of data: documents and models. Documents represent the digital version of papers, drawings, images, videos, prints, etc. Models, on the other hand, represent the digital data that was put into a file. This file can easily be exchanged among parties and include a visual representation of the information of an object, bridge, building, or whatever is being developed.
- Technologies. Refers to the software and hardware used to implement BIM processes.
Benefits of BIM
BIM collects all the details about every single component of an asset in the same place. When another BIM actor needs access to the information, irrespective of purpose, he can easily locate it and follow or update as needed.
When BIM actors need to integrate different aspects of an asset, they can do it effectively. When the new element is added, BIM applies a clash detection algorithm, which indicates errors. For instance, locations where plumbing fittings conflict with electrical fittings can quickly be detected and the design adjusted before it is too late and high price must be paid. It’s a prime example of how BIM eliminates the chance of discrepancies and reduces costs.
Moreover, when a team builds a BIM model to a high standard, then construction managers can perform various alternating scenarios to visualize the entire sequence of the planned project. The visuals can then be shared with stakeholders or clients and serve as a foundation for further actions.
What is a BIM object?
BIM objects are key segments for the BIM model. They have stored data and proper geometry and are therefore “intelligent”. During the BIM process, if any object is modified, then BIM software updates the whole model accordingly. Because of this intelligent technology, BIM generates a more collaborative environment as the model remains consistent throughout the entire conceptualization process. It means that architects, designers, structural engineers, MEP engineers, project managers, and contractors can simultaneously work on the equivalent model without disruption.
Let's take a closer look at the information combined in a BIM object. First of all, it must include information defining the actual product. Then it must consist of product attributes, such as thermal performance. Next, it needs geometry, which represents the physical characteristics of the added product.
When the information is provided, BIM creates a visualization to make the product recognizable for the user. Finally, there is functional data, like detection zones. The detection zone enables the user to move the object around and allows it to behave the same way as it would in reality.
The Future of BIM
Since BIM has already confirmed its value, it is evident that it will prevail as a dominant process in the construction industry. With more governments making it a mandatory condition for project completion, BIM continuously improves as industry demand increases. Undoubtedly, more companies, designers, and contractors will utilize BIM software, making the digital environment that much more collaborative.
Moreover, today's global situation has put pressure on the construction industry to find more efficient ways of operating in order to reduce waste and conserve earth’s resources. Since the vast majority of construction waste comes from reworking and system clashes, implementing BIM is an obvious choice for sustainability, as it not only detects clashes and problems early in the design process but also leads to profit generation and reduced costs accruing from less scrap in the supply chain.