BIM or Building Information Modelling (sometimes referred to as Business Information Management) is a process for creating and managing information on a construction project across the project lifecycle. When BIM was first introduced, it was primarily architects that used the software. With it, they could put together a 3D model of a building design. This model is easily shared with key stakeholders to show what they could receive for their investment. Creating a digital Building Information Model also enables those who interact with the building to optimise their actions.
BIM is not just a way of representing buildings but also utilities, and roads and could theoretically extend to other areas of design. BIM doesn’t just build a 3D computer model; it shows how certain building materials will hold up over time. These three-dimensional images can be manipulated to see how they fit before expensive materials are ordered, significantly helping to reduce risk and potential additional costs.
The goal of using BIM is to increase collaboration in the early design phase of a construction project, which simplifies the building process. It’s also a way to identify issues before they become costly.
Construction projects that incorporate BIM often fare better than those that don’t. It can predict job costs better than traditional methods because it knows how much building materials should cost. It can also give a better estimate of how long a project should take. It can be used to help understand various risks around the site. This can help Project Managers with risk assessments that mitigate them before stepping foot on the jobsite.
Now the teams will know if something fits or not before it gets to the jobsite so the risk of serious delays can also be avoided because. All of this can save projects money because they won’t have to worry about last-minute change orders and delays.
How can BIM help you?
BIM brings together all of the information about every component of a building, in one place. BIM makes it possible for anyone to access that information for any purpose, e.g. to integrate different aspects of the design more effectively. In this way, the risk of mistakes or discrepancies is reduced, and abortive costs minimised.
BIM data can be used to illustrate the entire building life-cycle, from cradle to cradle, from inception and design to demolition and materials reuse. Spaces, systems, products and sequences can be shown in relative scale to each other and, in turn, relative to the entire project. And by signalling conflict detection BIM prevents errors creeping in at the various stages of development/ construction.
What is the future of BIM?
The future of the construction industry is digital, and BIM is the future of design and long term facility management; it is government led and driven by technology and clear processes; and it is implementing change across all industries.