Introduction to Building Information Modeling (BIM)

What is Bim? BIM Basics

BIM software
BIM software. Photo Tekla

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process of creating and managing 3D building data during its development. Is a three-dimensional, real-time, dynamic building modeling computer program in which you can increase productivity throughout building design and construction. This process produces the BIM, which then inter-connects the building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities and properties with all the related building components.

BIM Basics

BIM makes a reliable digital representation of the building available for design decision making, high-quality construction document production, construction planning, performance predictions, and cost estimates.

Having the ability to keep information up-to-date and accessible in an integrated digital environment, gives architects, engineers, builders, and owners a clear overall vision of all their projects, as well as the ability to make informed decisions faster.

The building information modeling process covers geometry, space, light, geographic information, quantities and properties of building components. BIM can be used to demonstrate the entire building life cycle, including the processes of construction and facility operation.

Building Information Modeling Applications

The BIM application can be used in different applications in the construction industry. The process can be used during design and architecture process creating a clear picture used for better and more integrated designs. The modeling provides great benefits during the construction process as it can prevent many coordination problems, through proper planning.

It is ideal when there are many trades executing at the same moment or when schedules are compressed.

Is it Only One BIM?

No, there are actually many types of software used during the modeling process depending on the type of application being implemented. BIM software can be divided in the following groups:

  • Architecture
  • Sustainability
  • Structures
  • MEP
  • Construction
  • Property Management

However, industry groups are trying to develop one standardized BIM model that can be used to integrate all different types of modeling systems. By doing this, they will facilitate the coordination and communication in the design-construction-operation team under one single platform. The purpose of this movement is to create a single data center, with multiple CAD and specs depending on the discipline that you are working for. All data will then come together allowing it to be used for take-offs, analysis, coordination and important project milestones.

Benefits of BIM

BIM can be seen as a companion to product life-cycle management as in the product development domain, since it goes beyond geometry and addresses issues such as cost management, project management and provides a way to work concurrently on most aspects of building life cycle process. It requires changes to the definition of traditional architectural phases and more data sharing than most architects and engineers are used to.

The representations modeled in the BIM process are integrated to the actual parts and pieces being used to build. This is a substantial shift from the traditional computer aided drafting method of drawing with vector file-based lines that combine to represent objects.

This BIM Modeling Video, will provide you with a better understanding of the purpose and uses of the modeling system. It is anticipated by proponents that BIM can be utilized to bridge the information loss associated with handing a project from the design team, to the construction team and to building owner/operator, by allowing each group to add and reference back to all information they acquire during their period of contribution to the BIM model.

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