Bill Gates once said “We’re changing the world with technology” (Gates, 2001) and he couldn’t be more right. The building industry has been said to be in a slum in regards to technology changes for quite some time until recently (in the past 5-10 years) when the Building Information Modeling (BIM) phenomenon took off.
BIM by any definition is reality and it represents a paradigm shift in how we design, construct and operate. BIM is by no means a new acronym to many global companies involved in infrastructure projects who are continuously looking at new and improved ways to drive sustainability.
BIM allows software systems effectively to connect the architectural model of a building with various other systems that play a role in completing the project. These include structures, surveying, measurements, costings, planning, energy efficiency, etc. The co-ordination of these different parts or activities of the project are made possible through a cloud-based BIM systems, which allow collaborative work and real-time data updates to take place between project participants throughout the project’s life cycle. The common data environment (CDE), is the single source of information for the project, used to collect, manage and publish documentation, a dump for graphical models and non-graphical data for the whole project team. Creating this single source of information occurs best in a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform where collaboration between project team members and client and helps avoid duplication and mistakes.
With cloud-based software, 2D systems are a thing of the past and 3D elements are now the order of the day, making project collaboration more meaningful, detailed and in-depth. Some BIM systems perform intuitively, quickly identifying various construction elements or data of the project as they are added and defining these per their physical, technical and maintenance properties.
Each constructive element of 10 pillar guide is parametric, meaning that it allows for information to be populated or captured. Each element on the diagram is a task or data driven and includes design information of the project from its initial conceptual phase, including all the necessary information and specifications to enable users to study and control the entire life cycle of the project and not leave any possible issues to chance. Without BIM, it is unfeasible to study and assess project phase systems like energy efficiency studies, environmental feasibility, use and maintenance, etc.
The BIM process requires people, technology and collaboration.