When we define the term, ‘Building Information Modelling’, we are able to identify which areas are covered by this new paradigm in construction and what advantages BIM gives us over conventional methodologies. In this section, we will also investigate the development of BIM since its inception, and explore how both technology and society have evolved in recent years for the BIM market to have reached its current point of maturation. We will then have the opportunity to investigate the international context of the implementation of BIM and the different levels of implementation that must occur in these contexts for a level of integrated practice to be reached in the construction sector.
BIM (Building Information Modelling), also called Building Information Management, is a methodology or process in the construction industry that is based on the use of systems that integrate all useful information and data on a project. This integration allows various participants in the project to analyse and effectively manage the entire life cycle of the building from the strategic business justification stages right through to asset management or deconstruction or demolition. Through BIM processes, all these processes and the digital applications that make them possible are able to do so in a connected, collaborative way.
How many hours have you peered over the light table looking for changes in drawing sets? Or, more importantly, how much did the change that you missed cost the project in terms of time and money? How can you concentrate on prioritizing the changes to the drawing sets when you can’t even locate the change amidst the piles of drawings? And when changes are being submitted fast and furiously at the eleventh hour, how can you and your team keep track and properly assign RFIs? This problem compounds itself when RFIs are promoted to Variation Orders and Change Orders are prioritized for resolution. With BIM this whole scenario will change.
What is a BIM Model?
Whatever your role in design or construction, it’s more than likely that you’ve heard the term “BIM Model”. But what do people actually mean when they say this?
“The acronym BIM stands for Building Information Modelling. That’s a process and a way of working, not a physical object or entity”. Within a building information modelling process, project teams contribute information and data about a proposed building or structure in a shared digital space known as a Common Data Environment (CDE). This enables all parties to access it to develop and co-ordinate their respective contributions.
The digital information contributed could include specifications, schedules, performance requirements, programmes, cost plans and drawings. Those drawings are created in 3D by different members of the project team in private ‘work-in-progress’ areas. They are then put together into one 3D model to check that they co-ordinate, before being shared with the wider project team.
The non-graphical information (specifications, schedules etc) is linked to the graphical 3D model. When you explore and click on different parts of the 3D representation, you’ll be able to access the information about it. Clicking on a light for example might give you information on its manufacturer, lead-time, cost, performance level and when it will need replacing. The same approach can work vice versa, where clicking an item in the non-graphical information will take you to its location in the 3D representation.
The complete suite of documents is known as a data set or information model. When you hear people say ‘BIM model’ this is what they mean, ‘a building information model’. The graphical parts, when not linked or supported by data in a CDE are 3D models.
The key difference with a building information modelling approach – as opposed to traditional ways of working – is that information is clearly structured and easier to find in one place. That enables project teams to deliver higher quality buildings, more efficiently and end users to really understand how their built assets are performing.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) Process
Building Information Modelling allows architects, designers, engineers, manufacturers, Professionals, developers & contractors to work in collaboration. By working from the same 3D building information models, projects can be designed, constructed & managed with far more efﬁciency and accuracy.
BIM Seamlessly Bridging Communication
Throughout the Building Process Building information modelling is an innovative approach to building design, construction, and management that is characterized by the continuous availability of highly accurate, consistent and reliable building information. BIM allows the project team to visualize, simulate, and analyse a project before construction even begins using a three-dimensional model representing all of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility.
Buying software is not the route to doing BIM
Buying software licenses, sending one or two staff members on a basic BIM course or pretending to implement BIM in response to the global demand for it will at some point or another result in failure.
When these events do occur, companies tend to complete a project with traditional CAD systems in parallel with BIM systems for fear of representing their work on systems not yet mastered. This generates a high level of insecurity and pressure on technicians and all the advantages that come with BIM will become diluted and even pose a problem.
That said, the product that is being delivered or managed by BIM systems must be good; the use of BIM alone will not make a project superior. The product, regardless of the tools we use to bring it to market, must be solid.
Using BIM does not mean creating a project instantly and with default quality. In a project using BIM, there are varying levels of detail and development, which, depending on the users’ input will make the project a success.
Turner-Townsend-bim_guidebook .Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become a higher priority area for Turner townsend following the release of the UK Government Construction Strategy (2011) and the subsequent adoption of BIM by key players in the private sector.