Building Information Modelling (BIM)
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architects, engineers, and construction professionals the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure projects.
BIM is not a single piece of software or model, but a new form of information processing and collaboration, with data embedded within the model. Each organization creates its own model, or object, and these are subsequently amalgamated to provide a combined view of the entire project. Data is added directly to the model, dictating materials, functions, size and associated information.
Previously, the design process in the construction industry relied on the systematic multi-stage issuing of drawings and specifications to contractors, from concept design to final construction and beyond. With BIM, it is about bringing together the data and different components to form a coherent set of information.
A BIM object is a combination of 3D models with data-rich information including:
- Information content that defines a specific product or system
- Product performance properties, such as thermal, acoustics, fire rating and many other parameters
- Geometry representing the product’s physical characteristics
- Visualisation data giving the object a recognisable appearance
This makes collaboration among construction professionals much easier as the use of BIM can streamline numerous project functions.
Benefits of BIM
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 minimized.
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 rela-tive scale to each other and, in turn, relative to the entire project.
The Importance of BIM
In 2011, the UK Cabinet Office published the Government Construction Strategy. In this report, the government stated its intention that, by 2016, it would require “collaborative 3D Level 2 BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) on all government funded projects”.
This statement was part of the government’s plans to modernize the construction industry, with the ultimate aim of achieving a 20% reduction in costs in the construction and operation of new buildings. Central to achieving this goal is the employment of Building Information Modelling to create a more efficient construc-tion sector.