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What is BIM?

In short, BIM is a streamlined process that allows for a concept to be brought to reality quickly and efficiently and at the most cost-effective level.

four men at a construction job site
Image: Unsplash

A buzzword of the moment, BIM is making waves, especially in construction and design. BIM is ‘Building Information Modelling’. Given the title, you may instantly think BIM is an extension of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or 3D modeling, but in fact, it takes the concept of building design, construction, and management far beyond those systems.

BIM is an ongoing process that brings together details of the history of a building’s concept and design, including the decision-making process, its construction, usage, and management. Built into BIM can be maintenance schedules and more, making this an information resource covering all aspects of the facility.

Benefits of BIM Tech

BIM brings all operatives in the concept, design, and final build of a building onto one system, where the results they come up with can be unified with one another seamlessly. The system allows different scenarios to be applied to a model. Therefore persons working in different areas – energy efficiency, defining the best materials for construction, and many more aspects of a build can be viewed by all.

BIM in Design

In design terms, BIM allows, as mentioned above, for every department involved to work with the same model in the same simulated situation. This allows for the fast elimination of clashes between ‘objects’ – different parts of the design that are designated as such – and a smoother path to the best results.

BIM uses subsets that are described as ‘dimensions’ to determine the flow of the design project. 2D and 3D, for example, are the early design levels while 4D brings the element of time into the design process, dealing with logistics and schedules. 5D and 6D are for more complex areas that are dealt with in the final stages.

BIM in Construction

The benefits of BIM in the construction industry include the following:

  • Monitoring of changes and rolling back when errors are seen.
  • Avoidance of clashes at an early stage.
  • Time and cost-effective thanks to schedule and sequence improvements.
  • Improved productivity through teamwork and communication.
  • Cost savings in general.

BIM in Facility Management

BIM can be used beyond the design and construction stage in implementing maintenance schedules and improvements and additions to the facility. The BIM resource remains with the building throughout, and can even be extended to dealing with demolition where necessary.

In short, BIM is a streamlined process that allows for a concept to be brought to reality quickly and efficiently and at the most cost-effective level.

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