What is BIM?
We get asked a lot “what is BIM?”
The US National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee has the following definition:
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.
BIM software can be used by companies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain diverse physical infrastructures. These include:
- Houses and apartments
- Schools and offices
- Retail shops and restaurants
- Commercial buildings and warehouses
- Water, wastewater, gas, electricity, refuse and communication utilities
- Bridges, ports, and roads.
This process allows users to see a project in 3D before being built, allowing designers and contractors to foresee many problems that could cost a project extra time and money.
We use BIM (Building Information Modeling) software for all our designs. This allows us to look at every aspect of a building in 3D. We can easily plan out aspects of the building such as where our client will need to place water lines for sprinkler systems, where emergency exits will be, and which walls will have fire alarms and extinguishers. This completeness and inclusiveness of our final designs also allows us to recall these plans quickly when necessary, allowing for adjustments to be made quickly. Adjusting and perfecting the designs in the planning stage means our client will not have to make them to construction later, saving them time and money.
Five dimensions, not just three
Traditional building design was largely reliant upon two-dimensional technical drawings like plans, elevations, and sections. Building information modeling extends this beyond 3D, augmenting the three primary spatial dimensions (width, height and depth) with time as the fourth dimension and cost as the fifth.
BIM covers more than just geometry. It also addresses spatial relationships, light analysis, geographic information and quantities and properties of building components such as manufacturer’s details.
Building information modeling involves representing a design as combinations of “objects” – vague and undefined, generic or product-specific, solid shapes or void-space oriented (like the shape of a room), that carry their geometry, relations and attributes.
BIM design tools allow extraction of different views from a building model for drawing production and other uses. These different views are automatically consistent, being based on a single definition of each object instance.
A single shared model
For professionals involved in a project, BIM enables a virtual information model to be handed from the design team of architects, landscape architects, surveyors, civil, structural and building services engines to the main contractor and subcontractors and then on to the owner or operator. Each professional adds discipline-specific data to a single shared model.
This reduces information losses that traditionally take place when a new team takes “ownership” of the project and provides more extensive information to owners of the structure.
BIM bridges the information loss associated with handling a project, from design team to construction team and to building owner or operator, by allowing each group to add to and reference back to all information they acquire during their period of contribution to the BIM model. This yields clear benefits to the facility owner or operator.
If you’d like to see our software at work and how we use it, come by or give us a call and set up an appointment!