Building Information Modeling or BIM is the latest buzzword in construction industry worldwide. It has been flaunted on the front page of construction magazines; more seminars are being arranged throughout year and many companies are involved in developing products/tools around BIM. So, what is BIM? Why it so popular and what lies there in it for architects and builders? What is BIM?
Well known industry analyst Jerry Laiserin briefs the BIM process as follows – “Building Information Modeling or BIM is a digital representation of the building process to facilitate exchange and interoperability of information in digital format.”
So, BIM is a process of demonstrating both graphical and non-graphical aspects of the full building life cycle and creating a single repository of design and construction documents, specifications and schedules. BIM process generates 3D Model encompassing geometric and geographic information of the building and properties of its components. Bentley, ArchiCAD and Revit are the popular CADD software used to generate standard 3D BIM models.
3D/4D Building Information Model
Team members equipped with desktop PCs are networked together and contain BIM 3D modeling tools with field-specific files and a master file. A 3D model is relatively easy for all members to understand and visualize. Drawing or fabrication job can be coordinated remotely using affordable web conferencing applications such as Webex enabling team to virtually “walk through” during the construction process. In 4D modeling you have an added fourth element of time with 3D model providing better control on project schedules and activities.
What are the benefits of BIM?
Since each and every detail related to building construction is at one place and viewed by all team members design performance increases significantly. For example, the structural engineer can consult immediately with the architect regarding energy consumption strategies pertaining to structure insulation and heating. In this way BIM Model facilitates much improved coordination and collaboration among design and construction team and reduces information loss associated with project management. This helps in saving both costs and construction time and potentially benefit all the stake-holders of construction process including designers, structural engineers and contractors.