BIM of Building Information Modeling has become a buzzword today in the Building Industry.
BIM is also one of the most misunderstood terms. Many people interpret BIM as software. Many look at it with skepticism or apprehension. Many of us, still do not understand, how BIM is used, where all is BIM applicable, who all should be using BIM? Is it worth my while to look into BIM?
In this series of posts, I will attempt to clear the mist over BIM. I will try to address the questions that many of us have in our minds. I’ll explore the definition of BIM, how it is being used? What type and size of projects can utilize BIM? What are the advantages and limitations of BIM? and what is the future?
BIM or Building Information Modeling is a collaborative process. The process combines all stakeholders in a project, including Promoters, Consultants, Contractors, and Facility Managers. BIM process creates a shared resource of information of a facility. This shared information becomes a reliable basis for decision making.
Let us try to understand the need for BIM and why has it become so important.
Not so long ago, and even in may of the current situations, there is a disconnect between a Project Promoter, Architect, Engineering Consultants, and Contractors. Each one visualizes what is to be built differently. As a result, there is a shortfall in expectations, decisions could go wrong, costs rise, there are construction delays.
This happens because of multiple reasons. Amongst these the following stand out:
- Lack of Communication between stakeholders at all stages of a project.
- Project Expectations and outcomes are not clearly defined
- Lack of Pre-Construction Coordination
This lack of coordination and inadequate pre-planning often results in almost every stakeholder losing. BIM tries to resolve these very issues.
Understanding the definition of BIM
The National BIM Standards – United States, defines BIM or Building Information Modeling “… a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. As such, it serves as a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life cycle from inception onward.”
In simple terms, the digital representation is not limited to physical characteristics or just geometry. This information includes, though not , limited to the following:
- Geometrical Information in terms of size and shape, color
- Thermal Performance
- time an assembly of elements that may take
- lifecycle or replacement time
As we see from the above, BIM includes a whole lot of information, that goes beyond the traditional dimensional information to include information that helps in analysis of Building performance as well as maintenance of a facility.
A core component of the BIM Process is a 3D Intelligent Building Model. The intelligent Building Model has the capacity to store information, needed for the BIM Process. Being an Intelligent 3D Model, it aids precise communication with the ability to bring together all the stakeholders on the same page.