2 min read
01 May

Building information modelling, or BIM, as it’s more commonly known, deals with so much more than just a model. Models have been around for ages. BIM is something very different, yet also the same, and it’s bringing together architects, engineers and owners for the life of a project. A lot of misconceptions exist, but the realities of BIM aren’t that difficult to nail down. What’s difficult is trying to make BIM fit into a box where it doesn’t belong. Eliminate some preconceived ideas and the big picture will look a lot clearer. 

BIM is a Process! 

You’ll find BIM software, but that’s not what it is. You could almost as easily use the same software to only create a model. Think of the software as a tool that enables you to use the BIM process, or not. Modelling is only one small portion of what the software allows you to create. BIM is a process, deals with design, modelling, cost estimating, building materials and supplies, the building process, furnishings, systems and everything else that goes into a built object, plus every available bit of information about each element once the project is complete. In short, BIM is every detail that can be known about a built structure, and it’s stored in one place. 

Why we need BIM? 

In a way, this process doesn’t create anything new. All of the data has been available in the past. What BIM does better is keep the data in one place and make it both easy to access, and easy to relate to the built structure. If the building owner needs information about the lifespan of an HVAC unit, BIM makes it accessible in relation to the model (BIM Level 2 Workflows). They also find the unit’s serial number, perhaps a history of previous maintenance, and the original supplier’s name. Whatever was deemed important enough to add, the owner will be able to access later and add to as time goes on. 

BIM Helps Multiple Teams Work Seamlessly

Typically, different stages of a building are handled by different teams. There are architects, engineers, buyers, builders, and so on. With BIM, everyone uses, or can use, the same data. Architects create the initial model, which all the stakeholders and consultants will use for everything from steel beams to an industrial floor tile’s composition are part of the same whole, Coordinated Model, realised pre-construction. This helps make the design process simpler and more efficient because coordination no longer done through exchanging files and emails that we lose track of, when a member of the team leaves the project, enabling collaboration to a degree that’s never been possible before, and puts every detail down to a carpet’s fibre twist in the hands of the owner. 

BIM is the way of the future, and recent pandemic has proved how easy BIM implantation is possible and very relevant.