Introduction to BIM: Building Information Modeling


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Building information modeling (BIM) enhances the planning, design, and construction of buildings. Architects, engineers, real estate developers, contractors, manufacturers, and other construction professionals can efficiently collaborate to create a 3D building model.

The BIM data can be used to benefit the operation and management of buildings. Property managers, municipalities, and governments can use the model to make informed decisions before, during, or after construction.

Learn more about the benefits, components, and levels of building information modeling.


Benefits of BIM

Adding, storing, and accessing BIM data provides a range of benefits:

  • Improved accuracy
  • Clearer design intent from the office to the field
  • Improved knowledge transfer among stakeholders
  • Fewer change orders and field coordination problems
  • Greater insight into buildings that need renovation

BIM Objects

The components that make up a BIM model are intelligent, have geometry, and store data. Therefore, changing one component updates the entire model. This maintains consistency and coordination throughout the process. Then, structural engineers, architects, designers, project managers, contractors, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers can collaborate better.

BIM Information Sharing

A common data environment (CDE) is used to access and share BIM information. The data, or information model, can be used at all stages of a building’s life. This includes inception, operation, renovations, and renewals.

BIM Levels

The type of project impacts the level of BIM achieved. Each level includes a set of criteria that make up a level of maturity. The level gauges how much information is being shared and managed throughout the building process and how effective the process is.

  • Level 0 BIM: 2D CAD with drawings and/or digital prints are used. There is no collaboration.
  • Level 1 BIM: 2D construction drawings are used for production information. Other documentation and 3D CAD are used for concept work. Each stakeholder publishes and manages their own data.
  • Level 2 BIM: Teams work with their own 3D CAD models. Information about the design of a constructed building is shared through a common file.
  • Level 3 BIM: Teams work with a shared 3D project model. The model exists in a central environment and can be accessed and modified by everyone.
  • Level 4 BIM: Scheduling data is used to outline how long each project phase should take or the sequencing of components.
  • Level 5 BIM: Cost estimations, budget analysis, and budget tracking are included with the model. Project owners can track and determine which costs will be incurred during the project.
  • Level 6 BIM: Calculations for a building’s energy consumption before it is constructed are included. This encourages energy efficiency and sustainability. It also ensures accurate energy consumption requirements.

The Future of BIM

Combining BIM with other construction tools and technology enhances the future of the construction industry. This is especially true for connected construction, which further supports long-term environmental sustainability.

BIM helps reduce waste in construction. Also, collaboration among stakeholders helps lower supply chain inefficiencies, clashes, and rework. As a result, more companies should implement BIM in the coming years.

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