What is BIM? How does BIM benefit for your Project?
BIM is an acronym for Building Information Modelling. It describes the means by which everyone can understand a building through the use of a digital model. Modelling an asset in digital form enables those who interact with the building to optimize their actions, resulting in a greater whole life value for the asset. It offers enormous gains in saving in cost and time, much greater accuracy in estimation, and the avoidance of error, alterations and rework due to information loss.
There is a common misconception that BIM means 3D design. In fact, it's much more. BIM is a process for creating and managing all of the information on a project – before, during and after construction. The output of this process is the Building Information Model, the digital description of every aspect of the built asset.
BIM is now becoming an industry standard, creating a rapid change in the way architects approach the design process. Five to ten years ago, designers could get away with 2D drawings, which were swiftly replaced by 3D renderings as the technology became more accessible.
BIM is a methodology that seeks to link all parts of the design and construction process, ensuring that any problems can be reworked before contractors break ground.
It does this through a series of steps to ensure there is consistency throughout the design process. These are:
● Visualisation - see how the drawings look and ensure they are viable.
● Coordination - work out how the design will manifest once construction starts.
● Collaboration - get architects, project managers and contractors working with consistent information.
One of the main advantages to introducing a design method that will resonate with everyone from project managers to contractors and developers is cost savings. In the days of 2D drawing, it was impossible to fully visualise what a project would actually look like until it was built. By then, minor issues that could be easily spotted and amended with BIM solutions have become expensive headaches instead. Not only do they cost money to fix, they take time as well. If there's anything worse than a project that's over budget, it's one that's also late.
When we think of BIM, we often think of better design coordination and improved constructability. But the real value can come after handover, when the owner or facility manager receives a complete and accurate set of information. Even more than that, BIM provides a set of interrelated and cross-referenced information. For example, objects in the model are linked to related information including manuals, specifications, commissioning data, photos, and warranty details. This allows the owner or facility manager to efficiently and accurately manage the asset. Since 75% of the cost of a facility is incurred after handover, it's clear that the benefits of BIM continue to accrue after design and construction have been completed.