What is BIM? The basics… [Infographic]

What is BIM

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1. Definition

BIM (Building Information Modeling) involves collaboration through the entire life-cycle of an asset, underpinned by the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models and intelligent, structured data attached to them.

2. BIM is not

  • Just 3D CAD
  • A new technology application
  • In the future, it is here and now!

2. Why BIM, Why Now?

In a number of European countries, several bodies are pushing for a more integrated adoption of BIM standards, in order to improve software interoperability and cooperation among different disciplines in the building industry.

In May 2011 the Cabinet Office released the Government Construction Strategy, which aimed to reduce the cost of public sector assets by 20% before 2016.

Since then, the government have pushed the adoption of fully collaborative 3D BIM on all government funded projects as a minimum by April 4th, 2016.

It is now 2016 and the mandate is in place.

3. What is BIM Level 2?

Level 2 maturity involves the creation of building information in a collaborative 3D environment, created in separate discipline models (e.g. architectural, structural, services etc).

There are three key deliverables:

  • The individual domain 3D models in their native file formats
  • The 2D reviewable design deliverables cut from the models
  • COBie UK 2012 data

It is important to remember – It’s all about data!

4. What is Cobie?

COBie is a data standard that ensures data is exchanged using spreadsheets (Excel) to keep the complexity of systems and training to a minimum. This means that data coming from BIM models can be sent to the client organisation, particularly for the handover of O&M information in an easy to read format.

5. What are the Benefits?

BIM allows designers to build a building twice, once digitally and once on site.

Just some of the benefits could include:

  • Better Collaboration
  • Better and easier access to project information
  • This allows designers to integrate models from different disciplines more effectively,
  • Reduced health and safety risks
  • Reduced waste
  • Reduced risk of finding issues on site.
  • BIM data can be used as a Facilitates Management tool.

6. What is the future of BIM?

The digital revolution has begun, and as the industry moves past the Level 2 mandate, we have to ask what is next.

As hardware, software and cloud applications continue to develop the industry can expect to see further developments of Level 2 Building Information Modeling as well as the further development of digital technologies in the industry as we move towards Level 3.

The industry will continue to work towards the UK Government’s Construction 2025: Industrial Strategy for Construction which targets lower costs, faster delivery, and lower emissions by 2025.

BIM Resources

Useful Websites

Sources used: BIM Task Group

Author: Martin Watson

Lead Editor at Construct Digital – As lead editor Martin reports on topics specifically relating to BIM, digital software and physical technologies which are revolutionising the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industry.

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