So what is BIM or Building Information Modelling? In short, it’s the means by which everyone can understand a building or structure by the use of a digital model.
BIM however isn’t a software package but a series of processes that enables a better understanding of a building project, helping the design and construction team communicate with their client and the public about what the structure’s all about.
The digital representation of the building is made up of objects related within it, starting with the building itself, the spaces that make up the building and all energy and HVAC services and systems within those spaces. The products that make up the spaces and the properties, relationships and restraints between these objects. Using the building information model the whole project team can work together to get real key benefits and minimise risks.
The designers work together to construct the building digitally, working with the structural and services engineers and the architect to make sure all elements fit together digitally before handing over the information to the construction team.The building information can then finally be handed over to the building’s owner who can gain key benefits on managing the building, on altering or refurbishing it, or monitoring the buildings in use costs.
How could it help you?
Analysing the structures spaces, it’s HVAC system’s, energy supplies and services can help prevent errors creeping in at all stages of development and construction, ensuring risk and discrepancies are greatly reduced.
BIM data can be used to illustrate the entire building life cycle, from its inception and design right through to its demolition and materials reuse.
Manchester’s Central Library’s BIM model helped save time and costs and at the same time enabled the public to view its proposed designs.
And the Future of BIM?
The way forward for the construction industry is digital with BIM firmly fixed as the future of design and long term facility management.
Being driven by technology and clear processes the Government are backing its use, and with software and cloud applications enabling increasing amounts of data to be held, the use of BIM will become even more pronounced than it is in current projects.
Britain’s construction industry is a sector where we have a strong competitive edge with world-class expertise in architecture, design and engineering.
The Government is helping push this and its Construction 2025: Industrial Strategy for Construction is a document which targets lower costs, lower emissions and improvements in exports to help position the UK at the forefront of International construction.
Aiming to accelerate the adoption of BIM throughout the UK’s construction industry it also has a paper: Construction Strategy 2011 which outlines a series of works that contribute towards the 2025 strategy, requiring all centrally procured Government projects to be fully collaborative 3D BIM by 2016.
As advances in all aspects of virtual design rapidly influence development in BIM it’s a very exciting time for designers and programmers in the construction industry