If you’re looking at constructing a new building or creating an architectural plan of any kind, BIM is an acronym you need to know. It will save you time and money, not only during the design and construction of your building, but through its entire lifecycle.
BIM stands for Building Information Modeling. It’s a way of pulling all the information about a building project together in a consistent, integrated way, and using it to optimize planning, construction and maintenance of a building so that it is as economical and efficient as possible.
A study by Autodesk found that 30 percent of construction cost is reworking, to fix problems after construction. Worse, 55 percent of maintenance costs are reactive — fixing things after they break, which is far more expensive than preventing problems.
One of the major contributors to this expensive problem is poor information, or more precisely, poor integration and communication of the information about the details of a building’s construction. BIM is a solution that is becoming more widely adopted in all areas of construction.
The U.S. National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee provides the following definition:
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.
BIM uses three-dimensional models of a building to coordinate planning, design, construction and maintenance.
With complete information on all aspects of a building — materials, plumbing, wiring, ducting, heating and air conditioning and all operational systems — it provides managers of construction and maintenance with the vital information they need.
There are many benefits to this type of modeling, such as:
In practical terms, this means:
BIM is not the “way of the future”; it’s a necessary tool for all construction and engineering projects today. Make certain that the consulting engineering firm you choose knows how to use it.