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What is BIM ?


 
I felt like writing down some fundamental concept of BIM for readers who may not be too familiar with it.

WHAT IS BIM ?

Building Information Modelling or Building Information Management (BIM) is a model-based process of creating and managing building information. It applies from planning stage to design, construction and operational stages of building projects. At the core of the BIM lies the 3D model of the building which is a virtual representation of completed project. This 3D model is the minimum requirement of ‘I’ in BIM. But one of common misconception of BIM, even among some architects and building professionals, is that BIM equals 3D model. A Building Information Model is a multi-dimensional structure of information that is built based on geometric models that represent building elements. A cylinder in a 3D model is merely a geometry visualized. Meanwhile a cylindrical geometry in BIM may have any project related information such as category of building elements, structural properties, cost, schedule of construction, etc. Seeing BIM as a 3D model is just like seeing a cylinder as a circle by looking at it in from one side only. BIM spans beyond 3-dimensional space.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL DESIGN PROCESS ?

Traditional building design process is carried out on a number of different platforms. Drawings are created with 2D drafting software such as AutoCAD, schedules are created in spreadsheet, visualization is done in other 3D tools and etc. 2D drawings are created individually per sheet, per floor plan, per sections and per discipline. This unlinked project information is naturally prone to human mistakes which lead to misalignment and clashes between different scope of building works.

BIM is a centralized and collaborative process. Every stakeholder is working around the model which becomes the single source of information, and that facilitates communication and collaboration between different stake holders which leads to increased efficiency and productivity in overall project scope.

WHY BIM ?

Because BIM is centralized and collaborative process where all information is retrieved from, and updated back to a single source, it gives every stakeholder benefits of live information. Live information facilitates higher degree of coordination before the construction works commence. Digitized, structured and linked information enables the project team to respond to any project needs for reproduction of information more promptly whether it is a cost estimation, simulation, or even the change of design itself which affects everything else. All these leads to successful project delivery where project team has more control over the project.

Some of benefits from BIM implementation include the following:

  • Increased predictability / certainty of the project, reducing the risks.
  • Informed decision making by design reviews and simulation.
  • Responds to design changes more quickly
  • Construction simulation
  • As-built building information model for facility management and asset management.
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    Categorised as: Architecture, BIM


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