What is BIM (Building Information Modeling)?

What is BIM (Building Information Modeling)?

Building Information Modeling, or BIM, is a common term thrown around in articles about the future of construction. When BIM software was first introduced, it was primarily architects that it. With it, they could put together a 3D modeling of a building design. It was construction model that was easily shared with stakeholders to show what they could receive for their investment. BIM is an important tool in construction, but what is BIM?

BIM in Architecture
Photo by Joel Filipe

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling is a way of representing buildings, utilities, and roads. BIM is the process of generating and managing digital representations of the physical and functional characteristics of places. In other words, it doesn’t just build a 3D computer model, it shows how certain building materials will hold up over time. Building Information Modeling incorporates multiple CAD and specs to fully design a project. What is CAD? A CAD is a computer-aided design software for drafting or image creation. These three-dimensional images can be manipulated to see how they fit before expensive materials are ordered.

Users can see how a building will wear with time, which makes BIM a 4D rendering choice. And with it being a computer model, it is significantly easier to share a BIM model rather than paper design plans. The goal of this is to increase collaboration in the early design phase of a construction project, which simplifies the construction process. It’s also a way to identify issues before they become costly

Building Information Modeling in Construction

Building Information Modeling was originally used by architects and engineers in the early stages of design. So, what is BIM for construction and is it used differently? BIM creates a high-quality digital representation of the building with 3D modeling. This representation can be used to predict performance, to estimate costs, and plan construction. It also has the ability to foresee problems in a project before ground breaks. It’s a technique and series of software programs that will be used more often in the coming years because of all their benefits.

Benefits to Construction

Construction projects that incorporate Building Information Modeling will fare better than those who don’t. BIM is an important tool in project management and for the project team. It BIM technology can predict job costs better than traditional methods because it knows how much building materials should cost. It can also give a better estimate of how long a project should take. This knowledge also helps with job costing. It can be used to help understand various risks around the site. This can help Project Managers mitigate them before stepping foot on the job site.

And with BIM technology, architects and engineers can utilize a technique called clash detection and can use real models of implemented pieces during the design process to see how they fit or don’t fit. Clash detection will help reduce serious delays. Because now the teams will know if something fits or not before it gets to the jobsite and order accordingly. All of this can save projects money because they won’t have to worry about last-minute change orders and delays.

Why Incorporate BIM?

As a subcontractor, incorporating BIM might seem odd. It sounds like a tool for contractors, architects, and owners. But subcontractors do 90% of the actual labor and don’t always have a lot of input. Having access to the BIM model before starting a project allows subcontractors the ability to see what it is they’re supposed to do. It also gives subs the opportunity to share concerns that may have been overlooked by the management team. Subcontractors are experts in their fields and have the most to offer to projects. Subcontractor knowledge in the design and planning phase of a project can help reduce errors and substantial costs. Incorporating BIM or the programs necessary to review during the design and planning phase will give subcontractors, contractors, and owners the ability to address the significant risks and reduce them.

3D and more

Because BIM holds information in the building model, there are many possibilities for it’s use. Some are using BIM for scheduling, estimating, sustainability, and facility management. While this depends on the level of detail and the information available within the model. With the labor shortage, having a tool that makes scheduling, estimating, and maintenance easier is crucial for improving overall profitability.

Building Information Modeling, The New Frontier

BIM in Architecture
Photo by Sandro Katalina

BIM allows for so many industries to get involved in the building and building management process. Building owners will be able to see performance data and schedule maintenance and repair work before things become expensive money pits. New buildings and sites will have better project timelines and better job costing. And subcontractors will be able to provide necessary input in the design and planning phase to help reduce risks and increase financial rewards on projects.

BIM data will be able to advance construction, reduce errors, and increase profits. It will revolutionize construction, project management, and building management. These 4D models are the future of construction and the architecture, engineering, & construction (AEC) industry.


BIM Solutions | Autodesk

An Introduction to Building Information Modeling | The Balance

What is Building Information Modeling | Engineering.com