If you work in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) sector, you will surely have heard of this BIM methodology.
Today we bring you in detail everything it offers and its features, as it is increasingly demanded by both clients and governments around the world.
In the text you will find answers to all the most common questions about BIM, so we recommend that you don’t miss anything.
What is BIM?
This acronym stands for “Building Information Modelling” and makes it possible to define and execute construction projects from a global and integrated perspective, taking into account the entire construction project at any time, at every stage, from the initial sketch to commissioning.
It is simply a teamwork methodology used in the construction sector.
It consists of a set of construction data organised to facilitate the management of engineering, architecture and construction projects and improve the performance and efficiency of processes.
That is why all professionals involved in a construction project can work on the same project in real time, collaboratively and accessing the same information.
What is the BIM methodology?
With the BIM methodology each project area creates its own 3D model of the corresponding section and retains control and responsibility over it.
All these sub-models are combined in a central coordination model that contains all the information together.
This information gives meaning to objects and describes them in terms of properties such as energy efficiency, material type or mass.
In addition, these ‘BIM objects’ can be associated with information external to the model, such as a product specification or a detailed drawing.
Using this central coordination model as a basis for team allocation, collaboration, management of the design process, construction and operation improves transparency and communication.
What is a BIM object?
Basically a BIM object is a virtual representation of a real product.
This virtual replica contains all relevant information about the product, from geometrical information such as dimensions, shape, weight, etc., to information such as the manufacturer’s URL or instructions for use and maintenance.
What is BIM modelling?
BIM modelling allows the use of a virtual data model managed by a team with design capabilities and using BIM software, including architects, engineers, landscape architects, surveyors, planners, installers, construction technicians, developers, investors, construction companies, etc.
All the professionals involved contribute data and information to a common model for the project where each one works on their own part but all have the information of the whole..
What is the LOD?
The LOD is an indicator that marks the level of development that is or should be done in a BIM building or infrastructure model.
Through the LOD, it is possible to know what level of data, parameters and geometry the BIM model has.
This can be seen directly in the visual representation of the resulting 3D model, but not all parameters are visible in the virtual model and may need to be interacted with to get the depth of the development level (e.g. data on the supplier of elements or installation instructions, manufacturing, the product family to which the elements belong, etc.).
Advantages of BIM technology
The BIM methodology is increasingly demanded by many stakeholders in construction projects as it has enormous advantages when it comes to designing and improving processes.
Here are some of the main advantages of the BIM methodology:
Detailed view of all project elements
BIM simplifies and improves the design process of construction projects.
All specialists involved feed information about their work into the project as a whole, which greatly reduces the risk of errors and facilitates information for all stakeholders.
Reduction of potential conflicts and errors
In any construction project there are many participants and interactions between the parties.
The use of BIM methodology is one of the best ways to detect potential conflicts, avoid disputes and save time and money in the process.
It helps because in a project it is likely that not all information displayed corresponds to all project participants, which can lead to confusion. BIM can help users to filter, access and use only the information that is relevant to their tasks and operations.
BIM boosts productivity
Finally, architects and other industry experts consider BIM technology to be one of the best innovations that increase their productivity and guarantee a higher return on investment.
What BIM software is available on the market?
The application of the BIM methodology would be impossible if we did not have computer programmes that allow us to execute it.
We are going to show you two of the most widely used on the market today:
Autodesk Revit is an intelligent design software for BIM modelling in architecture and engineering.
The most characteristic feature of this software is that everything is modelled using intelligent objects (parametric families) and created in 3D on the fly as the project evolves from the ground floor to the upper floors.
With Revit you don’t just draw, you virtually build in 3D.
You can visualise and inspect the building in 3D and virtually build based on families (objects) of walls, windows, doors and different materials as storing all this information is possible thanks to a relational database that coordinates the information throughout the process.
In addition, in case of a change in the project, Revit has the ability to coordinate and automatically display the latest working version without the changes affecting the whole process, which speeds up the work and minimises the risk of errors in the execution of the project.
As part of the Autodesk software environment, Revit has strong support for exporting and importing files from AutoCAD, Inventor, 3D Max, etc.
Archicad is a computer-aided design CAD software. It is a very efficient and intuitive BIM software, and its learning curve is not as steep as other tools in the industry.
And being a BIM software also means that all documentation is automatically generated during the project and its Teamwork function allows several users to share the same project and work collaboratively.
Another great advantage is that it allows DWG, DXF and IFC files to be imported and exported to AutoCAD, SketchUP or 3ds, among others.
What is the difference between 3D CAD and BIM modelling?
CAD and BIM processes are similar in that they present and communicate the design and construction intent of an AEC project through a graphical representation, so that project participants can understand what to build and how to build it.
The difference between 3D CAD and BIM modelling is that while both processes provide a geometric representation of buildings and infrastructure, the BIM process goes beyond geometry and captures the relationships, metadata and behaviour inherent in the actual building elements.
Having this data makes the work more efficient and reduces errors or conflicts.
Advantages of BIM over CAD
The BIM process creates and manages information throughout the AEC project lifecycle, integrating construction and design documents from different sectors into a single data set.
Because data can be accessed in multiple views, from 2D and 3D to tables, the information is much more accessible and connected than in the dispersed data sources associated with traditional CAD methods.
The BIM methodology is one of the most widely used working methods in building construction for obvious reasons and is constantly improving. It would not be surprising if in the future it becomes a global standard, and in fact the institutions of the main countries already regulate and require the use of this methodology in their public works projects.