The abbreviation BIM stands for "Building Information Modeling" and refers to the integrated digital planning and construction process for buildings and structures. This hassle-free process facilitates interaction between and integration of all construction participants and the seamless exchange of all relevant information. In the ideal case, the BIM process supports the entire life-cycle of a building: from preliminary planning and construction to maintenance and, ultimately, demolition.
The BIM process
Building Information Modeling is a collaborative process for the planning, design, construction and management of a building. It’s the Idea of Exchanging Data using Standards. Ideally, the BIM process utilizes a centralized digital 3D model of the building (BIM model) as its core resource. Each construction participant contributes data to the model and has access to data created by others. At this stage, the BIM model consists of smaller components (BIM objects) such as doors, walls, equipment etc.
Often considered as simple 3D CAD drawings, BIM objects are much more complex in their application and offer greater flexibility and operational use. Created as individual objects, each BIM component acts as a distinct element within the building, and when loaded into the project model, allows the user to see the interrelationship of that component with other elements of the build; for instance, a DORMA revolving door object would have its individual measurements loaded into the model. The software will then alert the user if the object is bigger than its structural opening or exceeds/breaches other constraints.
Prototyping a project in BIM will help to increase efficiency at the planning stage as potential clashes on the building site are prevented. BIM objects make it quicker and easier for architects and designers to understand and implement door controls, automatics and other DORMA products. After completion of the building, the information can serve the ultimate building owner or maintenance provider, as all products are clearly identifiable and indicate when service is required.
The use of BIM is highly beneficial to end users – and not just in a building’s initial creation; for example, it also ensures generation of a valid data sheet for maintenance. Another benefit of BIM is that it can ensure that large quantities of materials can be readily managed and easily uploaded into an appropriate dimensioned drawing. So a door hardware schedule for a hospital blueprint could potentially take minutes rather than weeks to create.
A few benefits at a glance:
- Fewer errors – Problems are identified at a very early stage of design. At the end, this will reduce costs and expenses for supplements.
- Higher efficiency – Standards for data exchange enable seamless processes and reduced time for adaptations and planning modifications.
- Better design – By using high-resolution visualizations owners can see their building at an very early stage and better judge designs
- Reduced risks – asset managers can enhance operational safety. All information readily available across the entire life cycle
The biggest impact has BIM on the overall construction costs. Following the BIM process leads to a shift in decision making during the planning process. Creating a 3D Building model in advance of the detailed planning process enables the planner to simulate the design and construction process before any action is performed on the site. Any error, any design flaw identified at this stage is much cheaper to eliminate that later in the process.