The digital age has made paper and drawing boards mostly obsolete for architects and designers. Today, they use digital drawings as a basis for calculating required building materials and to plan construction costs.
But the future of building design is BIM. It is used to create complete digital building models from individual objects, such as building materials, floor finishes, electrical installations, plumbing, lighting, windows, and doors, using programs such as Graphisoft Archicad and Autodesk Revit 14. What makes BIM so special is that every individual object file contains a wide range of information and properties. For a revolving door, for example, these could include:
- Model and type name
- Number of leaves and drive type
- Width and diameter
- Prices and costs
- Maintenance intervals
- Available spare parts
- Power consumption
- CO2 emissions
- Thermal and acoustic transmittance
When a door in a digital building model is replaced, BIM-capable software immediately displays the effects the change will have for example on the construction budget or on fire and noise protection.
We are becoming BIM capable
In 2014, the European Parliament recommended that all member states use BIM. The United Kingdom is at the forefront of this movement, and the technology is also already used in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands. But BIM is not yet widespread around the world. As manufacturers, we can help drive its adoption and thereby make our customers’ work easier. We already offer more than 60 doors and access solutions for Archicad and Revit on bimobject.com, and are continuously adding further objects. We have also developed a dormakaba plugin for Archicad called the ‘generic door’, which enables our customers to freely configure dormakaba doors. The plugin automatically checks whether individual door components, such as smoke detectors and locks, are compatible.
Building design of the future – our customers are ahead of the curve
At the moment, BIM objects are still mainly functional. But the capacity of modern computers allows for much more: at dormakaba we predict that in a few years, architects will be presenting photo-realistic models of buildings directly in BIM-capable software. Clients will then be able to walk through the digital building before the excavators even arrive on site. We will continue to follow the development of BIM very closely so we can help ensure that our customers are at the cutting edge of building planning.