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Building information modeling (BIM) is a new way of approaching the design and documentation of building projects.

Building         –   the entire lifecycle of the building is considered (design/build/operations)

Information   –   all information about the building and its lifecycle is included

Modeling       –   defining and simulating the building, its delivery, and operation using integrated tools

BIM Models and manages not just graphics, but also information.

English: BIM - Building Information Modeling

English: BIM – Building Information Modeling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Information that allows the automatic generation of drawings and reports, design analysis, schedule simulation, facilities management, and more.

It ultimately enables the building team to make better-informed decisions.

BIM supports a distributed team so that people, tools, and tasks can effectively share this information throughout the building lifecycle, thus eliminating data redundancy, data re-entry, data loss, miscommunication, and translation errors.

BIM involves representing a design as objects – vague and undefined, generic or product-specific, solid shapes or void-space oriented (like the shape of a room), that carry their geometry, relations and attributes.

Composed together these objects define a building model (not a BIM, in my view). If an object is changed or moved, it need only be acted on once.

BIM design tools then allow for extracting different views from a building model for drawing production and other uses.

These different views are automatically consistent – in the sense that the objects are all of a consistent size, location, specification – since each object instance is defined only once, just as in reality.

Drawing consistency eliminates many errors.

Modern BIM design tools go further. They define objects parametrically.

That is, the objects are defined as parameters and relations to other objects, so that if a related object changes, this one will also.

With BIM are not just consistent drawings, cost estimation and bills of material and clash detection.

Because building models are machine readable, it becomes practical to use the data they carry in many other ways: for energy, lighting, acoustic or other analyses.

Thus building models allow for better integration of design processes, allowing the kind of exploration that is equivalent to having a team of analyst consultants assessing your design as you make explorations.

The result is that designers taking advantage of BIM can develop and demonstrate design trade-offs in ways that have been impossible in practice until now, and providing better services.

Many of the uses of BIM data are waiting to be discovered and developed.

Building models can save costs, save construction time, and support better building performance and control.

It can potentially beneficially impact all parties in the construction process – designers, engineers, contractors, fabricators, facility operators. the whole construction industry as well a owners.

In this sense, BIM is similar to the automation of manufacturing in the 1980s, when most manufacturing industries first adopted 3D modeling and digital representations. These capabilities also facilitate much improved coordination and collaboration. Designing a building once for contract drawings, then developing a set of detailed drawings for shop fabrication is recognized as involving much waste and inefficiency. Design-build and other forms of architect-contractor teaming have been recognized as more efficient – in terms of cost, time, and for reducing the potential for litigation. Building models tremendously facilitate this process. A 3D model is easier for all parties to interpret and visualize. Design or fabrication work can be coordinated in person or at a distance using web conferencing tools virtually walking through the 3D model.

The BIM processes provide better building products at lower costs to the owner. A growing number of case studies have shown the benefits to users who have used a building model to apply BIM technology.

Building models and BIM technology will certainly become the standard representation and practice for construction within most of our lifetimes.

Source : http://www.bentley.com & bim.arch.gatech.edu

(this article written for 1BINA.my)