What Is Building Information Modeling (BIM)?

What Is Building Information Modeling (BIM)?

March 28, 2024
What Is Building Information Modeling (BIM)?

Building information modeling (BIM) involves creating 3-dimensional digital models of buildings. In addition to visual representation, the software also allows data entry for different aspects of construction, including measurements, materials, and dependencies. 

BIM can support all aspects of a project. The data can be used for accurate cost estimation and labor and materials planning. It can also contain information vital to efficient building operation after construction. 

BIM software’s features can translate into cost and efficiency benefits. A study from Diponegoro University in Indonesia found BIM could cut project time by 50% and lower costs by 52.36% compared to traditional design, engineering, and project management techniques. The wealth of information leads to higher-quality constructions with improved longevity and quality. The models can also contain directions for maintenance and operations, ensuring long-term value.   

Here’s a closer look at the value of BIM and how companies can deploy it in their businesses. 

Benefits of BIM

BIM software offers advantages to different aspects of construction projects, including:

BIM can also improve project management, as the data gained through modeling makes scheduling and coordination easier. Data can be continually added too, so the model can evolve as the project progresses. 

How Does BIM Work?

BIM software has different components that support each other, including: 

Popular BIM tools often have cloud-based licensing options, allowing for easy collaboration and access wherever internet connectivity is available.

Steps in the BIM Process

The steps for building information modeling can vary depending on the nature of the project and workflow preferences. However, most fundamental steps occur in a specific order for projects. 

There is typically a round of feedback from stakeholders and professionals after each step.  After the finalization, the model’s data outputs can assist with cost and materials estimates. 

BIM Best Practices

To get the most out of its BIM software, your company can adhere to the following practices:

It’s also important to ensure the data from the BIM is compatible with software tools, like cost estimation programs. 

Common Challenges and Mistakes

BIM can be a powerful tool. However, common pitfalls can make it less effective and magnify mistakes. 

Cybersecurity issues could also arise, especially if you have many users accessing the model in the cloud. You need to control access to the software and ensure all users follow the best security practices. 

BIM by Industry

BIM is used by architects, engineers, and designers working on residential, commercial, and industrial projects. It can also be used in a variety of construction industries.

In all industries, the data from BIM can inform cost and quantity estimates during the planning stages of the project. 

The Future of BIM

BIM software continues to evolve. Virtual reality, when combined with BIM designs, can improve visualization. Integrated data analytics programs can assess the information in the model and provide insights about energy use, safety, or operations costs. 

Finally, internet of Things (IoT) sensors can provide real-time data during and after the project. This information allows updates that can turn the model into a project tracking and building management tool. 

BIM and AI in the Construction Industry

One of the biggest advances in BIM involves artificial intelligence (AI). AI can automate many of the design tasks in BIM. For instance, it can automatically build components following a set of rules defined by the designer. 

AI can also assist in designs. It can use algorithms to help place components in a way that is both structurally sound and satisfies the design concept. The precise design ensures accurate cost estimates during takeoff.  

Helpful BIM Tools and Software

Revitzo is a popular professional building information modeling software. You can integrate these tools into your workflow to add features to your overall design and planning processes: 

BIM software can merge design with construction data and planning. You can use models alongside takeoff software to ensure effective construction project planning and accurate cost and quantity estimates.

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