What is a Building Information Model?
My views on Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Building Information Models (BIMs) are all the rage these days. Some people might say that a Building Information Model (BIM) is just a fancier term for a “3D drawing” – In my opinion, a BIM is much much more than that!

But what is a BIM, exactly? Why do you need BIM in your business? What can a BIM or two do for you? 😃

In this blog post, I’ll answer all of those questions and more. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Building Information Models! 😉

1. What is a BIM, and what does it stand for?

What does BIM stand for?

So what does BIM stand for?

Building Information Model/Modelling, of course! 😃

What is a Building Information Model (BIM)?

But what does it actually mean?

While the acronym itself is fairly self-explanatory, the concept of building information modeling (BIM) is still a bit of a mystery to many people.

🙋🏽‍♀️ “So what actually is BIM? ” I hear you ask?

In very simple terms, a BIM (building information model) is an intelligent digital three-dimensional model of a physical building that contains data about that building.

This is a Building Information Model spinning around
Building Information Model (BIM)

However, by creating a 3D digital model of a building you are in fact doing BIM as a process, which is Building Information Modeling (the verb).

The BIM procured from the BIM process helps professionals better visualize the finished construction project and identify potential problems early.

However, BIM and doing BIM are not just fancy new toys and words for designers!

The building information model is more intelligent than its 2D counterparts (dumb 2D drawings) and can also generate project schedules, cost estimates, material lists, maintenance schedules, and much more!

In other words, BIM is quickly becoming an indispensable process for anyone involved in the design, construction, or operation of a building.

Essentially, a building information model is a digital representation of a building that can be used to manage the building process from start to finish! 🏁

Intro to Building Information Modeling
Building Information Modeling Explained

2. Three different types of Building Information Model 

Although they should all merge into one connected “Golden Thread” 🧶, there are usually three main types of BIM:

  • BIM used in design 📐
  • BIM used in construction 🚜
  • and BIM used in building operations and maintenance 🛠

Each type of BIM has its own unique benefits and challenges.

ONE: What are the advantages of using BIM in the design process?

BIM used in design 📐 is the most common type of BIM. It helps the design team to create a more accurate model of the building, which can be used to simulate different scenarios during the design process.

BIM used in design can help the design team coordinate their work and ensure that everyone is working with the same data. BIM can also help identify potential problems visually during the design process and through the use of the data in a building information model.

TWO: What are the advantages to use BIM in construction?

BIM implementation in the construction industry 🚜 is becoming more popular as it allows for better coordination between the different trades.

A digital model of a construction project can be used to manage all aspects of the build, from design and planning to execution and delivery (as long as the requirements are detailed in your BIM Execution Plan!).

The building project can be more efficiently constructed because the design was done virtually first. This means there will be fewer physical clashes (like a pipe going through a beam) on the construction site.

A building information model can also be used to track material costs and schedules. In other words, it’s a construction manager’s best friend 😉

Not only does BIM make construction projects more efficient and cost-effective, but it also helps improve communication and collaboration between all construction team members.

So, if you’re ever wondering what BIM is in construction, just think of it as the future of construction management 💪

THREE: What are the advantages of using BIM in the building operations phase?

BIM technology used in building operations and maintenance 🛠 is also getting more popular with the introduction of Digital Twins. These building information models help facility managers keep track of the building’s systems and components.

A building information model can accurately represent the finished construction project, and building operations and maintenance teams can track energy use, asset management, and maintenance schedules.

Having a building information model and BIM data collected on building product performance inside the facility can assist teams in saving energy and increasing energy efficiency. The key is to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency – this is especially crucial if they want to build a net-zero project.

BIM can also help with systems analytics to identify potential problems with the building before they become significant issues.

As the construction industry evolves, BIM will likely become an increasingly important part of the design and construction management process.

3. The Benefits of using a BIM

What are the benefits of using a BIM over other design or construction documentation methods?

There are many benefits to using a BIM over other design or construction documentation methods.

First, project costs 💰 can be more accurately estimated and controlled when using a BIM. Cost analysis and cost estimates are integral parts of the BIM process, so project teams better understand where money is being spent.

Second, implementing BIM can help save time 🕓 on a project. By having all project information in one central location, project teams can avoid duplication of effort and reduce the risk of errors.

Finally, BIM can improve communication and collaboration 🎙 among project team members. Since all project data is shared in the BIM model, team members can easily access the information they need and make informed decisions about the project.

Ultimately, using a building information model can lead to more successful and efficient construction projects.

BIM Model Example
BIM is used during design, construction and operations of a building

4. The limitations of using a BIM

Are there any potential drawbacks to using a BIM instead of traditional methods, and how can you avoid them?

There are a few drawbacks to BIM use that should be considered before adopting the technology.

First, the BIM process can be time-consuming and expensive 💳. In order to create a detailed BIM model, you will need to invest in quality BIM tools and hire trained personnel. Additionally, you will need to develop clear BIM standards and processes for your team to follow. This can all add up to a significant investment of time and money.

Second, not all building projects are suited for BIM. This technology is best used for complex projects that require coordination between multiple disciplines. For more straightforward projects, traditional methods may suffice. 🤷‍♂️

Finally, it is essential to note that BIM is only as good as the inputted data into the system. Inaccurate or incomplete data 💽 can lead to erroneous results. Therefore, it is crucial to have a well-trained and experienced BIM team to ensure the BIM model’s quality.

It’s also important to note that BIM data might be costly to generate and maintain, so carefully planning the use of your building information model with a BIM platform like Plannerly is essential❣️ 👈 👈

Despite these potential drawbacks, building information modeling can offer many benefits to construction projects.

How can you ensure that everyone involved in your project understands and uses the BIM correctly to get the most out of it?

One way to ensure that everyone is on the same page is to create a central repository for all BIM-related information. This can include everything from project files and drawings to BIM models and templates.

By keeping all relevant information in one place, you can make it easier for everyone to find what they need and stay up-to-date on the latest changes.

The best way to do this would be to use a BIM management platform like Plannerly!

Additionally, regular BIM training sessions or webinars can help to ensure that everyone is using BIM correctly and getting the most out of its capabilities. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your next project benefits from all that a building information model has to offer!

5. How can having a BIM help your business or project succeed?

How to get started with creating your own BIM

Getting started with creating your own BIM is not as difficult as it may seem.

If you’re ready to get your feet wet and learn how to produce your own BIM, there are a few things you’ll need to get started.

I would recommend 3D modeling your own house first 🏠

To start, you’ll need to gather data about your house (or your dream home!), such as dimensions and materials. Once you have this information, you can begin to create the model itself. You can use various software programs to build a BIM, so be sure to choose one that meets your needs.

Here’s a fantastic article that compares several of the top BIM software 🔝

With a little effort, you can create a pretty good BIM that will help you learn what’s possible when designing a building information model, and in turn, this knowledge should help your business or project succeed!

Tips for using your BIM effectively

Simply having a BIM is not enough – you need to know how to use it effectively to get the most out of it.

Here are some of my recommendations for utilizing the building information model to its full potential:

  • 👩🏽‍💻 Create a BIM Execution Plan (BEP) (using Plannerly!) to describe the essential BIM goals, the detailed BIM requirements, and what successful BIM will look like.
  • 🤔 Use the building information model to plan ahead by identifying potential problems and finding solutions before they become issues on the construction site. The BIM can be used to identify potential issues and take corrective action before they cause delays. By doing this, you can save time and money by avoiding costly delays.
  • 📡 Use the building information model to track progress on the construction project and keep everyone up to date on where things stand. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and communication breakdowns.
  • 🗓 Use the building information model to create a realistic schedule for the construction project. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of deadlines and knows what needs to be done and when.
  • 🏢 Use the building information model to gather product data for facilities so that the building operations team can adequately maintain the buildings after they are built. This data can help to ensure that the building is running smoothly and efficiently.
  • 👟 Make sure that all team members are adequately trained in the use of BIM/building information modeling software. There are many online tutorials and resources to get you started. Plannerly has an excellent YouTube channel with a wealth of BIM management videos to help you get started! There are many building information modeling courses too. Having everyone aware of what is achievable with BIM will guarantee that everyone is on the same page, allowing them to use the model entirely.

Here’s a starter course as an introduction to Building Infromation Modeling if you’re ready – it’s some great content from Dr Elham Delzendeh:

By following these tips, you can use your building information model effectively and get the most out of it!

I hope this article has helped you to understand what a building information model is and

6. My thoughts on the future of using Building Information Models

The process of creating and using a building information model, or BIM, is one of the most exciting recent developments in the construction industry.

Building information models help architects, engineers, and construction managers to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

By providing a digital representation of project and asset information, BIMs have the potential to revolutionize the way we design, build and manage our built environment.

The benefits of BIM are well-known, and the demand for BIM is only growing. In the future, I believe that more and more projects will be designed and built using BIMs. We will also see more benefits as we continue to learn how to use them more effectively.

The sky is the limit for BIM 🚀 I believe that BIMs will play an increasingly important role in the project life cycle in the years to come, and I am very excited about the future of this technology.

FAQs:

What is a BIM?

If you’re a business owner, you know that building a new structure or renovating an existing one is a considerable investment. You want to make sure that you’re making the most of your money by ensuring that the building is designed and constructed correctly. That’s where a building information model comes in. A BIM is a digital representation of a building that allows architects, engineers, and contractors to collaborate on the design and construction process. Having a BIM lets you ensure that your facility is designed and constructed correctly the first time around!

Is BIM a Software?

No, BIM is not a software! BIM is more than a single tool or technology: it is an approach to building design, construction, and management that supports more effective collaboration, communication, and coordination between the project stakeholders.

What is a BIM file?

A BIM file, short for “Building Information Modeling” file, is a digital model of a building used in the design and construction process. While the term “BIM” can refer to the process of creating and using these digital models, it is commonly also used to refer to the files themselves. BIM files can contain information such as a building’s geometry, material properties, and construction schedules. BIM files can be used to create 2D drawings and 3D models of a proposed building, and they can be used to simulate how the building will look and function once it is constructed. While BIM has become increasingly popular in recent years, it is still not used on 100% of construction projects. However, that is beginning to change as more and more firms see the benefits of using BIM files in their projects.

What is a Building Information Model (BIM)?

A Building Information Model (BIM) is a digital model of a building. It’s like a 3D drawing that can be used to plan out the building, including how it looks and how it works. It is made up of data that helps you understand the shape and function of a building. The creation of a BIM involves the generation and manipulation of geometrical data in three dimensions (length, width, and height or X, Y, and Z). BIMs can be used during the whole life cycle of a building, from when it’s first built until it’s demolished.

What is a Building Information Modelling (BIM)?

Building Information Modelling, or BIM for short, is a process of designing and constructing buildings. Rather than relying on paper drawings and manual calculations, teams use 3D modeling software to create a digital three-dimensional model of the building. This model can be used to simulate different construction scenarios, identify potential problems, and optimize the design. BIM is essentially the process of planning, creating, and managing that building information. BIM is already being used on some of the world’s biggest construction projects, and it is poised to revolutionize the industry. So if you’re not already familiar with BIM, now is the time to get on board.

What is the definition of a Building Information Model for a Digital Twin?

Are you familiar with the term “digital twin”? If not, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Even though the concept has been around for a few years, it’s still relatively new, and not everyone is familiar with it. So let’s start with some quick definitions. A digital twin is simply a computer model of a physical asset, process, or system. A Building Information Model (BIM) is a type of digital twin that specifically features data about the building itself – its architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). So, in short, a BIM-based digital twin can be used to virtually simulate and study all aspects of a building throughout its entire lifecycle.

I blog for the Five BIM Bloggers series.

Every week we share different perspectives on important BIM topics!

To hear our views first, Join Free or follow Plannerly!

Building Information Modeling Expert Articles

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