Building Information Modeling BIM

Concerns about high costs, long lead times, and poor communication have dogged our Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry for years.

Let me help you become familiar with the fundamentals of Building Information Modeling BIM, including its workings and how it can benefit your business.


Contractors, architects, engineers, designers, owners, and facilities managers (a lot of people!) are all involved in a construction project, and the lack of efficient collaboration between them is a major factor.

With so much at stake in each construction project, this is a potentially costly challenge!

US property owners lose out on $15.8 billion a year because of a lack of interoperability between building management systems, according to the National Institute for Standards and Testing (NIST).

As a result of the use of advanced technology like Building Information Modeling (BIM), construction processes are becoming more efficient.

Introducing BIM: BIM is a 3D digital representation of a building’s physical and functional attributes.

This visual representation provides a deeper understanding of the geometrical requirements and processes involved in space planning, design, construction, and building operation.

In the right hands, BIM can alleviate construction’s communication woes and create a shared knowledge base that can be relied upon to make sound decisions throughout a building’s lifespan.

Right, let me share what you need to know about BIM and why you should use it in your company!

1) What Is Meant By Building Information Modeling BIM

An intelligent 3D model is the first step in the process of Building Information Modeling or BIM.

Building Information Modeling systems today do not just provide digital versions of physical plans—they also serve as a single source of truth from which all users can view those plans and alter and improve upon them for smoother operations in design, construction and operation.

The most advanced BIM systems can include all relevant building data, construction sequencing, costs, and lifecycle management. This data enables the management of documents and simulations throughout the project’s lifespan, as well as collaboration and communication between all parties involved.

If everyone involved can see exactly what the site will look like and have all relevant information available in one centralized, actionable repository, it will surely benefit the whole project team 🥳

Good Read – I also wrote this on BIM: Building Information Modeling? What in the world is that, you ask? Here’s my perspective on BIM!

2) BIM and it’s Current Importance

The global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, according to the UN.

Buildings that can both meet the growing global demand and provide better construction solutions must be the goal of the worldwide AEC industry from now on.

As a result, BIM is now being mandated for public contracts by more and more governments, and a growing number of private clients are beginning to take notice as well.

When it comes to many projects, BIM is more than just a nice-to-have.

3) How Can BIM Enhance Every Stage of a Building Project?

The construction of a building can be made more precise and cost-effective by using BIM throughout the project lifecycle for:

a) Planning Stage:

With BIM, teams can use reality capture and real-world data to understand how a building will appear in its natural environment long before it is built.

It’s like being able to see into the future 🔮

b) Design Stage:

As with any construction project design, things can be time-consuming and challenging. However, when implementing a BIM data-loaded process, you can iron out many design challenges, coordinate the design, organize constructability issues, and get critical insights into how well a design will perform.

c) Construction Stage:

BIM can help with construction logistics planning, sequencing, and scheduling and ensure that all teams have access to the information they need.

Using BIM specifications and shared documents, pre-fabrication, and modular construction techniques can also greatly simplify construction.

d) Operational Stage:

With BIM’s information-rich models and asset data, operations, maintenance, renovation, extension, and even demolition can all be supported.

This is the phase where Digital Twins and predictive analytics can help enormously!


Good Read: What is openBIM? 10 Critical Things You Must Know About openBIM!

4) The Potential of BIM

a) Identify the Specifications for the Construction Project

One of the key benefits of BIM is its ability to identify the specifications for a construction project with a high level of precision. This can include everything from the materials used, to the dimensions of individual components, to the overall layout of the finished structure.

By using BIM, construction professionals can more easily identify any potential issues or discrepancies in the plans before work begins, leading to a smoother and more efficient construction process.

b) Recognize the Site’s Potential Design Options

By creating a digital representation of the site and surrounding area, BIM allows architects and engineers to analyze and understand the constraints and opportunities of the location.

This can include everything from the topography of the land and the availability of natural resources to the local climate and the potential impact on the environment.

By using BIM to analyze the site, professionals can make more informed decisions about the design and layout of the project and optimize the use of the available resources.

Additionally, BIM can be used to visualize and communicate the design options to stakeholders, allowing for more effective collaboration and decision-making throughout the project.

Overall, the ability of BIM to help recognize and understand the potential design options of a construction site can greatly improve the planning and execution of any project.

c) Organize and Control your Data Easily

BIM lets people store and access A LOT(!) of data.

This data can be about the cost of the project, when parts will be done, or even plans for how to build it.

By using BIM, everyone who is allowed to can see this information in one place.

This makes it easier to share information and makes it less likely that someone will make a mistake.

Also, BIM can be used to automate certain tasks, such as generating reports or updating schedules.

This saves time and reduces the workload for team members.

d) Get Detailed Information on Building Design and Analysis

A BIM model shows people how the building will look and work. It can help people see if the building will be safe, how much energy it will use, and if it will be easy for people to use. By using BIM, people can find problems with the design before the building is actually built.

This can save time and money and ensure the building is the best it can be.

BIM can also help people explain the design to others who are not design or construction savvy and make decisions about the project together.

e) Manage all Deliverables in a Single Location

BIM and CDEs are tools that help people manage different parts of a building project.

A CDE is like a special electronic set of folders that holds BIM documents and information about the project.

CDEs help people access and share information. This makes the project go better and helps everyone stay organized.

Plus, if people need to find something, later on, they will know where to look.

Good Read: 7 Things You Should Consider For Your BEP – includes 16 point checklist of what should go into your BIM Execution Plan (BEP)

5) BIM: The Big-picture Benefits that can be seen and Measured

a) Delivering Projects with Greater Efficiency

Using BIM, you can create manufacturing BIM drawings and databases. Thus, prefabrication and modular construction technology can be used more frequently, which reduces waste, labor costs, and material costs while also helping to avoid problems like:

  • The inability to coordinate one’s actions: using BIM, you’ll be able to more effectively coordinate the efforts of your design team, architects, and other key players
  • Clashes: a pre-construction clash detection system can also help reduce delays, last-minute changes, and the rework required.

b) Enhancing the Control of Design Data

Using 3D visualization and space-use simulations, you can plan a project before you even begin construction.

To reduce delays, construction schedule setbacks, or changes, later on, all relevant parties can experience a space during preconstruction.

Because BIM is based on “database-first” modeling, everyone involved in the project can use their familiar graphical formats to access and edit relevant building information within a single dataset. This simplifies the editing process and prevents the inconsistencies that arise when everyone accesses their distinct files.

Improved productivity and better planning are the results of this transparency and collaboration, which also makes it easier to experiment with new designs. Building owners can expect longer asset lives and lower maintenance costs as a result of this (learn more about how BIM benefits owners here).

c) Design Tables and Scheduling Improvements

With the help of BIM, AEC firms can streamline their design and documentation processes and quickly update them in response to new information, changes, or changes to the site.

Also the other type of scheduling and communication for the construction site are other benefits.

Ultimately, 4D scheduling (using BIM) can reduce or eliminate construction delays, ensuring the project is completed on time or even ahead of schedule.

d) Consistency Among Stakeholders and those who are Involved

It’s easier to collaborate, analyze, manage, and visualize data with the help of digital BIM models. Sharing information, planning and updating plans are all possible thanks to BIM.

Many BIM systems have cloud capabilities that allow users to update data in real-time from any location. The ability to view models and drawings on-site and on mobile devices means that project information is always up-to-date.

e) Improvements in Renovation and Retrofit Capabilities

Improved visualization, enhanced collaboration, increased accuracy, and reduced waste are some things that renovations can benefit from.

Visualizations aid in the creation of better-looking and better-built structures. Both the initial construction and subsequent renovations and retrofits may benefit from this.

f) Cost Savings And Risk Reduction

75 percent of companies that have adopted BIM reported positive returns on investment, according to a McKinsey study

There are so many ways to save money, such as:

  • Tender risk premiums reduced
  • The cost of insurance reduced
  • Fewer available variants
  • Fewer chances for claims
  • Reduced material waste and unused resources
  • Lower labor costs
  • Less out-of-date knowledge

g) Safer Construction Sites

BIM can be used to identify potential dangers before your start on site and it can be used to map out your construction site logistics too.

It is also possible to perform visual risk assessments and safety evaluations with a well-developed BIM.

All of this can assist in preventing physical harm and ensuring worker safety while a project is being implemented.

h) Increased Return on Investment (ROI)

BIM can be an effective tool for increasing a construction project’s return on investment (ROI).

BIM can improve accuracy, enhance collaboration, reduce waste, and increase value, contributing to a higher ROI.

By using BIM, stakeholders can more effectively visualize, design, and construct buildings that are more energy efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective to operate, leading to increased value over time.

Good Read: Top 14 Bad BIM Habits (aka Evil BIM) That BIM Managers Must Stop

My Final Thoughts

The benefits of using BIM include increased transparency, improved productivity, better scheduling, increased safety, reduced costs, and improved return on investment for construction projects.

When starting a new project, Plannerly is an excellent place to begin. Plannerly’s powerful project management and collaboration tools make it possible to plan work in real-time.

Using Plannerly, you can create BIM requirements, delegate tasks to your coworkers, and monitor their progress.

Try Plannerly for free and see how it can improve your BIM and project management processes.

Did you know that Plannerly (The BIM Management Platform) is FREE TO JOIN?

Did you sign up yet?:

Three Bonus Resources 😃

1. Other Interesting Reads ⤵

2. The Complete BIM Management Workflow [VIDEO] 🎥

Here’s a video that I think you’ll find valuable 😍 – it covers the complete BIM management workflow:

Complete BIM Workflow

3. Answers to some fun related BIM questions that I often get asked 😃

I’ve also tried to summarize below some answers to the most common questions that I get asked about this subject – I hope you can use them too:

How can BIM be used to model and analyze the energy performance of a building?

This is done by making a digital copy of the building’s systems, like the air conditioning, lighting, and water pipes. The model can then be run through simulations to determine the energy use of different design options and analyze the overall energy efficiency. Doing this can help us see ways to make the building use less energy and help us decide if different designs will use more or less energy.

What are the benefits of using BIM for project coordination and collaboration?

BIM is a way for different people working on the same project to share ideas and information. This helps reduce mistakes, saves time, and makes it easier to see the progress of a project. It also provides better opportunities for resolving conflicts because potential issues can be identified. This can help reduce mistakes and make the construction process more efficient.

How can BIM be used to optimize the use of materials and resources in a construction project?

BIM is a way to create a digital model of a construction project. The model shows all the materials and resources needed for the project. This can help us figure out ways to use different materials, how much we need of each material, and how to reduce waste.

What role does BIM play in facility management and maintenance?

BIM is a game-changing technology for facility management and maintenance, allowing managers to construct a copy of the building with incredible accuracy digitally. By doing this, teams can plan to maintain the structure over time and ensure its longevity. BIM gives visibility into facilities previously unattainable without computerized modeling, empowering maintenance teams to make informed decisions on any repairs or upgrades needed moving forward.

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!

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