How Building Information Modeling Is Changing Construction Forever

It might be tempting to write 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) off as a little more than 3D animation, 3D design, or 3D CAD. But unlike some other model-based processes, BIM has the promising potential to guide businesses by evaluation through every step of the construction process and even after construction is complete.

According to the US. National Building Information Model Standard Project Committee, BIM is a “digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition.”

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History of BIM

Although BIM is a hot topic in construction today, the concept behind it has been around since the 1970s. The term, “building information modeling”, was first referenced in a 1992 paper written by G.A. van Nederveen and F. P. Tolman, and Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD debuted the first “virtual building” around 1987.

Functions of BIM

BIM is used to ease the transition between design and construction, helping engineers and construction professionals choose materials, plumbing features, sustainability options, and more. It’s a useful tool in construction management and reduces uncertainty about safety, cost effectiveness, and future damage. Even after construction is complete, BIM allows building owners to consult previous BIM models to solve common problems, like leaks and weather damage.

These days, CAD drawings are frequently transferred to 3D BIM for use in design planning and construction tasks. For example, researchers at Fraunhofer FIT have recently been experimenting with car-mounted hardware and software to generate digital building model views controlled by the angle of the car. The data collected by these car-mounted displays can be replayed back later to test variations and improvements.

“The virtual image of the building is superimposed with a centimeter precision. Architects, developers or future residents thus get a much better, realistic impression of the planned building in situ,” explained Dr. Leif Oppermann, head of the group Mixed and Augmented Reality Solutions of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT.

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Benefits of BIM

-Ability to see models in their intended shape in the exact building location
-Realistic design impression
-Predicts and measures performance objectives
-Coordinates analysis, scheduling, and logistics
-Enables owner to efficiently manage the building post-construction

VIATechnik BIM Services

BIM can be used for a wide variety of construction projects for engineers, general contractors and developers, VIATechnik’s experience ranges from government facilities to oil & gas, commercial establishments, and infrastructure. Our experienced BIM modelers can turn blueprints and PDFs into accurate BIM models with rich details, clean layers, and references.

We’ve actually taken BIM one step further to utilize Synchro’s advanced 4D BIM software and CPM engine. Scheduling and BIM go hand-in-hand, and this software provides advanced scheduling simulation for entire projects before even breaking ground. In short, 4D BIM technology has the potential to save your company time, money, conflicts, and plenty of unnecessary headaches.

Photo credit: atelier PRO and Matija Grguric via Flickr

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