BIM, or Building Information Modeling

It is the process of creating and managing information about a building throughout its life cycle. One of the key results of this process is a building information model, in which each element has a digital description of all aspects necessary for design and construction. This model is built on the basis of information collected during the design process together with all participants in the design and construction. Information is regularly updated and updated, which allows you to build a single up-to-date database about the building.

Creating a digital building model allows you to optimize the actions of all participants, which improves the quality of design.

It is the newest way of cohesive teamwork through building an effective design system and quality information management, where value is created through the joint efforts of people, processes and technologies.

The concept of BIM has been around since the 1970s

The term "building model" (in the sense in which it is used today) was first voiced in the works of the mid-1980s in an article by Simon Ruffle, then in an article by Robert Aish, the developer of the RuCAPS software, to which the author referred when describing the use software at London Heathrow Airport. The term "building information model" first appeared in an article by G. A. Van Nederveen and F. P. Tolman. However, the terms "building information model" and "building information modeling" (including the abbreviation BIM) did not become widely used until 10 years later.

In 2003, Jerry Lizerin helped popularize and standardize the term as a generic term for a digital representation of the construction process. Facilitating the exchange and interoperability of digital information has previously been proposed under various terminologies: Graphisoft as "virtual building", Bentley Systems as "integrated project models" and Autodesk or Vectorworks as "building information modeling". 

One of the main ideas that gave a huge impetus to development is the instantly changing elements of the model. Take, for example, a standard design situation. There is a door that needs to be made wider. When using software based on  BIM technology, we can change the door on the plan, and it will automatically change on facades, sections, in specifications, since not one specific view changes, but the entire element in the model, and information about the element also changes.

The impact of BIM technology on design and construction

Thanks to BIM technology, the design process and approach to design has changed a lot in recent years. The design process has become more complex, but at the same time completely digital. This made it possible to eliminate routine processes, improve the accuracy of project documentation, reduce design time and collisions during construction, make it possible to more accurately calculate construction costs, maintain reasonable savings and build on time.

BIM affects everyone, each participant in the process contributes his part of the information to the project, helps to create a full-fledged information model of the building and analyze it according to different criteria. Therefore, when creating a building information model, it is important to understand how a building works in the real world, what parameters (information) are important for design and construction, in order to ensure its accurate representation in a virtual environment.

The information contained in product data sheets and related technical data are combined with dimensional and functional information to present the product in the most geometrically efficient way for the designers who use it in the project.

BIM is constantly evolving, generative design is connected to the information model of the building, which allows you to analyze design solutions according to different parameters and obtain various solutions, from which the customer will have to choose the right one. Generative design is a new design method that allows for unexpected solutions and trade-offs between sketch constraints and goals, as well as form.

Application areas of BIM technology

At the moment, BIM technology is used at all stages of design and construction, from sketches to the operation of the building. It consolidates all the information about each component of a building in one place and allows anyone to access that information for any purpose, such as integrating various design aspects more effectively. This reduces the risk of errors or inaccuracies, and the cost of corrections is kept to a minimum. BIM data can be used to illustrate the entire life cycle of a building, from creation and design to demolition and reuse of materials. Spaces, systems, products and sequences can be shown in relative scale to each other and in relation to the entire project. And thanks to the conflict detection process, BIM prevents errors from occurring at different stages of development and construction.

The BIM concept provides for the virtual construction of a facility before its actual physical construction, reducing uncertainty, improving safety, solving problems, as well as modeling and analyzing potential impacts of various factors. pre-assemble some systems off site. Thus, costs can be minimized, building materials can be delivered just in time, and not stored on site.

The quantity and general properties of building materials can be easily calculated at the initial stage. The scope of work is also easily determined already at the design stage.

Visually, all infrastructure systems, assemblies and sequences can be shown in relative scale with the entire projected object or group of objects. BIM also prevents errors by allowing collision detection, causing the computer model to visually highlight specific locations where parts of a building may not fit together correctly. Dynamic building information such as sensor measurements and control signals from building systems can also be included in BIM software to support building operation and maintenance analysis.

One of the challenges of properly maintaining and managing existing facilities is understanding how BIM can be used to support a holistic understanding and implementation of building management practices and cost of ownership principles that support the full life cycle of a building product. For example, the American National Standard called APPA 1000 (Total Cost of Ownership and Asset Management) includes BIM to address the many critical requirements and costs over a building's life cycle. Among other things, it includes the replacement and maintenance of energy infrastructure, utilities and security systems, permanent maintenance of the exterior and interior of the building and the replacement of materials, design and functionality updates, recapitalization costs.

Educational base BIM-technologies in Russia

BIM technology cannot yet be chosen as the main direction in specialized universities, mainly this is additional education, but we are clearly moving towards this. Already, almost every university that is related to construction teaches, to one degree or another, the basics of BIM technology. The Moscow College of Architecture and Urban Planning provides its applicants with the opportunity to gain knowledge in the field of  BIM technology and try out a 3D prototyping laboratory filled with 3D printers. Also, at the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute, they teach & nbsp; BIM-art.

Despite the fact that there is no full-fledged curriculum BIM at universities, Russia has a very strong school and a lot of good educational platforms, highly qualified teachers, as well as specialists working in this field. 

Benefits of using BIM technology

The future of the construction industry is digital, and BIM is the design technology of the future. The BIM design strategy is aimed at reducing costs, improving the quality of design and construction, accelerating the supply of materials, and reducing emissions.

BIM offers:

  • improved visualization;
  • increased productivity through simple information retrieval;
  • consistency of construction documents of different sections;
  • embedding and linking important information, such as information about suppliers for specific building materials, taking into account their detailed description and quantity necessary for evaluation and bidding;
  • cost reduction;
  • elimination of collisions at the design stage.

BIM also contains most of the data required for building analysis. Building properties in BIM can be used to automatically generate an input file to model building construction performance and save a significant amount of time and effort. In addition, automating this process reduces errors and inconsistencies in the process of building construction performance simulation.