WHAT IS BIM?
A building information model (BIM) is an object-oriented building development tool that utilizes 5-D modeling concepts, information technology and software interoperability to design, construct and operate a building project, as well as communicate its details.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
BIM is a building development tool that is based on a 3-d model of a building created in an object-oriented (intelligent) modeling software. Once the model is created, it can be used to assist with design, construction and operational tasks; it can also be used as a communication tool. Different uses of BIM may require different software applications to utilize the model, so BIM requires software to be interoperable.
WHAT DOES 5-D MEAN?
5-D refers to all of the current dimensions of BIM, where the 3rd dimension is considered space, the 4th dimension is considered time and the 5th dimension is considered cost. In the future, the reference will be modified to include 6-D (procurement applications) and 7-D (operational applications).
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE USES OF BIM?
Most contractors are likely to start using BIM through “partial uses.” The list of partial uses of BIM seems almost infinite. For contractors already using BIM, the list seems to grow daily. For those getting started, the following list represents some of the more common “early” uses that most contractors experience in their experimentation with BIM:,
• Scope Clarification
• Partial Trade Coordination
• Collision Detection/Avoidance
• Design Validation
• Construction Sequencing Planning/Phasing Plans/Logistics
• Marketing Presentations
• Options Analysis
• Walk-throughs and Fly-throughs
• Virtual Mock-Ups
• Sight Line Studies
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF BIM?
Those who are using BIM will almost universally tell you that the number of new benefits they continue to discover seems endless. Here are a few:
• Assisting with scoping during bidding and purchasing
• Reviewing portions of the scope for analyses such as value engineering
• Coordinating construction sequencing (even if just for two trades)
• Demonstrating project approaches during marketing presentations
• The ability to identify collisions (e.g., identifying ductwork running into structural members).
• The ability to visualize what is to be built in a simulated environment
• Fewer errors and corrections in the field
• Higher reliability of expected field conditions, allowing for opportunity to do more prefabrication of materials offsite, which is usually a higher quality at a lower cost
• The ability to do more “what if” scenarios, such as looking at various sequencing options, site logistics, hoisting alternatives, cost, etc.
• The ability for non-technical people (clients, users, etc.) to visualize the end product
• Fewer callbacks and thus, lower warranty costs
WHAT TYPE OF SOFTWARE IS USED FOR BIM?
• Object-oriented 3-D modeling software for creating and manipulating models (i.e. Autodesk Revit or Bentley Microstation)
• Engineering analysis software (i.e. Risa 3D or Tekla Structures)
• Rendering software (i.e. 3D Studio Max, Blender, Lumion, Twin Motion)
• Coordination software (i.e. Navisworks or Tekla Structures)
• Estimating software (i.e. Timberline or Graphisoft Constructor)
• Middleware (i.e. Innovaya or Avatech Earth Connector)
• Detailing Software (i.e. Tekla Structures or SDS/2)