15 BIM Facts Every Architect Must Know

The construction industry is undergoing a significant transformation driven by technological advancements. One of the most impactful innovations is Building Information Modeling (BIM), a revolutionary process that is reshaping the way buildings are planned, designed, constructed, and managed.

Building Information Modeling popularly known as BIM, is a process that provides various information regarding a building and also aids in its process of planning, designing, construction, and management. BIM is comparatively a newer technology and is the pinnacle of architectural technologies. Gradually, every firm is adopting the BIM process as it refines the planning and designing process and also helps in providing the client with optimum results.  

Like every other emerging technology, there are a lot of competitive BIM software out there and it is a difficult decision to choose one. As an architecture student or working professional, it’s important to learn the nuances of BIM and it's slowly getting included in most curriculums in universities worldwide.

To aid in clearing the confusion, myths, and doubts in the minds of many, here are some facts about BIM.

Contrary to popular belief which states that Autodesk is the first innovator of BIM, it was Graphisoft that first introduced its application, ArchiCAD in 1987 which served as the first software to be able to create 2D and 3D geometry on a personal computer.

The first generation of BIM software was called ‘Virtual Building’ applications until 2002 when Autodesk released an article entitled “Building Information Modeling” and other software vendors started asserting their involvement in the field, the term was standardized.

There are 4 Levels of BIM, namely Level 0,1,2 & 3. Level 0 deals with lines and texts and as we progress further, level 1 comprises 3D models and objects, a further level includes collaboration data with level 3 on the top involving interoperable data.

A common myth surrounding BIM states that it’s just a 3D model, while it’s partly true BIM involves more than 3D data and includes other variables like estimation, schedule of work sustainability, and life cycle of the project depending on the level involved.  

BIM maturity levels are divided into 4 levels which in turn are divided into more levels, with level 0 comprising of CAD, level 1 comprising of 2D and 3D, level 2 breaking down into 4D and 5D, and finally level 3 with 6D.

BIM is an entire process and not just one software, it involves an entire process of planning, designing, generating, and managing digital representations of the final product depending on the levels you have implemented in your work cycle.

The success of BIM lies in the collaboration model of the process, as one progresses further the levels, the level of collaboration increases which is directly proportional to the increase in work efficiency.

Another common myth is that BIM is strictly for architects, which is not true as it can be used by contractors MEP engineers cost estimators, and project managers.

A pre-conceived notion that BIM aids in the designing process before the construction of any structure. However, post-construction can be used for facility management, maintenance of the building, and overall building operations.

With BIM, all the stakeholders of a project can collaborate and work together on a single model and implement changes and corrections in real-time.

BIM helps in visualizing the building creates more efficient designs and helps in coordination across various disciplines, documentation, scheduling, etc.

When one looks at the designs of Dame Zaha Hadid and similar maestros, they are stunned by the fluid nature of the structures and the complexity involved in their construction which is possible because of the integration of BIM.

Along with the design of new buildings, it can also be used for renovation and refurbishments of older structures via laser surveys and plotting and with 3D modeling and cost estimation aiding the project process.

Visualization of the finished product produces more effective and elegant designs while enabling coordination across disciples through design and contract document production, and with the involvement of cost estimators and contractors project estimations and material/ labor proposals are quickly prepared which ultimately shortens the design phase and improves the design.

It allows clients to understand their projects: dimensionally accurate BIM provides a sense of scale allows clients to experience the building and sense of the spaces and reduces misunderstandings between the clients and architects during the design process. It also helps in the prediction of power consumption, light use, and similar factors which also is appreciated by clients.

As BIM continues to gain traction, understanding its intricacies and selecting the right software becomes crucial for both aspiring architects and seasoned professionals. With universities actively incorporating BIM into their curriculums, future generations are well-positioned to leverage this powerful technology and contribute to the creation of a more efficient and sustainable built environment.

Source : re-thinkingthefuture.com

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