What Is Building Information Modelling (BIM)?
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is, in short, a digital description of every aspect of a building. It’s a process of both creating and managing all the information on a project, right through from its genesis to post-construction.
The creation of a Building Information Model allows everybody who comes into contact with the building to optimise their understanding and actions of the project. A range of data is collected and assembled collaboratively, through input from everyone in every team working on the project, resulting in a thorough, easily-accessible account of everything to do with the building.
So What Is A BIM Object?
A BIM object is a combination of many things, all of which come together to give a full visual and data description of a building.
- Information content that defines a building
- The building’s properties, including things such as its thermal performance
- The product’s physical characteristics in a geometrical representation
- Visualisation data, which gives the digital object a recognisable appearance as a building
- Functional data, allowing the digital object to behave and be positioned in the same way as the building itself
All the spaces, systems, products and sequences that make up the building can be shown in relative scale to one another, and thus, relative to the project as a whole. BIM also helps in the prevention of errors, which can impede the progress of a building’s development and construction.
See a Building Information Modelling project in action:
For many years, the Construction industry has been plagued with the reputation of delivering late, and going over budget. Sometimes, the resulting assets are not quite the way they are supposed to be, and this has been a problem for some time. However, with the adoption of BIM, most of these problems can be identified early, and remedied ahead of time. As such, the entire construction process can be streamlined, with the added benefit of transparency and clarity for all involved.
The collaborative nature of BIM is one of its most poignant advantages. Specialists from a range of different disciplines can share their knowledge together in one central, data-rich model. What’s more, all the data collected within the BIM system will then inform the virtual reality visualisation of the property, whilst it’s still in development.
Within the Building Information Modelling platform, it’s not just the building itself that can be seen. The full system of cables, pipes and other vital aspects can all be visualised. All of these parts have an impact on the final aesthetics of the space in the finished product, and a BIM visualisation allows all of these factors to be optimised through every stage, to keep the design true and functional.
Beyond the benefits of BIM within the design and construction teams, the ease with which BIM, combined with virtual reality property walkthroughs, allow clients themselves to visualise the project long before completion, is a real game changer.
Plenty of studies in the past have shown what a hard time people have understanding two dimensional architectural drawings. Understandably, building one’s dream house is also a hugely emotional experience. Clients want as much control and input throughout the process as they can possibly get. With the ability to see exactly how their home will look, through a combination of true data, and virtual reality simulations, they can get a real sense of how they can expect their project to turn out.
Because of its capacity for keeping errors out of the equation, BIM offers a much needed cost-saving measure. For large scale projects, a simulated BIM model allows engineers to analyse the workflow, as they see a fully 4D version – that’s a 3D model with time factored in – in virtual reality. Progress can be correlated against cost, allowing project managers and engineers to schedule the various activities that go into the build in a way that optimises time whilst saving cost.
The development of Building Information Modelling technology marks a real milestone within the Construction and Property sectors. Along with informing the virtual property walkthroughs, like those we do at VMI Studio, the data gathered through the BIM system can be fed into the blockchain.
Blockchain technology is still in its early stages, but promises a fully in-depth, tamper-proof way to store a thorough account of every aspect of a building’s life, right from its genesis and throughout time. Every single bit of data can be gathered in a property’s blockchain, including the virtual property walkthroughs and BIM simulations, and passed through to every buyer that takes on the property throughout its life.
The future of Construction and Property is highly technological, and we are very excited to be at the crux of such a fundamental area of how these industries are developing.