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Your Simple Guide to Building Information Modelling in Construction (and BIM Maturity Levels)
Posted by David Cant on August 30, 2014
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BIM Building Information Modelling and Guidance for the Construction Industry

Architectural 3D image of a BuildingAs Building Information Modelling (BIM) sweeps through construction and architecture in the UK and around the world, it’s making quite a splash.

The dynamic generated digital models of building and infrastructure projects is increasing productivity, cutting errors and costs (giving an average 59% ROI to contractors in the UK alone) and helping communication drastically.  Any architect or contractor not using BIM today has a huge disadvantage.

One aspect to BIM which is sometimes unclear is what the Maturity Levels are, as you use it more and more extensively during a project.

The Different Layers (Maturity Levels) of BIM

There are various levels to using BIM.  The widely Bew-Richards BIM Maturity Model expresses these as different ‘maturity levels’.  Levels 0, 1 and 2.

The levels describe the levels of ‘maturity’ in terms of how advanced and thoroughly the contractors are using BIM, and how well every company involved can operate and exchange information.  Most organizations using BIM are gradually ‘maturing’ up through the levels and using BIM more and more extensively.

What Can the Most Advanced BIM Do?

The higher levels of 2 are the most smoothly collaborative between all parties involved, and use full 3D BIM in everything.

So project visualization (Simulation of the completed building), virtual mock up models, model walkthroughs (to walk through the building and look for problems), clash detection (checking for problems in design, and health and safety risks during construction) and prefabrication.

Time – the 4D Part

This is where BIM gets really groovy.  Here you can view each stage of the construction as it progresses, an amazing advantage for large projects.  You can plan scheduling, and all logistics like deliveries and cranes, down to a ‘T’.

Costing Too

The real time costing features of BIM also allow you to predict all costs at any stage of construction with great accuracy.  And this saves you and the client on costly mistakes, also making sure you won’t break the budget!

Interested in Large Public Contracts? Time to Mature

The UK government wants all public contracts to be running at BIM level 2 by 2016.  So if you want those big jobs, time to get advanced!  Here is a rough outline to the different levels, as outlined in this excellent post by the NBS.

Level 0

This is just using the basic Computer Aided Design (CAD) without 3D design.

Level 1

This next step up uses managed CAD or 3D design including the ability for collaboration between parties involved in the project.  So pretty basic BIM usage.  Maybe some basic data structures, but not the full shebang.  The finance and cost management is not integrated at level 1 – it’s all separate.

Level 2

The key here is that the managed 3D BIM model and project is managed separately, but all data is attached. And collaboration gets higher.

Level two can be lonely or collaborative. With the most advanced of course collaborative.  ‘Lonely’ Level 2 BIM means just one party is using BIM.  Collaborative is social, integrated BIM, when everyone involved is using BIM and working together.

We’ll keep feeding out these posts on BIM, making it easier to digest and understand.

Got any BIM-related questions?  Ask away!

About 

David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner with a brain you can pick. Fluent in practical advice. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the Director of life at Veritas Consulting.

You can find him on - Twitter and Facebook also Linkedin

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