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Written by
on 26 August 2012


Building information modelling joins advances in digital design, software development, and advanced construction practices to create powerful models of buildings that architects can pass along to contractors, subcontractors, owners, and remodelling contractors. Creating a BIM model offers time-saving advantages for all types of repairs, maintenance, energy-saving initiatives, and research.

Building information modelling

Building information modelling uses computer aided design to generate cost savings, plan construction efficiently, and improve general management of facilities. Two kinds of BIM software work in concert to deliver all the possible benefits of these advanced applications: authoring software and coordination software.

Authoring software manages architectural details and system limits. Software examples include Autodesk Revit Architecture and Bentley Systems.
Coordination software uses the model created by authoring software and relates that information to practical applications in the real world. For example, the coordinating software might find suppliers or get current prices. Coordination software examples include Bentley Projectwise and Autodesk Navisworks.
Future advances in software will likely bring these two applications together in one convenient software package.

BIM Consulting Services Offer Several Levels of Sophistication

Building information modelling covers data, such as geographic information, building materials, material properties, spatial relationships, geometry, and lighting analysis. Any contractor or consultant can get information accurately and quickly to make repairs or plan needed improvements.

The model requires that all information works together seamlessly in a standard format, and not all building and trades facilities have converted to these systems. Companies use BIM software at several levels of sophistication.

Level 0: This form of BIM works with almost any computer system, delivering basic information in electronic form.
Level 1: Material at level one models buildings in 3-D format, but the system can also send 2-D images to systems unable to analyse 3-D models.
Level 2: Enterprise planning software manages commercial data involved in construction and planning. The software works with proprietary systems and bespoke middleware. The British government has set a goal of converting all building trades to this level by 2016.
Level 3: This advanced level of software integrates construction sequencing, projects life-cycle information, and budgets costs into planning. The software enables Web services and company software to interact collaboratively and meet all Industry Foundation Class standards.

Benefits of Virtual Planning

BIM benefits extend beyond simple changes in software, enabling detailed sharing of designs and specifications that include virtual representation of parts and components in graphic detail. BIM information transforms drawings based on lines and shapes into datasets that describe items virtually to get more accurate modelling and enable virtual manipulation that rivals having the real object at hand.

Building information modelling data include drawings, regulations, standards, manufacturer specifications, environmental conditions, and procurement details in one place that owners can share with subcontractors, repair companies, and planning officials. Advantages of adopting BIM technology include the following benefits.

Architects work seamlessly with contractors to resolve problems before physical construction begins. Most clashes between design and practical engineering occur after construction starts. Resolving these problems becomes very costly and often delays work on the projects. Virtual models allow homeowners to better visualise projects and make decisions affecting functionality and aesthetics.

BIM systems allow greater use of prefabricated units that fit seamlessly on-site.
Planners can find problems early in the design process and resolve them before beginning construction. Engineers can use BIM systems to cut down on accidents and make suggestions to improve safety.

Life-cycle management becomes a crucial part building planning. Owners can project the costs of maintenance and repairs over long periods of time.
Capturing and recording relevant data allow special changes by consultants or subcontractors to interact with all other modifying elements. BIM systems allow changes in one element of the design to suggest other needed changes. Smart home systems work flawlessly with BIM software to make more efficient homes and buildings that incorporate alarms, safety and energy efficiency into project designs.

BIM Consultants in the U.K.

The usefulness of BIM systems depends on their adoption by disparate firms in the architectural, construction and engineering industries. The Construction Project Information Committee encourages adoption of the systems throughout the building trades. In May 2011, the U.K. government set goals of requiring companies to adopt collaborative 3-D BIM systems to qualify for participation in any government construction projects by 2016.

Currently, 31 percent of building trades companies use BIM systems for some projects. Attempts to create BIM systems for pre-existing buildings have problems in getting accurate data about materials, construction methods, and standards in place when the buildings were constructed.

BIM consultants point out several logistical problems that adopting building information modelling could cause.

Sharing information allows owners to realise all the possible benefits. Unfortunately, many experienced craftsmen have no information technology training.
Duplicate plans might become necessary when some subcontractors cannot use BIM systems. Ownership questions must get settled by courts when patents and intellectual property come into question.

Companies that collaborate could share liabilities when one element of design fails to work properly.Insurance regulations and policies must change to address the changes BIM systems make for insurance cover. Changes in IT systems will take some investment to train staff, buy software, get new hardware, and pay for licensing.

Companies will benefit from cost savings on every project, and updating systems will position them to compete for more business opportunities. Adoption of building information modelling software will make companies more competitive on globally because countries throughout the world increasingly use BIM as standard practise.

For further details on Building Information Modelling and BIM Consulting Services contact Veritas Consulting the expert BIM Consultants on 0800 1488 677


A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

A chartered (fellow) safety and risk management practitioner with 20+ years of experience. David provides a healthy dose of how-to articles, advice and guidance to make compliance easier for construction professionals, Architects and the built environment. Get social with David on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

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