BIM: An essential methodology for the construction world

Posted on03/27/2020 by
BIM: An essential methodology for the construction world
After the recession and economic crisis that occurred in the construction world a few years ago, the need to really change the production model originated within the sector.

To move towards a production model that was more competitive, in which there was more fluid and efficient communication between all the agents involved in the construction process, with the aim of reducing time and costs, a model more oriented towards the clients, who had already completely lost their confidence.

BIM was developed as a solution to this search for innovation and development of a technology in the construction world that was truly collaborative between the different agents and allowed these objectives to be achieved.

What is BIM:

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a collaborative working methodology between designers, builders, architects, installers, manufacturers and other agents involved in a construction process for the creation and management of a construction project from start to finish. It is a process of representation through which all the phases of the construction project can be visualized in various dimensions.

What BIM applications do is simulate the actual construction process. The BIM philosophy works with construction models in order to centralize all this information in a single model. These BIM models are obtained from the creation of objects by the manufacturers, with their own attributes that represent the physical construction elements to be managed or controlled. This allows architects and professionals linked to the construction world to establish a digital model of the real project, providing all the necessary information in the different stages of the construction process. The representation of this model is based on data and not only on geometry, there being at all times a permanent link between the model and the database.

If we translate it into reality, each object created and developed by the manufacturers in BIM has this data, in relation to its physical and technical properties, which in turn are linked to these images also modeled in 3D by them, so any change or modification in the model is automated to the rest, ensuring to always have correct and updated information. In addition, all elements have their own attributes and are specifically and parametrically related to the other BIM objects in the project: if one of these objects is changed, those dependent on it will also be changed automatically. In this way, BIM integrates and involves all actors involved throughout the construction stage (architects, manufacturers, customers, builders, engineers and other relevant actors), allowing a joint work and collaboration from start to finish through this intelligent and shared process.

The truth is that BIM is bringing about a real revolution that is changing the working methods hitherto used in the construction world. If we look back and remember, CAD allowed only 2D or 3D design without distinguishing its elements. BIM also incorporates the 4D (time) and 5D (costs), which is undoubtedly a great advance in relation to what we were used to, since thanks to BIM information can be managed intelligently throughout the life cycle of a construction project, automating programming processes, conceptual design, detailed design, analysis, documentation, manufacturing, construction logistics, operation and maintenance, renovation and/or demolition.

Calculating costs much more precisely and in detail, detecting design errors or analysing the energy consumption of the building before its construction phase are just a few examples of what can be achieved. As a result, it is possible to manage the information in a much more efficient way, which will result in a clear increase in productivity and improvement in the sustainability of the project. This last factor is key to the success of any architectural and construction project in the 21st century.

What are the real advantages of BIM?

There are numerous advantages provided by the BIM methodology, some of which have already been mentioned above. Below we list and briefly describe some of the most important ones:

- Realistic Representations: Thanks to recent advances in the fields of Virtual and Augmented Reality, as well as the use of drones, BIM technology makes possible to produce a stunningly realistic representation of the project, as if you were actually in front of it.

- Less misunderstanding and better optimization of timing and costs:. As each object is connected to a database, the different parts of the model are updated and evolve in unison. This will allow planning for the future and avoid any misunderstanding between the different actors involved in the process and that they will have to waste more time and effort updating all these changes. Moreover, as these are objects of particular manufacturers, estimates and budgets will always be more accurate, allowing for cost optimisation.

-Tests and simulations can be performed: By being able to input the BIM objects into a model, the calculations become much more accurate and important simulations and predictions can be made to ensure the success of a construction project, such as establishing environmental impact or maintenance costs.

- Collaboration and transparency: As it is a collaborative working environment where all changes are perfectly clear and registered, all agents involved in the project admit their part of responsibility for working with honesty and transparency.

- Better project visualization and increased error detection: Thanks to the cooperative work based on a central model, possible calculation errors can be detected with a higher probability and precision, which will guarantee a greater success of the project.

- Control of the entire construction process from start to finish:. You can manage and control the entire project life cycle, from planning to monitoring all the activity, once it is active.

- Faster and easier: It is much simpler and faster to generate three-dimensional models of construction projects with the BIM methodology, no matter how complex they are. Projects that in CAD would be very difficult to carry out.

- Flexibility and enrichment: A totally flexible work system is established with BIM, allowing changes, modifications and enriching projects by providing valuable information such as Structural Calculation, Energy Simulation, Measurements and Budgets, Installations and Operations and Maintenance.

Having already seen what BIM technology is, its potential and some of its most relevant advantages, in a next post of our blog, we will talk about the main software that exists in the market, the main manufacturers present and who are the most important BIM object hosting providers.

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