Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process in which the building modeling is done in a single platform where architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry professionals can simultaneously work on that platform to efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure.
BIM is a concept developed in the 1970s but came to the limelight in the early 20s due to the development of advanced software and for risk management and clash detection in projects which are developed with standard guidelines and are used in a lot of projects of all scales all over the world.
The common misconceptions about BIM are as follows:
1. It is just a 3D modeling software
Though BIM is having a part in 3D modeling, the process is a lot more than it. Here the architects, engineers, and constructors collaborate and share data through digital space called the Common Data Environment (CDE) which contains graphical and non-graphical data and in result produce data-rich models
Example 1 – Nanjing International Youth Cultural Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
It acted as an efficient tool to lower the construction time can be seen in this project. Having an efficient background in 3D BIM and construction management by ZHA helped the project to be designed within 34 months within which 18 months are required only for on-site construction.
2. It is complicated to implement
BIM is a shift in the workflow of a project and a change in the mindset of architects. It is easy to learn, enables efficient workflow, increases productivity, and benefits all the professionals working on the project.
EXAMPLE 2 – Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore
It played an important role to build the airport from all aspects. BIM Execution Plan (BEP) helped to construct the use of BIM in different phases of the project. Also, the glass façade has 9000 unique sizes and shaped glass pieces that were designed, and the drawing of each piece was delivered for construction in the factory.
3. It has no long-term impact on productivity
Though BIM requires initial training for the operators and the software, high-quality workflow and improvement in the project will help to increase productivity after a certain point.
EXAMPLE 3 – Lè Architecture by Aedas
This project is one of the perfect examples of how the productivity and efficiency of the building got improved due to BIM. With the help of the Green BIM Platform, the architects modeled and analyzed the green building systems.
4. It is only for “Big” projects
BIM is mostly preferred in large projects as it helps to manage better than other ways of construction. It is also used in small-scale projects and has shown significant improvement in the quality and productivity of the professionals.
EXAMPLE 4 – Rock House | St. Ives, Cornwall by Jacob down Architects
The architects used BIM technology along with a laser scanner to scan the site and 3D map the rocky site to achieve 0.01 millimeters of accuracy in modeling. It’s a two-and-a-half-story apartment project.
5. BIM provides benefit to only designers and constructors
BIM platform is designed in such a way so that there is easy communication and collaboration between all the professionals and the client. So, it is beneficial for all.
EXAMPLE 5 – Macquarie University Incubator by Architectus
It is built with an innovative collaboration between client, designer, contractor, and subcontractors using BIM. The project has utilized BIM to its full to prefabricate the building components and build the building with accuracy.
6. BIM solves clashes
There are cases where clashes with objects occur with the same model between different professionals. Clash Detection Services detect the clashes and inform the manager or the required professionals to solve it. BIM doesn’t solve clashes but only detects it and benefits economically.
EXAMPLE 6 – 22 Bishopsgate by Multiplex
22 Bishopsgate is a 62-story commercial tower with a triple basement, 57 lifts, and many complexities are located at the heart of London. With 4D BIM and Virtual Construction process Freeform with Multiplex made the structure possible. This scale of projects does have 2000 to 3000 clashes at a time but BIM’s pre-detection ability helps professionals to solve it.
7. BIM requires much detailed information
BIM models aim to be data-rich and accurate as much as possible to make the model data-rich. The amount of information required in a BIM model depends on the Level of Development (LOD) the project is developed. LOD 100 includes the only concept, LOD 400 is used for construction, and LOD 500 is used for operation and maintenance of the structure.
EXAMPLE 7 – Whizdom 101, Bangkok
This project aims to build a 17-acre smart city for a commercial and mixed-use development with residential and commercial towers. Here, the use of BIM is scaled up from a single building to a city. So according to requirements, the LOD can be used in the construction and maintenance of the city.
8. BIM doesn’t have anything for the client
The most important part of the project is operation and maintenance. After the handover of the project and BIM file, the client can use the BIM model for future renovation, reuse and maintain the building as per wish in very less time and efficient way.
EXAMPLE 8 –WeWork
WeWork has such a unique business model that needs its spaces inside the office to repurpose, reuse, and build new space for the new members. With the help of BIM modeling of the office, they can easily do the necessary changes with efficiency.
9. BIM will be obsolete one day
BIM has been developed with the global construction for a long time being, it is developed to minimize waste products, minimize risk in projects, and also to keep track of the project properly. As humanity has upgraded its standards to the digital world, BIM has brought a major change in the workflow and proper use of technology.
EXAMPLE 9 –Crossrail, Europe
The project started back in 2009 and it is on construction to date. The project when started was not a BIM project, but with time BIM proved its importance and became an integral part of the project. Over 1 million CAD files have been created, approved, and organized by BIM software during this project.
10. BIM is costly
While starting with BIM workflow and to train there may be a small percentage of productivity loss but the amount spent on that small loss can easily be recovered from the next projects and with proper implementation on the project.
EXAMPLE 10 – Shanghai Disneyland
80% of this project is developed with BIM environment, this allowed them to reduce rework, develop models more easily, work in a higher level of development, develop work through video, cloud, and social to engage other members of the project, coordinate workers in multiple locations simultaneously, and to develop a proper project schedule.
BIM over a long time has proved itself to be an essential tool in fields of architecture, urban design, transportation, and many more. With time as the technology upgrades BIM too found its way to upgrade, don’t follow myths but understand its importance and be ahead of others.