One of the reasons that I haven't been posting frequently this week is because I've been working on the BIMForum's new website. My main role is writing all the content.

One of the pages that we are having is "BIM FAQ", which will provide information on BIM for non-BIMers. Here are some of the questions that will be featured on the page:

BIM for beginners - I've never heard of this thing before!

What is BIM?

A building information model (BIM) is an object-oriented building development tool that utilizes 5-D modeling concepts, information technology and software interoperability to design, construct and operate a building project, as well as communicate its details.

What does that mean?

BIM is a building development tool that is based on a 3-d model of a building created in an object-oriented (intelligent) modeling software. Once the model is created, it can be used to assist with design, construction and operational tasks; it can also be used as a communication tool. Different uses of BIM may require different software applications to utilize the model, so BIM requires software to be interoperable.

What are some of the benefits of BIM?

One of the primary benefits of BIM is increased visualization of the building throughout the lifetime of the building. Increased visualization of the building contributes to increased collaboration and efficiency. The use of BIM software programs reduces redundancies and increased coordination. Together, these benefits enhance and simplify the design and construction phases of the building lifetime.

And of course, the essential benefit of BIM is the cost savings realized throughout the lifetime of the building.

What are some practical applications of BIM?

For architects, BIM can be used as both a design tool and a document-creation tool. Practical applications for builders include clash detection/MEP coordination, visual scheduling and quantity extraction. Among other things, BIM can also assist with the LEED certification process, energy analysis, progress tracking, structural analysis and site logistics.

In some geographical locations, BIM can be used to check compliance with zoning restrictions and building codes.

BIM sounds too good to be true.

What are some of the barriers to industry implementation?

What are some of the barriers to company implementation?

How much does it cost to implement BIM?

There isn’t a single correct answer to this question. However to get an idea of the cost, consider what it takes to implement BIM: software licenses, new hardware, new staff, software training, etc.

Implementing BIM can be expensive; however, keep in mind that there are major cost (and headache) savings associated with the use of BIM.

Alright, I'm sold. Now what?

How do I use BIM?

How do I learn all of this software?

What is a 2D Conversion & how do I perform one?

Are there any questions that I missed? I would really appreciate feedback on the questions (and answers) from anyone who has a moment to!


Miguel Krippahl said...

BIM for beginners - I've never heard of this thing before!
- Why would I convert?

BIM sounds too good to be true:
-Is BIM easier to use than CAD?
No. It is much harder, requiring good 3d perception, superior organization, deeper construction and design knowledge.
-Is this technolodgy come to age?
Some say it is still too early to change to full fledged BIM. Software, hardware, regulations and the industry are still not up to it. On the other hand, early adopters will benefit the most, as this is a slow learning method...

mnze said...

One of my major concerns is the focus of BIM on software. Purchasing software in itself will not provide a platform to building information modelling, it has consequences on contractural matters and process.

The focus of BIM is the seamless transfer of project design information from concept to reality. In most cases, if a firm has CAD, this could be achieved without further software purchase.

The real challenge is for most to understand how to change their business culture to realise the benefits BIM software purports to offer.

Laura Handler said...

MNZE - Although I agree that there is too much of a focus on software in the BIM world, I do not believe that you can achieve BIM using AutoCAD or another 2-D CAD program.

mnze said...

We are completing a $250M 54 platform project using 2D CAD as the basis for building models. The foundation of BIM is the ability to transfer design information to contractors to manufacture/build building components ie structural steel, precast concrete. All of our project CAD data was used digitally to create component detail for manufacture.

Whilst 3D modelling and BIM are developing in parallel, they are not the same thing.

Jason said...

I'd like to 'throw' something out there for comment...

What is BIM?... in my own opinion BIM is a marketing machine for AutoDesk to retain and gain on it's market share of CAD in the AEC world, of which it was starting to loose in the years prior to the purchase of Revit.

It's also my view (and MNZE's I think) that BIM is actually about sharing Information so maybe we should be talking B.I.S...? Building Information Sharing...

As far as I know BIM and from the research I've done on CAD, BIM as we know it today started in the UK in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I was lucky enough to be working with some of the people who had/were working on some BAA projects in the UK who were constructing co-ordinated 2d CAD data from each of the parties involved in the construction process. This involved single instance 2d CAD data being used by each party involved in the whole process e.g. The structure was designed/drawn by the structural engineers then referenced 'live' by the architects/building services engineers etc... At that time they were also doing a 3d CAD model for further clash detection but this was a parallel CAD process to enhance construction on site...

So you see BIM isn't about the type of tool you use but the process behind using those tools, I’ll agree Revit is a better tool for BIM (at the moment) but to me it's like a carpenters hand saw vs. a power saw or a hammer vs. a compressed air powered nail gun, they both cut timber or drive nails just one can be more efficient than the other at doing it...