Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

The importance of BIM is really the I (information) bit, the graphical, non-graphical data and documents we create to design, engineer, construct, and maintain assets.

The B (building) has nothing to do with restricting to buildings, it can also refer to other types of built assets we use in our day-to-day lives, such as infrastructure projects (e.g., linear assets; roads, rail, pipe networks, etc.).

The M (modelling) means more than just modelling in 3D it simply means the creation and structuring of information into a visual and coherent form, e.g., creating a spreadsheet in excel is a form of modelling.
BIM uses object-oriented programming. This means that objects ‘know’ what they are, as they carry information about themselves. This allows people to do a search and retrieve the information they wanted in much less time.
Integrated: All information is pulled together using parametric, object-based modelling in which non-geometrical data is embedded within geometrical objects

Digital: Developed by digital technology, rather than paper-based mechanisms

Coordinated, reliable, shareable data: Created in a Common Data Environment which is accessible to all relevant team members so the information can be shared and coordinated, rather than developed in silos.

All project phases: Not just about design, it’s about the whole lifecycle of a built asset.
A common data environment, or CDE, is, as its name suggests, where all information common to an asset is stored and managed, so that the right people can access the right information, at the right time.  A system used only by an individual task or delivery team means that the environment isn’t actually common at all!

It is the CDE which is the key to the collaborative production of an information model, as it allows graphical models, asset data and documentation to be coordinated and managed effectively throughout the life of the asset.

The data should represent a single source of truth.

The fundamental principles of the common data environment are as follows: 

• Information is produced once and re-used many times

• Information is to be continuously shared and trusted

• Information has clear history & validity.

• Permissions and access to information is controlled and secure

• Information must be checked, reviewed and approved before it is shared with other members of the delivery team

• Information shared by others is only to be used for the suitability for which it was intended.

BIM-Based Workflow – A 3D model-based process, or BIM, provides insight and tools to Architectural, Engineering and Construction professionals so that they can efficiently design buildings and infrastructure while adding data (information) to the models for use downstream.
The key driver behind implementing project CDE is to ensure clarity in terms of information purpose, suitability security and currency.

It allows project teams to develop and progressively share their information for better coordination and ultimately more timely and efficient information delivery.
BuildingSMART’s OpenBIM definition:

“extends the benefits of BIM (Building Information Modeling) by improving the accessibility, usability, management and sustainability of digital data in the built asset industry. At its core, openBIM is a collaborative process that is vendor-neutral. openBIM processes can be defined as sharable project information that supports seamless collaboration for all project participants. openBIM facilitates interoperability to benefit projects and assets throughout their lifecycle”
BIM needs to be considered and planned from the very start, otherwise as to the significant volume of data generated increases it becomes increasingly difficult to manage.

You need to have a clear target for why you’re developing information and how it needs to be developed before you start.

Anyone project generates vast amounts of data that needs to be clearly and consistently named from the start.
Planning is essential to effective BIM and information management. Construction is complex and the information developed is the right information, delivered at the right time, and in the right format. Having a clear plan is vital to success.

BIM creates value saving time by ensuring work done earlier is done right to be reused later.
Information requirements are the key to effective planning, as per the image

Construction is complex and the information developed is significant and should be the:
– Right information
– Delivered at the right time
– In the right format
– Is absolutely vital to success, and a plan enables that

BIM creates value saving time by ensuring work done earlier is done right to be reused later.
BIM can save time by ensuring work done earlier is done right to be reused later, but if one person doesn’t appreciate or cuts a corner, value can be lost, -this is why an important part of this BIM implementation, is supporting everyone to be part of it.
The goal of effective information management is to ensure everyone, particularly the client and end-users, is aware of the requirements from the outset and that this understanding and communication is facilitated throughout the project and into operation. A mismatch in expectations, how would the end-user experience that space.
A CDE can only operate effectively if all stakeholders are aligned in their expectations and level of communication. BIM offers an opportunity for greater stakeholder and client interaction, particularly by using the visual 3D model to explain ideas. Several tools offer integrated communication facilities to enable clearer communication, particularly surrounding coordination and clash detection-related issues.